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'Kind, calm, patient' volunteer dies aged 76

A volunteer who devoted his retirement to helping his local community has died at the age of 76.

Peter Fredrickson was born in Cardiff, south Wales, in 1943, to Mary and Sydney and grew up with his older brother, Michael.

Until the age of 18, Peter received a Catholic education in Wales and in Ireland. His family said his faith was always important to him and instilled in him the values he lived his life by.

At Cardiff University, Peter earned an honours degree in pure maths and met his future wife, Jan.

After university he was offered a post-graduate research post in Australia but turned it down as his mother was terminally ill.

In 1968 Peter and Jan married in Cardiff and went on to have two children – daughter Miriam, born in 1971, and son Matthew, in 1973.

Peter had a career in the corporate world which began at IBM in Cardiff.

In 1973 the family moved to Datchet when he took a job at Unilever in London and in 1979 they moved to Windsor.

Upon moving, Peter and Jan joined the Catholic parish of Datchet and Eton, and worshipped regularly at Our Lady of Sorrows church in Eton.

On retiring at 55, he volunteered for a number of charitable organisations.

One role was that of voluntary advisor at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Church Street, Slough.

Jan said: “It was really instrumental in changing his outlook and deepened his understanding of what so many people are coping with.”

He spent 10 years as a magistrate, regularly attending court in Slough, Maidenhead and Reading and was also a ‘befriender’ at Home-Start Slough, based in High Street, Burnham.

There he supported a mother of a family, who rang Jan after hearing about his death.

Jan said: “She told me it really turned her life around. Having that befriender gave her the confidence to do things herself.”

Peter also volunteered at Manor Green School, a day special school in Cannon Lane, Cox Green, and Thames Valley Adventure Playground, in Bath Road, Taplow, which offers a safe place for adults and children with special needs to relax and play.

Beckie Morgan, senior playworker at the playground, said: “Peter was a kind, calm and patient man who was a great volunteer as he was dependable,

understanding and lovely to have around. He was great to work with and we really appreciated his commitment to our charity and his valuing our work.”

Peter also loved spending time with his grandchildren, Jacob, 25, Leah, 23, Molly, 21, and Martha, 14, whom he took to the playground’s open days to teach them the importance of being inclusive and open to everyone.

Peter passed away after a fall resulted in complications which he could not recover from, following a period of ill health.

His family have requested that, instead of flowers, people make donations to Thames Valley Adventure Playground.

He leaves his wife Jan, his children, Miriam Fredrick-son-Barnaby, and her wife Alice, and Matthew and his wife, Jo, and his grandchildren.

The funeral will take place at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church tomorrow (Friday) at 12.30pm, followed by a service of committal at Slough Crematorium at 2pm.

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