Zambia crash tragedy: Family of Lucy Dickenson pay tribute to 'wonderful' daughter and sister
TRIBUTES continue to be paid to 'extraordinary and inspirational' Barry woman Lucy Dickenson, who died in a crash in Zambia last week.
Well-wishers have pledged thousands to the charity she founded with her twin sister Hannah - The Safe Foundation - following Lucy's death in southern Africa on August 20.
The 32-year-old, who also played music with Hannah as Amber Hour, had been working abroad as part of a Welsh Government-funded Public Service Management Wales project working with communities, and was due back in the UK in September.
Lucy, of Hannah Street, died when the pick-up truck she was travelling in hit a pothole and overturned as she returned from a trip to Lake Kariba in neighbouring Zimbabwe.
She was travelling with the driver, who was injured, and his wife. Contrary to initial reports, the driver has not been charged with any motoring offences and Lucy's family described her death as a tragic accident.
Speaking to the Barrry & District News this week, her family paid tribute to the travelling "home bird", who valued her family above all else.
Identical twin Hannah Fitt said that in Zambia, Lucy had finally conquered the demons that had haunted her since a gap year visit to Uganda, as an 18-year-old, when she was forced to watch two murders. Lucy struggled with the trauma, but underwent therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder and in 2006/7, set up The Safe Foundation to help poverty-stricken communities.
The charity, of which Lucy was the director, currently has 16 projects in ten countries including Cambodia, Ghana, India, Nepal, Sierra Lone and the UK.
A former pupil at All Saints Primary in Barry and then Bishop of Llandaff school, she spent six years studying part-time for an Open University degree in World Religion and International Development with humanities, and worked part-time in High Street gift shop Waterlily.
Speaking about Lucy's trip to Zambia, Hannah said: "I spoke to her on Skype every day and those demons had been conquered - but she never got a chance to live like that.
"It was such a big deal for her to go back. We'd been together and with other people, but this was her chance to go back to Africa on her own.
"She was very determined, very intelligent but she had no common sense whatsoever," she added.
"She wasn't a calm person. She was very firey and she chose to live her life in high drama.
"But we did things simply and effectively, and the way we did that was together."
Lucy and Hannah also entered Britain's Got Talent (BGT), as Amber Hour, making it through to the final 50 before producers told them the show had no licence to play original music - a situation which has now changed.
Hannah, who signed them up for BGT because she had a crush on Simon Cowell, said: "I filled in the application forms and forged her signature!"
Lucy was a talented piano player, songwriter and singer.
"She was very soulful, and one of the things I'm going to find difficult is not playing music with her," added her twin.
"She was 11 minutes younger than me and she knew it. I always told her that I split an egg in two so she could be born so I was responsible for her - and as such she always had to do the dishes!
"It was just family for her though - and that was the most important thing in her life," said Hannah.
"She was very sensitive and thoughtful and got people instantly. She was just lush, beautiful, and the Safe Foundation is her legacy which we will carry on."
Mum Glenys said she was proud of all Lucy's achievements and added: "She was a very loving, cheeky and wonderful daughter."
Elder sister Louise said: "She was an incredibly loyal sister, my best friend and my soul mate."
Lucy is survived by dad Mark, mum Glenys, sisters Louise, Danielle and Hannah, nieces Maisie and Habbiba, nephew Harvey, Hannah's husband Matthew and Lucy's partner Mike Leznoff.
* Donations to The Safe Foundation, in Lucy's memory, can be made via www.thesafefoundation.co.uk
* Professor Stephen Tomlinson, chairman of Vale for Africa and the Wales for Africa health Links Networks, said: "Lucy and the Safe Foundation worked together with Vale for Africa as partners.
"She was a joy; she brightened up any room she entered. She was truly inspirational and cared deeply for the poor, the sick and the disadvantaged, especially children in Africa and Asia."
* Vale AM Jane Hutt added: "Lucy was an extraordinary person, of vision, of commitment and of courage. She was a true leader of young people and helped changed the lives of young people from Wales as well as across the world.
"In her short life she achieved so much more than we see in policies and programmes, which have good intention but can take decades to deliver.
"It was an honour and privilege to know Lucy Dickenson and our thoughts are with her family and friends."