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Helen Dury, 1977-2022

Helen Dury

8 June 2022

Helen Dury, Portfolio Marketing Manager in External Relations, died suddenly in February. Her colleague Mary Millard offers a remembrance.

Helen Elizabeth Dury, née Plimmer, of Muxton, Shropshire, passed away suddenly but peacefully, surrounded by her family, on 6 February 2022, from a previously undiagnosed brain tumour.

Before joining the University, Helen had a hugely successful career with brand and shopper marketing agencies in both the UK and the UAE. After obtaining a degree in English with Media and Cultural Studies from the University of Wolverhampton, she started as an Assistant Buyer for Somerfield Stores. She quickly progressed to become an In-Store Communications Assistant and then moved to become an Account Manager for StormBrands Agency. She furthered her career across several marketing agencies before becoming an Account Director at Epoch Design, working with global brands and products. As a driven and adventurous woman, Helen seized the opportunity to move to Dubai in 2014 and worked there for three years, first with Sandpaper and then with Asia Digital. Her return to the UK saw her take up account director positions at ThirtyThree, StormBrands and Epoch Design, managing brand identity and corporate accounts.

Helen joined the University in February 2019 and spent three years working as a Portfolio Marketing Manager in External Relations, supporting the Faculties of Health Sciences and Engineering. During that time, she made major contributions to the development of new programmes and significant improvements in the channels and visibility of our educational offerings. She also championed the importance of improving research marketing as a critical shift in the University's approach. She led a team of marketing and communications professionals and supported them with humanity and humour. Helen was an informal mentor to many. She was always keen to help and first to volunteer her time to support others.

Those of us who had the pleasure of working alongside Helen will have very many happy memories of her passion, laughter, enthusiasm and her relentless and fearless questions. She was a hugely liked and respected colleague, with great reach and impact across the institution. Helen was a consummate professional and delivered exacting standards in everything she did. Her effortless connection with colleagues first and foremost as people, and her desire to know and appreciate everyone, were among her greatest strengths. Many meetings and events were enriched with stories of Helen’s sporting or travel escapades; she freely shared her immense pride and love of her family. In her brief time at the University, her open and disarming candour meant that she made strong connections with many colleagues. Helen’s kindness, energy and meticulous approach will be sorely missed.

For more personal reflections, memories, and funny stories about Helen, people across the University have shared their thoughts on a 'Remembering Helen' board.

A number of colleagues will be attempting to follow in Helen’s adventurous and energetic footsteps by running the Bristol Run Series Giant Inflatable Run on Saturday 11 June 2022 to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Research. Her family have also set up a fundraising page for Brain Tumour Research. Donations are invited in Helen’s memory.

Helen’s untimely passing is a reminder to everyone to make sure we make the most of every opportunity, and do things with passion, compassion and energy, as she so wholly did.

Helen is survived by her husband Simon, her daughter Olive, and her parents Ron and Mary.

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