A beloved philanthropist who dedicated herself to dozens of causes has died at the age of 62. 

Jackie Higham, from Bramerton, has been praised for her unrelenting “kindness and infectious zest for life”.  

And she has left a legacy that saw her raise tens of thousands of pounds to help implement life-changing services.

Eastern Daily Press: Jackie Higham on her wedding day

Jacqueline Higham, known to all as Jackie, was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1960, and was the daughter of Josephene and David.  

She experienced an international upbringing, spending her early years living in countries including Nigeria and Abu Dhabi. She also became fluent in French and Arabic.

Jackie finally settled in the UK where she attended St Dunstan's Abbey school in Plymouth before continuing her education at Cardiff University. 

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She started her professional career as a graduate trainee at Marks and Spencer’s Walthamstow store. She swiftly progressed to the chain's Oxford outlet and then took up the role of marketing manager at the company’s head office. 

Jackie continued to work in retail and marketing consultancy before venturing into commercial management at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and eventually property development and renovation. 

Eastern Daily Press: Jackie Higham and husband, Richard

In April 1986, she met her partner, Richard, during dinner at a mutual friend's house.

That night, she returned home to her mother and declared she had met the man she was going to marry. 

They moved in together in 1988 and married in Brockenhurst in the New Forest in 1991.

They later moved to Norfolk, where they settled in the countryside.

Together they had two daughters; Isabelle (b. July 1995) and Ella (b. April 1997). 

During her early years of motherhood, Jackie continued to commute to London for work.

However, her unwavering love for her family eventually compelled her to make the decision to leave her fast-paced career.  

Eastern Daily Press: Jackie Higham with her daughters, Isabelle and Ella

In the years that followed, Jackie dedicated herself to charitable and philanthropic endeavours.  

With boundless enthusiasm, she raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to implement life-changing services.  

She co-founded Nepal in Need and spearheaded the development of three health centres and free healthcare in the Himalayas. She also joined Funding Network London and offered support to global charities.

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Locally, she immersed herself in school campaigns, gala committees, the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, the Norfolk Community Foundation, the Norfolk and Norwich Funders Forum, the Priscilla Bacon Hospice, and the Citizens Advice Bureau, as well as many others. She was also a trustee of the Matthew Project.

Her family paid tribute to her, describing her as “a remarkable philanthropist” who helped others “in the most selfless way”.

Eastern Daily Press: Jackie Higham with staff at the health centre in Nepal, pictured in 2009

“A truly great lady in every sense of the word,” they added. 

"[She was] an incredible mother, a true friend, someone who made time for everyone, possessing a heart overflowing with kindness and an infectious zest for life. 

“Her presence will forever be missed, but her indomitable spirit will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.” 

Travelling the world with her family was one of Jackie's greatest joys. Together, they made memories in Australia, Mauritius, the Caribbean, the US and Europe.

Mallorca held a special place in her heart with numerous summers spent there with friends and family.

Eastern Daily Press: Catherine Blaiklock, left, partner Gyaljen Sherpa and Jackie Higham have raised money for a new

In November of 2021, Jackie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and the following year she underwent a stem cell transplant.  

Throughout this time, her bravery and resilience “shone brightly”. 

She raised thousands for cancer and stem cell charities and her advocacy for stem cell donor registrations, particularly for those with mixed heritage backgrounds, inspired many.  

Eastern Daily Press: Jackie Higham with her daughters, Isabelle and Ella

Speaking at her funeral, her daughter said her mother’s strength during this time was "the most beautiful thing she had ever borne witness to". 

Her family added that her “strength, kindness and ability to keep smiling during this time was nothing short of phenomenal”. 

Jacqueline Nada Higham died on January 6 at the University College London Hospital.