Tributes to Phyllis Preece

We are very sad to announce that our fellow COPA Trustee and friend Phyllis Preece passed away on 1 May 2020.

Phyllis was a founder member of COPA and played a leading role in our progress and journey to become a registered charity in  2017. Phyllis was Vice Chair of COPA from 2014 and Chair of 50+ Forum Cardiff South and Chair of National Pensioners Convention Wales. She was a  Member of Welsh Government’s Ministerial Advisory Forum on Ageing and  the Consultative Group for Age Cymru.  Phyllis was a life-long Trade Unionist and official for UNITE in the Tobacco industry and played a leading role with UNITE Retired Members for many years. 

The contribution that Phyllis gave to improving the lives of older people in Wales was significant and will be greatly missed. Phyllis was a strong person who had a “heart of gold” and was always concerned about other people’s needs. We are proud to have had the privilege of working with Phyllis. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family.

Rest in Peace Phyllis

COPA Board of Trustees

Phyllis always kept us grounded in her inimitable way. A girl of the people she certainly was, never forgetting her days in the cigar factory when I first knew her. I thought she would go on forever and can’t imagine COPA without her, I will miss her that’s for sure.
Hazel Maguire     (COPA Trustee; Swansea 50+ Forum)

I am really saddened that Phyllis has passed away. I was only talking to her a short time ago about Gordon; she was trying to contact him as she had not heard from him for a while.  Up to now I have not been able to help.
She is in heaven now, so I am sure she will know if he has passed away. I can see them having discussions about times they had in the old COPA.

I admire Phyllis very much and will miss her open views Very much.

Love to all her family; she was a great person
Sylvia Challinor      (Conwy)

Phyllis; what a woman! Forthright, outspoken about all she believed in; warm and funny and sometimes downright awkward – but I always valued her views and her lack of fear in making them known.

The world of Older People’s rights has lost a powerful advocate.

Mandy Sprague/Keenan     (Caerphilly 50+ Forum Coordinator – Retired)


As a recent recruit to COPA Board, I only knew Phyllis for much too short a time. It was evident, even in such short a period, that Phyllis was all that Mandy says. We had a number of interesting “discussions” around the Board–room .

Phyllis always beat me to the meetings and was there to greet me with a smile. The banter started straight away which I took as mark of mutual friendship and respect. I will miss her and her contribution.

Ralph Stevens    (COPA Trustee – Communications Officer)