MARILYN Joyce Stephanie Edwards, the daughter of the late John and Phyllis Edwards, the founders of Dorset Scope, has passed away, aged 70.

Marilyn was born October 1, 1948 at Aston Grays maternity unit in Bournemouth. She was christened on Boxing Day, which was why Stephanie was added to her name.

At the age of three-and-a-half, Marilyn was diagnosed as having Cerebral Palsy having been brain damaged at birth. She was a happy child who progressed slowly, eventually learning to walk, but not able to talk.

As there was nowhere for children with the condition to go locally in the 1950s, at the age of five, Marilyn was admitted to Coldeast Hospital at Sarisbury Green near Southampton. She settled in well and coped with her change of environment and looked forward to visits from her parents and sister Wendy. Wendy can remember having to hide under a blanket in the car as, allegedly, she was too young to visit the unit. It was a reasonably happy time for Marilyn.

When Marilyn was in her late teens/early 20s she was transferred to Cold Harbour Hospital near Shaftesbury. Life was not so easy for Marilyn in this unit and she took longer to settle down in her new abode. Her parents, sister and nieces visited quite frequently.

When, at the age of 30, Marilyn was offered a place at Edward House, her parents were delighted. This was an answer to Phyllis's prayer to have her daughter nearer to home. This meant Marilyn could visit her parents every weekend at their bungalow in bear Cross. John and Phyllis visited Marilyn at Edward House each Tuesday.

The charity that was founded in 1956 by Marylin's mother Phyllis is now known as Diverse Abilities. Marilyn was offered a place at the Day Opportunity Centre, Barnabas, which was part of Diverse Abilities. Marilyn loved her time there. She could meet up with her friends from Edward House and made many new friends with both students and staff.

When Edward House closed, Marilyn went into Supported Living and had a home of her own, a bungalow which she loved. In the early days, the staff at the bungalow used to take her on holiday and Marilyn enjoyed time at Butlins with her carers.

Phyllis continued to see Marilyn on Tuesdays. Her support worker would take Marilyn to Phyllis's flat in Bear Cross, where she now lived. Sometimes they would go out and have lunch at one of the garden centres which they all enjoyed.

Over the years Marilyn's health sadly deteriorated. As she became older she required more help and support. The support Marilyn received over the years from Diverse Abilities was second to none. She had always been well cared for.

Marilyn had many spells in hospital, but always came out smiling. Marilyn was quite a character and had a good rapport with all her carers, keeping the team on their toes in her own sweet way.

Marilyn's support workers have been wonderful. Their devotion and dedication to Marylin has been amazing. The charity Marylin's mother founded has cared for Marylin for 40 years.

Diverse Abilities is the charity that supports children and adults with varying disabilities in Dorset.

Marilyn's family and friends said goodbye to her on September 18, after she passed away at Poole Hospital on September 5 following complications related to a twisted or blocked bowel. She also suffered from dysphasia, which can cause ingestive pneumonia. She is now at peace with Phyllis, who passed away earlier this year aged 101.

The family asked for donations in lieu of flowers for therapy pool at Barnabas, now known as The Beehive.