FAMILY, friends and neighbours turned out in their droves to pay their respects at a vigil service held for much-loved Amanda Hopkins.

Mrs Hopkins, a resident in Dines Green, died unexpectedly last Tuesday at the age of 54, leaving the entire community mourning the loss of the former Co-op worker.

A vigil service to commemorate Mrs Hopkins was held in her honour on Tuesday afternoon, with friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues among the large turnout.

The service had been scheduled to take place by the Co-op where Mrs Hopkins worked but, due to the weather, it was instead held at the Green Hub Community Centre.

Trolleys carrying flowers and messages from Dines Green residents were left in the hall for people to read, with one saying: "Mand, going to miss you on a Sunday morning the most when you're telling me the rota is wrong. Miss us singing to and you shouting at me over the tannoy."

Allan Hopkins, brother of Mrs Hopkins, was at a loss for words at the amount of people who turned out to pay their respects.

"I am just overwhelmed," he said. "It's fantastic. I'm not a person who is usually lost for words and I'm getting emotional now because even the bosses from the Co-op have come down to show their respect.

"The community spirit is absolutely fantastic, she meant the world to everybody. She wasn't just my sister and Josie's sister, she was part of a bigger family.

"If this is a taster of what the funeral is going to be like, I just don't know where my emotions will be on the day.

"I've read all the comments on social media and all of the flowers and I've seen all of the pictures that the kids have drawn.

"It just means the world to me and the family. The amount of effort and trouble people have gone to to show their love and respect for my sister is beyond me."

Vicky Brooks, a neighbour to Mrs Hopkins, said: "She was wonderful, she was always bubbly and we used to stand out at the front of her house and talk all the time.

"She had a little dog (Toby) so we always used to chat with the kids and they loved the dog. 

"She would always be wandering around Dines Green, she was just a lovely, wonderful lady."

Details regarding Mrs Hopkins' funeral are set to be announced in due course.