A dedicated fundraiser who is getting ready to celebrate her 80th birthday said hospice charity work is her life.
Barbara Alderson, 79, of Slaugham, has raised more than £260,000 for St Catherine’s Hospice in just fifteen years.
As she approaches her 80th birthday, Barbara told the Middy about the work she does for the hospice.
“It has kept me going,” said Barbara. “It has given me something to get up for every day, otherwise what would I do?
“I would do anything for the hospice. It keeps me alive.”
Barbara’s husband had Alzheimer’s disease, and passed away just over a year ago.
I would do anything for the hospice. It keeps me alive.Barbara Alderson
“About 30 years ago a dear friend of ours died in St Catherine’s Hospice. Before that when they first opened they came round to all the businesses to see if people would pay so much of their wage for two years.
“I have been doing it like this for the last 15 years. The work does a lot for me – an awful lot.
“The hospice can keep you happy and keep people pain free. They are marvellous.”
Barbara said the money raised has come from cakes she has baked, making marmalade and jams and selling them at village fairs in Mid Sussex. People also bring boxes of unwanted presents straight to her house for her give to the hospice shops.
“If anybody is moving or clearing out they put it in my garage. They know they can dump it here anytime. People trust us now you see. Some people bring antiques and unwanted presents which can sometimes be worth quite a lot of money.”
Barbara said she couldn’t fundraise without the support of her family, including daughter Annette Ransome and her wonderful friends, who she will be celebrating her 80th birthday with on March 31.
Even with two knee operations in the pipeline, she is still enthusiastic as ever to raise money for the hospice.
St Catherine’s Hospice celebrated Barbara’s outstanding fundraising achievement and presented her with an award on February 17.
Giles Tomsett, chief executive at St Catherine’s Hospice, said Barbara’s fundraising had made a ‘real and ongoing difference to the local people who receive St Catherine’s vital care’.
“Through making and selling her own cakes, jams and chutneys, as well as collecting donated good for our shops, Barbara has made a huge contribution towards helping us to raise the money we need.”