"I live alone but fundraising has given me a purpose to get up and out everyday"
96-year-old Terry Holt has walked up to half a mile every day since 23rd March in a bid to raise at least £1,000 for Save the Children’s Coronavirus appeal.
Terry, who has been a volunteer for Save the Children’s Cheadle and Gatley Volunteering Branch for more than 61 years, wanted to do something to keep herself motivated. She said: “I live on my own and my family are not nearby, so in the beginning I was struggling and feeling lonely. Fundraising has given me a reason to get up and out every day.”
“Coronavirus is keeping us all stuck indoors but, being 96 and walking with a walker, I wanted to keep mobile. I accepted middle age when I got to 90 so I’m still only middle aged now and if I stop moving, I feel like I might get old. Each day I do a daily walk and I’m using this as an opportunity to continue fundraising.”
Terry has been living alone in lockdown for 69 days. As she crossed the two-month mark, she added: "Some days I did feel like giving up. It really is difficult not seeing anyone and it has really got me down. But I have been volunteering and fundraising since the age of 20 and helping others helps me to stay positive and keep going.
“I had an early experience of how conflict can damage children’s lives, during the Second World War. I was in the Auxiliary Territorial Service and was posted to the Middle East. There I became a Pay Clerk for a company of locally enlisted Jewish girls who were mainly from Palestine. Through them I heard first-hand about their experience of escaping from fascist regimes. This was my first experience of hearing about the fate of children growing up in war torn areas and it is a passion I have carried through the rest of my life.”
Deborah Forster, Volunteer Manager at Save the Children said: “Terry’s tenacity is inspiring and shows exactly why we want to say such a huge thank you to her and all of our volunteers and fundraisers. More than 13,000 volunteers support Save the Children in a huge range of roles, and many of them have turned to fundraising for our Coronavirus appeal, which enables us to reach even more children. Volunteers Week is a great opportunity for us to recognise and thank our great volunteers for everything they do, especially at the moment.
“Even before the Coronavirus outbreak, four million children lived in poverty in the UK and we can’t let this number rise. The money Terry has raised will go to our emergency Coronavirus appeal, helping children survive and thrive both here in the UK and around the world. It’s acts of generosity, like Terry’s, that make this all possible”.
Save the Children UK is using Volunteer Week to say thank you to all volunteers and fundraisers who make their work possible. It’s launched a raft of initiatives to help vulnerable British families who are feeling the economic effects of the Covid-19 crisis most acutely. These include an Emergency Grant Fund which gives families access to food vouchers, gifts in kind and goods such as beds, tables and chairs, thus enabling them to build suitable home learning environments. The children’s charity is also distributing early learning packs and advice to parents and carers, so children can continue learn and thrive from within the confines of the home.
Terry’s JustGiving page is open until October: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paula-holt3
For further information on volunteering or to donate to Save the Children’s Coronavirus Appeal please visit: www.savethechildren.org.uk