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101-year-old former nursing auxiliary raises more than £20K for the NHS – and counting

Joan Rich aims to walk 102 laps of local park before she turns 102
Joan Rich during her park walk

Joan Rich aims to walk 102 laps of local park before she turns 102

A 101-year-old former nursing auxiliary has raised more than 21,000 so far by walking laps of her local park to raise money for the NHS.

Suffolk-based Joan Rich aims to complete 102 laps of her local park in Felixstowe before she turns 102 on 11 September, and has already walked her 90th lap.

Second World War veteran wants to help the NHS

Ms Rich was posted overseas during the Second World War as a member of the Royal Military Police, before working as a nursing auxiliary at Hillingdon Hospital in north-west London in the 1950s, and in the outpatient department at Felixstowe General Hospital between 1964 until her retirement in 1978.

She told

Joan Rich aims to walk 102 laps of local park before she turns 102


Joan Rich on her fundraising walk through Allenby Park in Felixstowe. Picture: PA

A 101-year-old former nursing auxiliary has raised more than £21,000 so far by walking laps of her local park to raise money for the NHS.

Suffolk-based Joan Rich aims to complete 102 laps of her local park in Felixstowe before she turns 102 on 11 September, and has already walked her 90th lap.

Second World War veteran wants to help the NHS

Ms Rich was posted overseas during the Second World War as a member of the Royal Military Police, before working as a nursing auxiliary at Hillingdon Hospital in north-west London in the 1950s, and in the outpatient department at Felixstowe General Hospital between 1964 until her retirement in 1978.

She told Nursing Standard: ‘If I could have come out of retirement to help out with the virus crisis I would have, but at nearly 102 I don’t think they’d have had me.’

Ms Rich added that she loved her NHS work and the very special people who work in the health service.

‘This is my way to do my bit,’ she said. 'There wasn’t an NHS until I was 32, and I don’t want it to disappear.’

‘I’m grateful to everyone who has given money’

Ms Rich added that she was incredibly grateful to those who had donated to her fundraising effort. 

‘I’m just an ordinary person, doing something ordinary – the extraordinary ones are the ones who make a donation,’ she said.

‘I know that some of them can’t really afford it, so it’s wonderful of them. I’ve had hard times in my life, so I know what it’s like to give your last few shillings.

‘I’m grateful to everyone who has given. Even just a smile or a wave counts.’

Her daughter Diane Rich described her mother as an inspiration and someone who ‘never gives up’.

‘She’s always been an unsung hero, doing so much to help charities and individuals in her own discreet way, so it’s great to see her supported,’ she said.


Further information

Joan Rich’s fundraising page


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