Older and bolder

Four fundraisers out and about in different images

Clockwise from top left: John Harwood, Bruce Nuttall, Rosemary Boundy and Phil Denison have been among those fundraising imaginatively for CMS

In recent months, a ‘grey brigade’ of older fundraising heroes have taken up the challenge to raise thousands of pounds for Church Mission Society people and projects throughout the world. CMS has seen pensioner after pensioner put their imagination into action to raise resources at a critical time for charities.

To mark 1 October, the day designated by the United Nations as the International Day for Older Persons, CMS revealed the exploits of six charity fundraisers, who embody the longstanding axiom that ‘age is just a number’.

Judith Trickett, 70, a former CMS mission partner who served in Uganda, scaled Ben Nevis, but without stepping outside her own front door.

Donning slippers and a cardigan instead of crampons and an ice axe, Judith tackled her apartment stairs 17 times a day for a month, the equivalent of climbing to the summit of the UK’s highest mountain.

The Rev Phil Denison, 65 but still a working vicar, embarked on a parish-to-parish cycling pilgrimage to raise money for Bethlehem-based CMS mission partner, Anne Plested.

Over four successive days, Phil visited every church in the Ilminster Deanery in the Diocese of Bath and Wells, cycling 180 miles and raising over £600.

Inspired by Canon John Harwood, a former CMS mission partner, who at 94 completed 94 walks between his home and the local parish church in Emsworth, Hampshire (raising close to £15,000), Rosemary Boundy, set her own challenge to complete 70 walks to celebrate her 70th birthday.

The money she raised was to support Nicci Maxwell, a CMS mission partner serving at Potter’s Village child crisis and medical centre in Kisoro, Uganda, that provides care for young children and premature babies.

Together with Bruce Nuttall, 73, who walked 18.5 miles raising over £1,000 to fund emergency supplies for children with disabilities at the Shalom Rehabilitation Centre in Peru, and 90-year-old Mary Pegler, who cycled to all the churches in her local parish to deliver and collect Lent boxes, these fundraising heroes are part of an increasing trend of older activists, who are proving that age should not be a barrier to involvement.

John Harwood said he was initially inspired by the amazing endeavour of Captain Sir Tom Moore for the NHS.

Jim Barker, CMS’s director of fundraising, said: “We want to celebrate the efforts of our fundraising heroes who refuse to be defined by their age, but instead by their positive attitude and their ongoing commitment to see lives changed wherever there is need.”

Published 30 September 2020
Europe, Middle East and North Africa

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