Stambourne woman calls time on charity jumble sales after more than 50 years
Saturday (May 2) will be the end of an era for charity fund-raiser Lois Hunter as she holds her final ever jumble sale after more than half a century.
The 79-year-old has staged the jumble sales at Stambourne village hall on the first weekends of both May and November since 1981, the year after moving to the village.
Prior to that, she had held them in London for more than 16 years before moving to Stambourne with her late husband Roy - a retired Metropolitan Police Inspector who died in December 2010.
In those years Mrs Hunter, who has three sons, four grandchildren and two great-grand children, has raised tens of thousands of pounds for good causes.
Previously monies had been donated to Dr Barnardos, Halstead Hospital, a retirement home in Halstead and for the family of Hazel Threadgold, a 33-year-old Weathersfield woman who was brain injured from birth and someone that Mrs Hunter still visits to care for every other Tuesday.
For the last decade, however, everything raised at the jumbles sales has gone to Essex Air Ambulance - a total Mrs Hunter says is in the region of £40,000.
A painful frozen shoulder means however, that the time has come for Mrs Hunter to call it a day.
She said: “If it wasn’t for my shoulder I wouldn’t give up the jumble sales. I can’t lift the boxes now so I’ve decided this will be the last one.”
Mrs Hunter also finds the time to run the village’s old folks club, Silver Link, which meets at the village hall every other Tuesday, and helps out at the Stambourne Village Dog Club, founded by her late husband, who was a renowned dog trainer.
Asked what motivates her altruistic ways, Mrs Hunter said: “It’s just the way I am I think.
“I’m just made that way I think, to help people. I think what goes around comes around and perhaps when I’m really old, well I’m really old now, I think someone might help me sometimes or give me a lift if I can’t help myself.
“If I didn’t do all these charities I would be a wealthy woman.”
Saturday’s jumble sale, which includes a cake stall, starts at 2pm. Entry is 50p.