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Monday, 21 September 2020


Kind-hearted centenarian responds to emergency appeal with birthday fundraiser

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A lifelong charity volunteer, celebrating her 106th birthday this month, is determined to continue raising money for the NSPCC from her home in Wiltshire, despite having to cancel her annual garden party fundraiser.

Anne Baker has been fundraising for the children’s charity for more than 50 years, and with the help of her friend Sheril Witt, family, friends and volunteers from the NSPCC’s Salisbury Fundraising Committee, has been hosting an annual garden party at her home in Salisbury for more than a decade.

That’s not possible this year, so Anne who was born on 14th May 1914 decided to set up her first JustGiving page for her birthday, with the help of her son David, to help with the charity’s emergency fundraising appeal.

Anne says: “I’m very sorry that I’m not able to have my NSPCC party this year, which I have had for more than ten years.

“In these difficult times, especially difficult for children living in flats without gardens, it is even more important to support the NSPCC in its work.”

The NSPCC is adapting the way it works so that it can support children at a time when schools are closed, families are struggling to adapt to lockdown, and vulnerable children are at risk.

NSPCC Supporter Fundraising Manager for Wiltshire, Caroline Morgan said:

“Anne is a very special and inspiring lady and her popular annual birthday garden party is always guaranteed to be a lot of fun.

“It is a real shame we cannot celebrate in person with Anne this year, but we think it’s delightful that Anne has still found a way to help raise funds that will help the NSPCC support children when they need it most.

“We’d be thrilled if people could join us in wishing Anne a very happy birthday by sharing messages of support, and donating to her birthday fundraiser if they’re able to.”

There has been a surge in concerns to the NSPCC Helpline about children being emotionally abused during the lockdown, and Childline has been inundated with contacts from children and young people worried about Coronavirus and how the lockdown impacts them.

Anne and Dame Esther Rantzen at Anne’s annual garden party 2018

Anne welcomed Childline founder Dame Esther Rantzen as the guest of honour to her garden party in 2018, and in the last five decades has helped raise thousands of pounds to help the NSPCC, continuing to champion the safeguarding and wellbeing of children and young people.

Anne says she’s had ‘a wonderful response’ to her latest birthday fundraiser so far, raising more than £1,500.

She said:

“I’m so grateful to everybody, so thank you, everybody, for giving so much to the NSPCC this year. It’s so important.”

The NSPCC relies on public support for 90% of its funding and has launched a ‘We’re still here for children’ emergency appeal to raise vital funds to support children and families across the UK.

Wiltshire is home to two NSPCC service centres, in Tidworth and Swindon. Both are continuing to offer much-needed support to children and their families during this global health crisis.

This includes help for expectant mums and their partners who might be at risk of anxiety and depression through its Pregnancy in Mind programme, which is being offered virtually. 

Parents can self-refer or be referred onto the programme by their midwife or another professional. To find out more about making a referral, please contact NSPCC Tidworth via tidworth.servicecentre@nspcc.org.uk or 01980 846 164.

Any adult concerned about the welfare of a child or young person can call the NSPCC helpline for free and confidential advice on 0808 800 5000 or visit nspcc.org.uk

Children can contact Childline for free on 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk 365 days a year, and speak to a counsellor about a worry or concern they may have.

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