Peggy Poultney has been a tour de force in raising money for St Richard’s since its very earliest days. As a result of a promise that she made to her great friend Betty who was dying of cancer, Peggy threw herself into organising jumble sales, bric a brac stalls, antique days, table top sales, coffee mornings, tea dances, carol singing, charity floats – you name it, Peggy has done it, raising tens of thousands of pounds for the hospice. Her work has brought her into contact with Royalty several times, meeting Princess Diana at Rose Hill, the Duke of Kent at the inpatient unit and more recently attending a Buckingham Palace Garden Party in honour of her work for St Richard’s.
Peggy was working as a school caretaker in 1980 when her friend Betty, the school receptionist, died from cancer. This got Peggy started on what has now been nearly 50 years of tireless fundraising. She started by organising a jumble sale for cancer research, but one thing led to another, and she soon came into contact with the founders of St Richards. In this extract, Peggy talks about the promise she made to her friend Betty.
Betty and her friends raised so much money for St Richard’s that they were soon christened ‘The Wychbold Wonders’ by the hospice staff. As Betty explains in this extract, she never meant to carry it on, but simply couldn’t stop.
Betty still has a list of the takings from every event she and her team have ever run. And it wasn’t just sales; Betty also helped at Castle Street and visited patients. When the hospice expanded, Betty went to inspect the new property and in this extract, she talks about the day it was opened by the Princess of Wales.
Part 4 (Peggy's Poem)
Betty is now in the second half of 80s but is not slowing down. She supports St Richard’s in many many ways. This final recording is a poem she wrote for the hospice newsletter. It’s written from the perspective of a man who’s just been visited by someone from St Richard’s.