A 98-year-old woman from Radlett who is the oldest volunteer for a national charity in the UK has received a prestigious award for her tireless fundraising.
Edith Oakley, of Battlers Green Drive, was the recipient of the Mayor of Hertsmere’s Civic Award which was presented at a dinner at Elstree Studios last month.
Edith, or Edie as she is known, was born in Radlett in 1919 and has lived in the village all her life.
After losing her son John to leukaemia in 1959, Edie started fundraising two years later with her late husband Laurie for Leukaemia Research, now known as Bloodwise. Some 57 years later, Edie is still continuing to raise money for the charity and over the years an amount of £227,000 has been collected and is still growing.
When receiving her award, there was a standing ovation for the dedicated and determined fundraiser.
Stuart Nagler, a former mayor of Radlett who put forward the award suggestion for Edie, said she was an exceptional lady.
He said: “Edie has raised so much money for Bloodwise through a range of events including jumble sales, garden parties, fireworks displays and even through selling items from her home.
“She’s been the driving force behind all this amazing fundraising, she’s such an extraordinary lady and I was determined to get her an award.
“One thing that stands out is that Edie is very alert and she has the most incredible memory of her life and all her years in Radlett.”
Edie said: “All this fundraising started when the governor of Great Ormond Street Hospital said to go home and raise ‘x’ number of pounds and we’ll start a research unit here. Laurie and I saw this, got involved and the rest is history.
“Although advancements have been made in leukaemia research, they always talk about ‘long-term remission’ and we’ve never heard them say ‘cure’, but one day I’m sure they will.”
Stuart added that the awards night was an emotional evening and said Edie’s passion for fundraising will remain with her.
He said: “Edie continues to drive on with her wish to raise money so that this disease can be eradicated. I can’t think of anybody more worthy of a civic award.”
Picture courtesy of Blake Ezra Photography