Centenarian honoured for lockdown charity walk

time:2023-06-01 11:36:11 source:CBS News

A centenarian who raised £60,000 for the British Heart Foundation during the Covid pandemic has been honoured by the Prime Minister.

Joan Willett, 106, was presented with the Points of Light Award on Wednesday.

Ms Willett raised the money when she completed a 17-mile walking challenge outside her Hastings care home.

She was inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised £39m for NHS charities by walking laps of his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.

Ms Willett, who took on her challenge at the age of 103, is a former teacher who has survived two heart attacks.

Ms Willett said: "I feel very honoured and flattered but I don't think I have done anything special.

"During the pandemic, I was inspired by watching Captain Tom to do my walk for the British Heart Foundation because thanks to their research I have been able to reach the age I am and still enjoy life.

"I'm also so grateful that I came to live at my care home after my second heart attack because the staff are wonderful and have made sure that I keep my independence, which is so important to me."

Ms Willett said the best thing about her efforts was seeing the kindness of people from all over the world, adding: "You only hear about the bad things in the world but this has given me great faith in humanity."

Ms Willett appeared on TV and the Piccadilly Circus billboards during her challenge and has since had the hill she climbed named after her.

She was nominated by her local MP Sally-Ann Hart, who presented her with the award.

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