Never too late to start something new – First-time Letchworth charity walker, 91, raises almost £600

Joyce Doel during the Rotary fundraising walk around the Greenway on Sunday. Picture: Anna Priestley

Joyce Doel during the Rotary fundraising walk around the Greenway on Sunday. Picture: Anna Priestley - Credit: Archant

A 91-year-old retired teacher from Letchworth showed it is never too late to start something new when she raised almost £600 for charity with a sponsored walk.

Joyce Doel during the Rotary fundraising walk around the Greenway on Sunday. Picture: Anna Priestley

Joyce Doel during the Rotary fundraising walk around the Greenway on Sunday. Picture: Anna Priestley - Credit: Archant

Joyce Doel walked five miles around the Greenway as part of the Letchworth Garden City Rotary Club’s annual sponsored walk on Sunday, finishing at the second checkpoint at Nortonbury Farm.

In doing so she raised just short of £600 for Garden House Hospice Care, the East Anglian Air Ambulance and the Rotary Club’s charities.

As she reached her goal of five miles, Joyce cheerfully said: “I still have several miles left in me this morning, but I think I will stop now as planned.”

It was the first time Joyce, who lives in Norton Hall Farm, had ever taken part in an organised challenge or sporting event.


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Her training plan included swimming in the pool at Nuffield Health and building up her mileage on the Greenway – calling in at the Standalone Farm café on the way.

Former Princess Helena College teacher Joyce – who moved to Norton Hall Farm from Hitchin last year – was inspired by Fay Reid, one of her new neighbours, who walked 8½ miles in the same charity walk last year.

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Joyce’s daughter Anna Priestly said: “She’s one of those people who believe in going just beyond your comfort zone and always pushing boundaries.

“Her neighbours at Norton Hall Farm have been very supportive and very friendly.”

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