Charitable grandmother from Colby, near Aylsham turns boot fair bounty into cash for children’s hospices

Fundraising stalwart Doreen Newell has raised more than �15,000 for the charity that cared for her tragic granddaughter - after dedicating her weekends to boot fairs.

The 73-year-old from Colby has been setting up shop at the Late One off the Aylsham bypass for three years in aid of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (Each).

The charity, which this month announced the Duchess of Cambridge as its royal patron, looked after Ms Newell's granddaughter, Lucy who was born disabled and died in September 2007 aged two-and-a-half.

Ms Newell, a retired care home worker, decided she wanted to give something back to the 'fantastic' charity following Lucy's death and upon discovering she had a few 'bits and pieces' she could sell, decided to hold a boot fair.

She ran her first stall in March 2008 and is now a regular on the selling scene as she also has a stand at Aylsham's collectors fair, and attends more than 60 sales a year. Her charitable reputation has now become so well known she often finds boxes of items at the doorstep of her Bridge Road home.

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The grandmother-of-four said: 'It's just ballooned really, to raise that amount of money you can imagine how much stuff I've had donated.

'I get little old ladies coming up with a little bag of stuff and the stall holders give me stuff as well. People are fantastic and I couldn't do it without their support.'

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Her efforts have bought Each new carpets, medical machinery and this year the �4,000 she raised in 2011 will go towards play equipment including a trampoline and a specialist swing that can cater for wheelchairs.

Ms Newell said she will continue with the boot fairs for as long as she is able and hoped Each's work will now get more recognition after the appointment of its new patron.

'She's a gorgeous girl,' she added. 'I said to the girls in fundraising she can come to my car boot any time she likes!'

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