Joyce Harrison: Tireless fund-raiser for Norwich Night Shelter

Thousand of pounds were made for charities to help the homeless by a fund-raiser, Joyce Harrison, who has died aged 96, at a Norwich care home.

She sorted stamps for sale for the Norwich Night Shelter, now the St Martin's Housing Trust, until shortly before her recent death.

When she moved to Laurel Lodge Residential Home in Norwich despite the limited space, she continued her fund-raising. She was very knowledgeable about the values and on stamps in general and received large bags of unsorted stamps from many sources. These were placed into saleable packs and over 50 years helped initially Shelter and later Norwich Night Shelter.

Born in 1915 in Merton, near Wimbledon, she married her first husband Harry in 1939. Sadly he died during the second world war and she brought up their daughter Carol.

While working at John Innes Institute, she married Brian Harrison, who was a research scientist, and they had two children, John and Sheila. Then in the early 1960s, the John Innes Institute moved to Colney, near Norwich, with many of the staff including the Harrison family.


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He designed their home, Downe House, in Wymondham where they lived until his death in 1997.

It was when she saw the 1966s play, Cathy Come Home, that she felt compelled to help and began raising funds for Shelter. This consisted of jumble sales, coffee mornings, sponsored walks, market stalls and even proceeds from Bridge games with her friends.

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Supported by friends, she worked tirelessly over the years for her charity. Word spread that stamps were needed and more sources appeared over the years from Wymondham and supporters in the town including the congregation of Our Lady and St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Church, Robert Kett School and Ashleigh Infant School.

She is survived by her children, and six grandchildren and four great-grand children. A funeral has been held.

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