Stockport Second World War veteran celebrating 100th birthday on Christmas Eve with Gaza fundraiser

Terry Holt from Stockport is aiming to raise £1,500 for Save the Children's Gaza Emergency Appeal
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A Greater Manchester war veteran turning 100 years old on Christmas Eve is forgoing presents this year in order to raise money for a good cause. 

Terry Holt will be hosting a mulled wine, mince pie and coffee morning at her home in Stockport on Friday 22 December in honour of her 100th birthday. She will be raising money for Save the Children’s Gaza Emergency Appeal and hoping to raise £1,500.

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This is a cause very close to Terry’s heart. During the Second World War, Terry was stationed in the Middle East with the Auxiliary Territorial Arms in the 1940s, working in Jerusalem, Cairo and the Suez Canal. 

Terry said: “As I celebrate my 100th birthday, I feel so grateful for the life I have had, and I wanted to do something to raise much needed funds to help children who so urgently need support.  

Terry serving in the British Army in 1946 aged 22, Terry in October 2023 in her home aged 99.Terry serving in the British Army in 1946 aged 22, Terry in October 2023 in her home aged 99.
Terry serving in the British Army in 1946 aged 22, Terry in October 2023 in her home aged 99.

“When I was stationed in the Middle East in the 1940s, I saw first-hand the fate of children growing up in conflict zones. 70 years later as I watch the news and see schools, hospitals and mosques being destroyed it fills me with sadness. It is easy to feel helpless in the face of such suffering, but we need to try to remain hopeful and do our bit.”

Save the Children is also a charity that means a lot to the 99-year-old. Terry founded the Cheadle and Gatley branch in 1959. Since the charity’s records began in 1986, the branch has raised a total of £132,000. She was congratulated for her achievements by HRH The Princess Royal Princess Anne personally in 1977 following an invite to Buckingham Palace.

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Another fundraiser Terry took part in was walking a mile a day during the pandemic with her walking frame, raising £2,000 for children in conflict. 

Terry said: “I have supported Save the Children for as long as I can remember, and as a mother and grandmother myself I feel it is my duty to fight for the rights of children and do what I can to try and help them grow up with a brighter future.” 

Terry meeting Princess Anne in 1977 aged 53Terry meeting Princess Anne in 1977 aged 53
Terry meeting Princess Anne in 1977 aged 53

Gwen Hines, CEO Save the Children UK: “We are incredibly grateful to Terry for her kindness in choosing to spend her 100th birthday fundraising for Save the Children’s Gaza Emergency Appeal.  After  73 years of selfless support, Terry is the charity’s oldest known volunteer and fundraiser. 

“Children in Gaza are living through a nightmare. They have lost family members, and friends and are now living as displaced people in their own country. Save the Children is working tirelessly to distribute food parcels, water, hygiene products and recreational kits to families in Gaza through local partners. All the money raised from Terry’s fundraiser will go directly to supporting the children in Gaza.” 

How to donate 

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So far, Terry has raised £1,165 of the £1,500 target. Anyone can make donations online via Terry’s JustGiving page. More information about the Save the Children Gaza appeal can be found on the charity’s website.

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