“I haven’t got a clue what I’ve raised and don’t want to know. The most important thing is just knowing it’s gone to the right place” – Joy is ‘retiring’ after many years of selling second-hand goods to raise funds for charity

It’s the end of an era for kind-hearted charity champion Joy Ayre.

The 87-year-old has raised thousands of pounds for many great causes over the last three decades, including East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

She has worked her magic by tirelessly selling second-hand goods on a stall at her local community market, in Laxfield.

Joy has no idea how much she has raised over the years but, incredibly, her EACH total alone stands at more £25,000.

“Personally, I haven’t got a clue what I’ve raised and don’t want to know, to be completely honest,” said the mum of three, who also has three grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

“It’s not important to me. The most important thing is knowing it’s gone to the right place.

“I wish with all my heart there weren’t children suffering in the world but there’s nothing I can do to stop that.

“All I can do is as much as I can to raise funds for fantastic charities like EACH.

“They had hardly any shops when I started doing this but now there are nearly 50. That shows how long I’ve been supporting them.”

Joy has also raised funds for other great causes, including village funds and charities including Cancer Research UK, McMillan Cancer Support and East Anglian Air Ambulance.

She has done it by selling everything from books and bric-a-brac to teapots and ceramics – once from a stall outside the guild hall but now at the village’s community market.

It was the end of an era when Joy ‘retired’ by running her last stall at the village Christmas market on Friday, 1st December. On that night alone, she raised £180.

“I’m very sad to be giving up, but feel the time is right,” said the former Barnardo’s nurse.

“I’m not getting any younger but it’s given me a lot of pleasure down the years.

“When I had a good day and sold lots of things, it was a real buzz.

“Those days were very exciting, knowing I’d raised a decent amount of money.

“People have always been very kind, giving me things to sell, and I had lots of loyal customers, who kept coming back and supporting me.”

Joy, married to Gordon, has been helped by her family over the years and also gets plenty of support from one of her neighbours, Fiona Shuttle.

“Supporters like Joy are the lifeblood of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices,” said EACH Community Fundraising Manager Tina Burdett.

“She’s raised so much over the course of many years and it’s hard to put into words how much we appreciate her hard work, not to mention those who have helped her.”

Notes to Editors

“EACH has made us all feel part of an extended family and, thanks to staff and fellow families, we’re not alone with problems. We always leave The Treehouse feeling positive, stronger and thankful.”

  • We care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and support their families.
  • We offer families flexibility and control over where they receive their care and support, including where their child dies – at home, in hospital or at one of three hospices at Milton (Cambridge), The Nook (Norfolk) and The Treehouse (Ipswich).
  • Our family-centred approach includes specialist nursing care, symptom management support, short breaks, wellbeing activities, therapies and counselling, all meeting the individual needs of the child, young person and whole family.
  • We are recognised as leaders in our field, with a reputation for excellence and commitment to pioneering development and innovation.
  • We rely on voluntary donations for the majority of our income and this year need to raise £5.8 million from fundraising and £6.5 million in income from our shops. The year before the pandemic we received just 16% of our total income from statutory sources.
  • EACH Royal Patron –Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales.
  • For more information about EACH, including forthcoming events and how you can help raise funds,visit each.org.uk or call our Suffolk fundraisers on 01473 917965.

Keep in touch:


For further information about this release please contact:

Matt Plummer | Media and PR Manager | 07738 328058 | Matt.Plummer@each.org.uk

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