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West Norfolk fundraiser Marie still caring for the animals at 90

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A volunteer whose work has so far raised more than £1.5 million for West Norfolk’s RSPCA is showing no signs of slowing down, even after celebrating her 90th birthday.

Marie Hayes, from Terrington St Clement, has been helping the group for the past 37 years and her fundraising efforts played a big part in building its headquarters at Eau Brink.

But she is still working four days a week at the charity’s shop in Lynn and has a new target in mind.

Marie Hayes, with some of the items on offer for her forthcoming tombola (27821634)
Marie Hayes, with some of the items on offer for her forthcoming tombola (27821634)

She said: “The money raised is now at almost £1.6 million and I aim to reach the £2 million mark before I retire.

“As long as my arms, legs and head keep going then I will keep on with the fundraising.

“It really is a pleasurable thing to do and it just keeps you going every day as you just have to get up and get on with it.”

Marie, who was awarded an MBE in 2005, has worked at the group’s shop in Norfolk Street for all 28 years since it opened and also runs tombolas for monthly jumble sales held at the Memorial Hall in Clenchwarton. The next sale is on February 29.

West Norfolk RSPCA president Tim Walker said the Eau Brink rehoming centre “has effectively been built on Marie’s achievements.

“Her service to animals has been truly extraordinary.”

Penny Skate, chairman of the charity’s trustees, added: “Marie is truly an inspiration and it is hard to put into words how much she has done for the RSPCA.

“ We are so thankful to have such a wonderful supporter and friend.”

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