In an effort to raise the funds needed to help build a new summer house at Abbeyfield Betty took on and completed an extraordinary ‘Going for it Year’ to raise money for the revamp of the house’s garden.

The year coincided with her 90th birthday, which saw her embark on a series of three challenges, which are incredible for anyone.

In April 2019, she took on her fourth sponsored charity wing-walk, soaring at a dizzying 1,200ft, while taking in views of the amazing Gloucestershire countryside. She then travelled to Snowdonia, where she shot across the world’s fastest zip wire, reaching speeds of 100mph on the mile-long ride.

Finally, in September of last year, Betty plummeted 170 ft in an abseil down the Eagle Tower, cheered on by her friends, family and the Cheltenham public.

Betty, now 91, raised a huge proportion of the funds needed for the garden’s makeover, with the rest coming from the proceeds of Cheltenham House’s annual garden party and other events run by residents, staff, volunteers and family members along with some gratefully received donations from supporters.

With construction unfortunately delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the summer house has just finished being installed – in time for the residents to enjoy the amazing weather we have been having.

“Over the years I’ve noticed that people get a lot of pleasure from the garden,” said Betty. “Our old summer house had seen better days, so I fundraised to build a brand-new one for my fellow residents to enjoy."

Nikki Browning, Administrator for the Abbeyfield Gloucestershire Society, said, "We’re tremendously proud of Betty and the summer house has the potential to bring so much pleasure for our residents. It’s a great place to play games, meet friends and family, or just sit and admire the garden."

Along with all of this, Abbeyfield has also secured funding from the Cheltenham Resilience Fund, and have upgraded the TV facilities along with receiving a donation of a Huawei Tablet from investment company AJ Bell.

Nikki added "During the current pandemic, we found that some of our residents missed the ability to go outside and really live the independent lifestyle that we promote. To combat this, the amazing donations we have received have been deployed to keep the residents entertained during lockdown.

“Fortunately, with the lifting of restrictions, our residents are enjoying the freedom to go outside and enjoy the weather and summer house."

Betty added, "The best thing about living at Abbeyfield is the companionship, help, wonderful food and the freedom to come and go as you please."

Back to blog