Agnes celebrating her 100th birthday with CAFOD
…and 50 years of fundraising with tea, cake and friends. Eloise Hobbs, CAFOD’s Regional News Officer, reports.
Rotherham resident, Agnes Hizzard, who was born 6 June 1918, celebrated her 100th birthday last week– after helping her parish raise thousands for charity.
Agnes Hizzard is locally famous for many things; she was the first pupil to attend St. Gerard’s Catholic Primary School which opened in 1928 and she was the first member of the parish of St. Gerard’s Church in Thrybergh.
Yet, what most people know her for is her kind heart. Over the past 50 years, she has been a member of local group the St Gerard’s Soup Slurpers.
Founded by the late Fr Peter Hurley, the group meet every week and donate the £2 cost of their lunch to the Catholic international development charity, CAFOD. Just in the last 10 years the group has raised more than £8,000 towards CAFOD’s work to help some of the poorest communities around the world.
The Soup Slurpers is currently run by Peggy Ahmed, who is also CAFOD’s parish volunteer. She said:
Peggy, standing up in the centre, with some of the other Soup Slurpers
“The Soup Slurpers started as after mass as every Wednesday, the elderly people in the Parish would come to mass and afterwards, we would enjoy soup and sandwiches together – that’s how it started.
“There is now raffle and bingo and about 20 people come each week. We always do a meal – and for special birthdays, when people are 60, 70, 80, we have a proper dinner with pudding and a cake. I always do the cooking.
“It is lovely for the elderly to know they are doing something once a week and I’m so glad it is a tradition that I know will be there for me.”
And the whole parish is looking forward to Agnes celebration. Peggy said:
“For Agnes’ celebration, we are having lunch and cake. We found out in January, she was going to be 100 so we decided to have a parish celebration.
“A lot of people know her, and they are coming for lots of other parishes in the area.
“Agnes is a great supporter of a lot of charities and she talks non-stop about CAFOD. She really likes it when CAFOD people come to visit and she loves talking to them.”
CAFOD volunteers meet with our Zimbabwe Programme Officer in Dronfield.
Volunteers are at the heart of CAFOD’s work: thousands pray, speak up, and raise funds to support others overseas—all in their spare time.
CAFOD representative, Angela Powell, who has met Agnes many times over the last few years said:
“CAFOD would like to say thank you to all our volunteers and supporters, especially Agnes, who has supported us for many years.
“Our volunteers and supporters are at the heart of our work and without whom would not be able to so fully support those living in poverty around the world.
“Thank you, Agnes, our very best wishes go to you for good health and much happiness.”
Have a look at our web page to find out more about volunteering.