Hospital charity champion Joyce Long passes away
21 December 2015
Southend Hospital charity champ Joyce Long, who received an MBE for her services to charity in 2006, has died at the age of 86.
The great-grandmother of six passed away peacefully at her Park
Road Thundersley home in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The much-loved matriarch raised more than £1.5 million for
Southend Hospital and a further £500,000 for London hospitals in an
incredible fundraising career spanning more than 30 years.
The cash came via a series of 'pop up' charity shops and
latterly through her famous garden sales, held three or four times
Trust chairman Alan Tobias OBE said: "The name Joyce Long MBE is
synonymous with fundraising here at Southend Hospital and we are
deeply saddened by her the death.
"Joyce was an amazing ambassador for our hospital and we are
forever in her debt for the time she devoted to championing the
care of our patients and in helping to raise extraordinary sums of
money for new equipment which have helped so many in our community
over the years.
"Our thoughts and condolences are with Joyce's family at this
very sad time."
Joyce's final gift to the hospital came via a raffle held by
Thundersley Village traders this week which raised £316. The raffle
came about after local businesses, hearing that she'd been poorly,
decided to do something to show their support. The money will go to
the cardiac care unit, where Joyce was treated for a heart
condition for four weeks.
Supervisor Izzie Winfield, 46, manager of Grout's the Bakers, in
Thundersley Village, who organised the raffle, said; "We are
devastated. The village is in mourning. There is no-one like Joyce.
She was an amazing woman."
Joyce started charity work by raising hundreds of thousands of
pounds for an eye laser machine for Hammersmith Hospital, where her
husband Percy, was being treated for diabetes.
"I used to go out pubs and clubs of a night with my collection
tin," Joyce said shortly before her death. "Oh, there was plenty of
banter, I can tell you. But I always did well."
The mother-of-one's skills were soon recognised by the late
Ernie Lockhart, then a leading light in the civic and fundraising
community in Southend, who encouraged her to fundraise locally.
Joyce supported all the major hospital appeals, including those
to fund a CAT scanner and then an MRI machine in the 1990s. Fellow
fundraiser Malachy O'Sullivan, MBE, said: "Joyce Long was a
trail-blazer who did so much for the hospital. Her going will be a
great loss to us all. She was an inspirational figure."
Joyce went on to support every single hospital appeal, along
with donating equipment worth hundreds of thousands of pounds to
Small wonder that the hospital named a room after her at its new
Education Centre opened in 2010. By then, Joyce had graduated from
late-night collections to starting a series of pop-up shops in the
Thundersley and Benfleet areas, with items donated by
Such was her reputation for giving that a close friend, inspired
by Joyce's gift for giving, bequeathed the proceeds of the sale of
a bungalow directly to the hospital charity.
Joyce also found the time to raise money for Great Ormond Street
children's hospital, which treated a family member. But after
suffering a small stroke seven years ago, daughter Angie Alden, 66,
and son-in-law Ron persuaded her to scale down. So she held a
seasonal garden sale three of four times a year, raising around
£9,000-£12,000 a year, which still involved a massive amount of
organisation and elbow grease.
"She was a brilliant mother, a brilliant grandmother and an
amazing great-grandmother," says Angie. "She was a good wife - my
dad was buried 22 years ago on the very day she died and she nursed
him to the end.
"She was an amazing lady - always out in the garage sorting out
stuff for her garden sales. She really was an inspiration to
Joyce is survived by Angie, three grandchildren and six
great-grandchildren, aged from three to 23.