Sheffield 'veteran volunteer' Graham Bell, aged 93, praised for giving decades of support to charity
When he entered his tenth decade, Graham Bell decided to walk over glass and fire in aid of charity.
At a time of life when 93-year-old Graham, who has been fundraising for over 30 years, would be entitled to take it easy, he decided to step up his challenges in aid of good causes instead.
Last year, he took on a fire and glass walk for the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind and CLIC Sargent. which involved walking barefoot over 20 metres of hot embers before walking over a carpet of broken glass.
He has also run six Sheffield full and half marathons and a number of Sheffield 10k runs, completing his last one at the age of 88-years-old.
He took on The Great Yorkshire Run in September 2012 in aid of Support Dogs, and also ran the London Marathon for the charity Mind when he was 60-years-old. It's no surprise that he was awarded an MBE in 2005 for his charity work
In more recent years, he has been volunteering for the Marie Curie charity in a bid to support people who are suffering from a terminal illnesses.
Graham said: “I’ve been drawn to fundraising since I retired – it’s a great way to meet people, learn new skills and you gain a great sense of satisfaction from the knowledge that the little bit you do can help make a real difference to the lives of others.
“At the age of 93, I still feel I’ve got plenty to give and would encourage anyone – young or old – to volunteer.
I’ve supported various charities over the years including Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind, British Red Cross, Mind, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, CLIC Sargent – Young Lives vs Cancer – and Age UK.
“Having been made aware of the incredible work of the Marie Curie nurses, for whom I have enormous compassion and admiration, I decided to sign up as a volunteer so that we can help tackle issues surrounding terminal illness and continue to provide the support and care people need.”
Graham, who is a former British Steel engineer from Handsworth, also found the time in and amongst all of his fundraising to study for a degree.
He graduated from the University of Sheffield with a degree in French at the age of 90.
He is also passionate about supporting others, and visits local schools to help children with their reading, and helps elderly people at the gym four times per week. He still trains at the gym himself and runs regularly.
Rebecca Bramley, Marie Curie Community Fundraiser, said: “We’re incredibly honoured that such a community stalwart and veteran volunteer has decided to join our team.”
If you would like to volunteer for Marie Curie, please call 01274 386190 or 07525 392984 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.