Chris Saberton, from Stafford, has been fundraising for the children’s charity for more than 40 years and became chairwoman of her local fundraising branch at the turn of the century, helping the group raise £172,000.
Chris started fundraising when she was asked by a friend if she wanted to join the ‘League of Pity’ committee to raise money for disadvantaged children, with a Christmas party the first event she took part in.
A few years later Chris joined her local NSPCC committee. It had dwindled in numbers so the two groups combined.
She said: “The NSPCC used to have a flag day and I managed to get a group of mums together to stand in town with some tins and we used to raise quite a lot of money from those – back then more and more people were in the town centre. Our record was over £4,000 from one day’s worth of collections.”
During her time fundraising for the NSPCC, Chris has organised and volunteered at various events such as fashion shows, annual fetes and antique evenings, with one highlight being the Stafford Christmas pageant when the group won £200.
She said: “Charities had been given lorries free of charge to follow Father Christmas’ sleigh down the high street.
"At the time we had a very artistic lady who decorated it – it was a family on Christmas morning in their living room and one of the presents was a giant jack in the box that we had made with someone inside. It looked lovely and it was really worthwhile.”
She added: “The organisation is as crucial now as it was 40 years ago. Because of charities like the NSPCC, children are more aware of where they can get help if they need it. There are so many ways to contact the NSPCC and that’s a good thing.
“My time as chair has been absolutely super. The group are all keen to still support the NSPCC so we are all happy. I’ve made some friends for life through this and it’s been a rewarding experience.”
NSPCC community fundraising manager Jenny Sedgwick said: “I would like to thank Chris on behalf of everyone at the NSPCC for her years of dedication which has helped the charity continue its crucial work with children.
“We are lucky at the NSPCC to have incredibly driven and loyal fundraisers, and Chris is no exception. She has not only been instrumental in helping the Stafford branch raise incredible sums for the charity, but also helping spread the word about the vital work we do.”