Glennys Old is an inspirational 88-year-old volunteer who has dedicated her time to Tŷ Hafan since 1999 — from fundraising in her front garden to picking up collection boxes in her community. Now, 20 years down the line and with nearly £30,000 raised, Glennys has decided to “retire” from her duties, but will always be a part of the Tŷ Hafan family.
Everyone says to me, “Are you the lady from Tŷ Hafan? Are you the Glennys Old?” and I say “yes, that’s me!”
I’ve done a bit of everything as a fundraising volunteer, including gathering Tŷ Hafan collection boxes around my community, but I think I’m more recognised for the fundraising days I host at my house.
Every penny I’ve raised has come from my front garden. I put a stall outside my door and people pass for a browse and that’s when many a person will say I don’t want anything, but leave a pound on the table anyway.
I put balloons, banners, posters and a welcome sign up outside my house to attract people. It’s an enjoyable day from 8:00am in the morning because I get all the neighbour’s tables and chairs to put out the front and everyone gets involved. Even after we’ve packed away, we all have drink and food in the house and the last people don’t go till 11:00pm! They wash up before they go, mind.
Over the years as a volunteer, I’ve been lucky enough have made some special Tŷ Hafan memories.
Some of my best have to be when I met Prince Charles. He came to the hospice last year and I was invited to meet him. It was so special and we had a lovely little chat.
I also felt very honoured to have met Suzanne Goodall, the founder of Tŷ Hafan, who sadly passed away in 2017.
Some of favourite fundraising days have to be in 2000 when I made £800 in one day, and then in 2005 when I counted 60 people who came to the house!
I’ve always helped a charity – it’s just my nature. And I love company and people coming back and forth. But the reason I’ve chosen Tŷ Hafan is because it’s children. I feel for the families and they need the support.
After going through a bad patch when my husband died, I knew I needed a new focus in my life. My friend gave some advice back then, to say no to nothing, and I thought, well that’s it! Pick yourself up and enjoy it.
I’d say to anyone thinking of volunteering to just do it — you’ll get the best out of it!