Phyllis helps the animals - after beating Covid at 100

Phyllis Beasley with acting RSPCA Martlesham centre manager Donna Rich

Phyllis Beasley, who raised money for the RSPCA in Martlesham to mark her 100th birthday, with acting centre manager Donna Rich - Credit: Sonya Duncan/Archant

Amazing 100-year-old Phyllis Beasley decided to use her landmark birthday to help animals - by raising money for the RSPCA.

Phyllis, who lives at Holm Court in Kesgrave, had hoped to raise £100 for her 100 years, but ended up tripling that and presenting £300 to the animal centre at Martlesham.

She had to delay the presentation because she caught Covid following her birthday celebrations.

But the grandmother is now fully recovered, and enjoyed her visit to the centre with her daughter and son-in-law, Patricia and David Cattermole.

"I love animals. I have always had animals - I love dogs, but I prefer cats, because a cat is a cuddly thing," she said.

And she revealed the secret of a long life was "a good life, a good husband - and good food."

Phyllis Beasley hands over a cheque for £300 to Donna Rich at the RSPCA animal centre in Martlesham.

Phyllis Beasley hands over a cheque for £300 to Donna Rich at the RSPCA animal centre in Martlesham. Also pictured are her daughter Patricia and son-in-law David Cattermole - Credit: Sonya Duncan/Archant

Friends and family members donated £200 to the birthday fundraiser, while Phyllis herself put in another £100 to help the animals.

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Acting RSPCA centre manager Donna Rich said the donation meant a lot. "Doing this to mark a 100th birthday is just amazing." 

In October, Phyllis celebrated her birthday with a party at a community centre for family and close friends. 

Son-in-law David said they took all Covid precautions, but the following week six people who had been there tested positive for Covid, including Phyllis.

Fortunately, the 100-year-old, who had been double-jabbed and was almost due for her booster, only had a cough and no other symptoms.

Phyllis Beasley handed over £300 to the RSPCA in Martlesham after raising money for her 100th birthday.

Phyllis Beasley handed over £300 to the RSPCA in Martlesham after raising money for her 100th birthday. - Credit: Sonya Duncan/Archant

She isolated for ten days, plus an extra week to make doubly sure, and is now fine again.

Phyllis was born in Woodbridge on October 9, 1921, and lived there until she joined the ATS during the Second World War.

She was posted to Neath in Wales, where she met her future husband, Ronald.

After they married, the couple set up home in Hinckley in Leicestershire, Ronald's home town, but in 1970 they moved back to Woodbridge.

They lived in Woodbridge until 2011 when Ronald had a double heart attack and they moved to Holm Court.

Phyllis Beasley hands over a cheque for £300 to Donna Rich at the RSPCA in Martlesham

Phyllis Beasley hands over a cheque for £300 after raising money for her 100th birthday to Donna Rich at the RSPCA in Martlesham - Credit: Sonya Duncan/Archant

Sadly, Ronald passed away in 2014, just a few weeks before the couple were due to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

"They were devoted and did everything together," David said. 

Phyllis worked in service before and after the war, and her last job was as a cleaner at Woolworths in Woodbridge.

She was also a member of the town's Red Cross and Salvation Army Over 60s Club.

Phyllis isn't the only Holm Court resident to have celebrated her 100th birthday in the last few weeks.

Ivy Richmond turned 100 on October 23, and also marked the occasion with a charity fundraiser - climbing nine flights of stairs daily to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest.