David Walliams surprises The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards 2013 winner dressed as a Bee
David Walliams surprised fundraising Busy Bee legend Jean, 91, who has raised £92,000 for AGE UK - simply by dressing up as a bee and collecting loose change in a tin - to invite her to The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards 2013.
Known as the Bee Lady, Jean is one of the most loved people in her hometown of Hull, and has received hundreds of The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards 2013 nominations from members of the public.
Despite suffering severe arthritis, she collects in shopping centres whatever the weather every other Friday, and visits residential care homes regularly as well. Even a nasty fall which put Jean in hospital for weeks two years ago didn’t stop her and she has spent more than 1,000 hours rattling her tin.
She says: “Everyone knows me and I can’t let them down. I have no idea about technology so someone helped me set up a webby page and a picture of me in my busy bee suit, and people donated there while I was stuck indoors.”
The 91-year-old has a Facebook page dedicated to her, with over 8,000 fans.
She first started collecting for Age UK at Hull’s Paragon Station 14 years ago, after the death of her husband. The charity lent her a rented bee outfit to help attract attention.
Jean loved the suit so much, she kept rehiring it until eventually her daughter Jennifer Baldwin made one for her to keep from three hula hoops and some fur from a charity shop. The bee has now become the Age UK Hull mascot and is still going strong.
Not content with raising £92,000, Jean now aims to raise £100,000 for the charity.
Jean says: “I love dressing up, and if I get tired I just sit down and have a cup of tea. There’s no stopping me.”
See Jean collect her award at The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards 2013 on Tuesday at 8pm on ITV.