War veteran from Stockport marks her 100th birthday by fundraising for children in Gaza

A Second World War veteran who says she feels a "duty to fight for the rights of children" is raising money for the children impacted by the conflict in Gaza.

Terry Holt, from Stockport, will celebrate her 100th birthday on Christmas Eve and is using the occasion to fundraise for Save The Children's Gaza Emergency Appeal.

She has been volunteering with the charity for 73 years, making her the oldest known living supporter.

Mrs Holt said: “As I celebrate my 100th birthday, I feel so grateful for the life I have had, and I wanted to do something to raise much-needed funds to help children who so urgently need support.

“When I was stationed in the Middle East in the 1940s, I saw first-hand the fate of children growing up in conflict zones.

“Seventy years later as I watch the news and see schools, hospitals and mosques being destroyed it fills me with sadness.

“It is easy to feel helpless in the face of such suffering, but we need to try to remain hopeful and do our bit.

Terry Holt was based in the Middle East in the 1940s. Credit: ITV News

She served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women’s branch of the British Army during the second world war and was based in the Middle East between 1941 and 1948.

Having seen before how difficult life is for children in areas of conflict, coverage of the recent Israel-Hamas conflict has motivated Mrs Holt to "do her bit" for those affected.

On Friday she hosted a mulled wine and mince pie coffee morning at her home in the hope of reaching her fundraising target of £1,500.

Mrs Holt said: “I have supported Save the Children for as long as I can remember, and as a mother and grandmother myself I feel it is my duty to fight for the rights of children and do what I can to try and help them grow up with a brighter future.”

Terry Holt is Save The Children's longest-serving volunteer. Credit: PA Images

Over the years, her projects have raised thousands of pounds. During Covid, she raised more than £2,000 by walking half a mile a day while using a walking frame.

She also founded the charity’s Cheadle and Gatley branch in 1959 and has raised more than £132,000 since records began in 1986.

The success of the branch led Terry to be invited to Buckingham Palace in 1977, where she was met and congratulated on her work by HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne.

Gwen Hines, Chief Executive of Save the Children UK, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Terry for her kindness in choosing to spend her 100th birthday fundraising for Save the Children’s Gaza Emergency Appeal.”

"Children in Gaza are living through a nightmare. They have lost family members, and friends and are now living as displaced people in their own country.

"Save the Children is working tirelessly to distribute food parcels, water, hygiene products and recreational kits to families in Gaza through local partners.” 

Click here to donate to Terry Holt's birthday fundraiser for Save The Children's Gaza Emergency Appeal.

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