Meet the skydiving Great Grandma from Gosport who runs car boot sales to help others

  • ITV Meridian's Christine Alsford meets Elizabeth Humphries, who's raised thousands for charities through holding car boot sales.

Daredevil great grandma Elizabeth Humphries has done all sorts to raise money for charity - including skydiving, zip wires, abseiling and wing walking.

But it's her more down to earth fundraising over the years that has made the difference - week in, week out she holds car boot sales and yard sales at her home in Gosport. 

And all the pennies she collects have mounted up to £75,000 over the past eight years - just one of the reasons she's been nominated for a Pride of Britain award. 

"The money has never really been a big issue - I've always done it for people. but when you add up the money you sort of think.....coor," said Elizabeth, who is 73 and survived breast cancer in 2020.

Elizabeth Humphries has done all sorts of extreme challenges to raise money for charity Credit: Go Skydive

She admits to being a bit of an adrenaline junkie. "I just like doing mad things," she says. "But I can't swim, I'm really frightened of water."

Last year she paid for 17 defibrillators to be put in her local schools, community centre and pub.  She's also the driving force behind a charity called The Big Match which has raised £750,000 since its launch - the money it raises goes toward the Brain Tumour Charity (in memory of Elizabeth's husband) and Action for Children. 

As well as the boot sales and extreme sports she does yard sales, afternoon teas - anything she can to help her community.

"I never turn anybody away if they can't afford it - I never tell people they've got to pay straight away - if they can't pay for it straight away I'm quite happy to go back and collect the money off em later - if their need is to ask me for it, my want is to help them," she said.

Elizabeth Humphries has raised thousands of pounds for charity through car boot sales Credit: ITV Meridian

Elizabeth began fundraising more than 40 years ago when she lived at Reading in Berkshire and started running a playgroup. Her first event was a jumble sale and raised £50 to buy equipment.

And she hasn't stopped since.

"I've known Elizabeth for 51 years and from day one of knowing her it was raising money," said her friend Frances Vaughan. "It's her oxygen, it's her lifeblood."

She has so much stock her home is piled high with everything from jigsaws to bridesmaid's dresses. She also has six sheds in her garden - and she rotates what she tries to sell on a four week rota basis.

Elizabeth says she's noticed that with the cost of living crisis more and more people are buying practical goods like toasters and kettles rather than trinkets and luxuries.

Elizabeth's home is piled high with stock for her car boots and yard sales Credit: ITV Meridian

"Most of my items I try to sell for 50p or a pound - and sometimes if you say 50p it's for charity they give you a pound anyway.

"I don't like overpricing. People say you can get more but to be fair I'd rather let you have it for 50p than that it sits in my six sheds or dining room for six or seven months."

Tina Tester, the landlady of the pub where Elizabeth raised money to provide one of 17 lifesaving defibrillators last year said: "I love her to bits. She is absolutely amazing.

"She's worked so hard to get all this money for the defibrillators. It's not just for us it's for everybody."

Elizabeth raised money for 17 defibrillators in her local area last year including her local pub the Carisbrooke Arms Credit: ITV Meridian

The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards celebrates the unsung heroes who go above and beyond to make their communities and the country a better place.

Nominated by the public, the winners come from all walks of life, of all ages, and from all over the country.

They will come together with stars from television for a glittering ceremony in London, broadcast on ITV.

Among them will be two winners from the Meridian region, picked from a shortlist of inspiring nominees.

Each day this week – on our 6pm programme and online – we'll showcase those who are in the running. The winner will be revealed on Friday's programme.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...