A SELFLESS pensioner will raffle off her 90th birthday presents to raise money for charity in memory of her sister who died of asthma.
More than £250 worth of prizes will be up for grabs when Joyce Taylor, 89 from Purbrook, holds a special birthday bash at Portsmouth Rugby Football Club in Norway Road, Hilsea, on Saturday.
Scores of her friends and family will roll up to win prizes donated by local businesses in a £1-a-strip raffle in aid of Asthma UK.
Joyce, an ex PCSO and police matron vowed to fundraise for the cause to help find a cure for the lung condition, which killed her sister Shirley in September 1958, when she was just 21.
‘You can grow out of asthma but my sister is proof some people don’t,’ she said.
‘She had only been married for a year before she died.
‘The money from the raffle will go to research at Asthma UK because the people there are the ones trying to find a cure.'
A number of Joyce’s relatives have suffered with asthma and her great-grandson currently fights it.
The idea not to accept birthday gifts and instead ask businesses and loved ones to donate raffle prizes stems from her working days in the police, which saw her stationed in Cosham, and subsequently Portsmouth.
‘When I was in the force in the 1960s there used to be an officer called Roy Ross who would go down to the shops and ask them for raffle prizes for parties,' she said.
‘So I had a think and decided I would do a Roy Ross.
‘I’m very thankful for all the donations I’ve received so far and I’m very, very excited for the party.’
Among a long list of donors, city firms Tesco, Costa Coffee, Penelope Petals, podiatrist Tracy Gregory, Hair OTT and Poppins Cafe have all given Joyce prizes, including vouchers.
And as she gears up for the giveaway, she hopes it will benefit both winners and donors alike.
‘The businesses can’t lose out because if someone goes there with a voucher and likes what they do, there’s every chance they’ll go back again,’ she said.