A REMARKABLE woman who abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower at the age of 101 has broken another record.
Doris Long MBE has devoted her life to fundraising for causes close to her heart, completing 11 abseils and raising more than £15,500 for the Rowans Hospice.
Now 104, she has become the charity’s oldest-ever patient after being admitted to the hospice in Waterlooville a few weeks ago.
Doris, known as Daring Doris, abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower in 2015, gaining a Guinness World Record as the oldest person to abseil.
News of Doris’s admission comes as the Rowans launches its £7.5m Silver Jubilee Appeal to completely transform the hospice and the care it provides.
Speaking of her decision to support the Rowans from the age of 89, Doris said: ‘I knew of the Rowans’ importance to the local community, and I thought I’d better start raising money for people, as up to then I’d devoted my life to the protection and welfare of animals.
‘I’ve always wondered what it was like in the hospice, so was so pleased when I was referred there. It is so lovely and I can’t believe you don’t have to pay.
‘It’s so peaceful and tranquil. I’ve loved looking out of my window into the garden and watching the squirrels and birds hurrying about.
‘The nurses are wonderful and have popped in for a chat and checked if I needed anything.’
Doris has now returned home, but is under the Rowans’ Hospice Companions programme, where she is now visited by someone who calls in for a chat every week.
She added: ‘When I told the nurses I would miss their company when I went home, a lovely woman called Kate popped in to speak to me about Hospice Companions.
‘She arranged for someone to keep me company for a few hours a week.
‘My stay has given me the rest and recuperation that I needed.
‘I even attended one of the exercise classes, but when I looked around it was full of too many old people so I thought I was in the wrong place!’
Rowans Hospice provides care to patients with life-limiting illnesses and relatives and carers of those patients.
As part of the Silver Jubilee Appeal, the charity is asking everyone to pledge to do one thing to help raise the £7.5m needed for the three-to-five year project.
Rowans spokeswoman Theresa Bailey said: ‘You don’t have to be as daring as Doris, but if everyone in the community pledges to do one thing to raise money, whether that is to text a donation, host a Silver Jubilee-themed party or run a marathon, the £7.5m we need to build our future hospice can be achieved.’
To find out more, visit silverjubilee.rowanshospice.co.uk.
To read all the latest stories about the Rowans Silver Jubilee Appeal, go to the portsmouth.co.uk home page and click on ‘Rowans Hospice’.
Don’t miss an eight-page supplement all about the appeal and the transformation project in The News on Thursday and a dedicated weekly appeal page that begins on Friday.