A Buxton woman who has spent years giving back has raised over £100,000 for good causes.
Pat Holland, 67, from Lismore Road, became the first woman to join the Rotary Club 15 years ago and she has also spent decades raising funds for charities both locally and internationally.
She said: “I like the idea of knowing that we can help people and give something back.”
Her fundraising through the Rotary club has helped build a grain store in Malawi, Africa, and she has now become a trustee for Blythe House after years of dedication.
Pat has faced heart-breaking loss in her life; her first husband died in an accident when she was 36, her eldest son died a week before she was due to marry her second husband and he then died after being diagnosed with cancer when her daughter was just two-years-old.
She has raised seven children including step-children and is a grandmother to 12.
Pat said: “Strength is important. Life is a story and there will be ups and downs, tragedy and immense happiness, but my life is full of love and I am very blessed to have the life I have and be involved with the lives of so many people who I call family.”
She says Christmas is very busy but would not have it any other way.
For 13 years Pat worked with children who have physical disabilities but were educated in a mainstream school.
She then took over J Sidebotham and Sons jewellers on Grove Parade where she has been at the helm for 30 years and although retirement is on the horizon it is not something she is actively planning.
In her younger years, Pat was an active member of two amateur dramatic groups and is also on the committee of the Friends of Buxton Festival.
When she is not fundraising she illustrates for her husband Philip’s poetry books and raises money for Burbage Band where he is a member.
She added: “It is a busy life but when you feel passionate about something you find the time to help them.
“I have organised events but it is people turning up and their generosity which has raised £100,000 so thank you.”
How Pat helps Blythe House
Pat said: “I lost my first husband when I was 36 and had a lot of dealings with Betty Packham who did the funeral and was so supportive and inspirational.”
Betty went on to become the founder of Blythe House Hospice and Pat has been helping the charity for many years.
For the last decade she has organised for the Halle Orchestra to play at the Buxton Opera House every other year to raise money for the charity.
“It costs £23,000 to get the players to come to the town and we raise that through events and sponsored activities - the money we bring in from it keeps the good work of the charity going for a little bit longer.
“My first husband was the entertainment manager for High Peak Borough Council so I knew it was do-able and I’m pleased I have been able to keep it going.”
She added: “I’m proud to help Blythe House, the work they do gives confidence and hope not just to the patients but families too.”