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Oxfam suporter set for 33rd fast

A village favourite is set to return for her 33rd year of ‘fasting’ to raise money for Oxfam.

Barbara Walmsley, who is 81, has been raising money for the charity since she was 16.

Her fundraising involves her sitting in the Sainsbury’s in Providence Place, Maidenhead, and fasting to raise cash for the poverty charity.

Initially, Barbara, who is from Cookham, fasted over a three-day period while collecting money, but after suffering a major heart attack in her 25th year, she now has her trusty ‘Boxfam Barbara’, made of cardboard boxes, who fasts on her behalf.

This year Barbara will be fundraising for a total of 28 hours, from Friday, October 12 to Sunday, October 14.

She said: “I started volunteering for Oxfam when I was 16 and legally old enough to rattle a tin.

“After 25 years I had a severe heart attack just before the coffee morning – I was very cross.

“Since then I don’t fast myself, due to pressure from my loving family and the fact that some donors threatened to not sponsor me if I did fast but would sponsor me for not fasting.”

Despite this year’s controversy surrounding Oxfam following the sex worker scandal in Haiti, Barbara has reiterated her support for the work it does supporting poverty.

As well as the fast, Barbara also organised and hosted an Oxfam coffee morning, raising money for the charity which aims t end poverty in the UK and around the world by selling homemade cakes and hot drinks in Cookham.

Through her fasts she has raised more than £325,000 for the charity.

To sponsor Barbara and visit: bit.ly/2NYq0he

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