19 April 2021

Irrepressible Diana O’Flynn is busy raising funds for charity - at the remarkable age of 98.

The adventurous West Hill resident, known affectionately to friends as Dick,  has an impressive track record helping good causes stretching over many years - and her latest enterprise sees her on a sponsored cycle ride indoors, dubbed Around The Sitting Room In 80 Days.

Her granddaughter Jovie McMillan explained: “During lockdown, my grandmother asked me to purchase her an exercise bike... not an ordinary request, but this is no ordinary grandmother.
“She was used to daily walks and adventures and found the change of pace difficult to adjust to. Those who know her will not be surprised by this. She was always off doing something and usually raising money for charity along the way. This is a woman who finds it difficult to stay still. She asked me if there was any way of her doing a sponsored ‘bike ride’. So here we are folks, an incredible 98-year-old lady would like you to sponsor her as she cycles on the spot! Frankly doing anything close to this at 98 is a feat all by itself and deserves a few pennies.”

Diana’s aim is to cycle for at least half an hour every day until June 30. She started on Monday, April 12. Earlier this week she had raised £840. 

Readers can follow her progress on Instagram: aroundthesittingroomin80days

The charity Diana has chosen to help is WLM and more specifically their service WLM Katherine Price Hughes, a project set up in West London by her great grandmother in 1887 to help those leaving prison to transition to the community. Still a successful charity to this day, it has the capacity to help 20 residents at a time, all offenders leaving prison. 

WLM’s CEO, Roger Clark commented:

‘We are so incredibly grateful to Diana for her efforts on our behalf. We are very proud of our founders Katherine and Hugh Price Hughes who in 1887 established the West London Mission. Just like her great grandparents, Diana has shown an amazing commitment to helping people who have found life difficult. Following an incredibly challenging year responding to the pandemic Diana has inspired us to keep empowering positive change for those we serve.’

Diana was born in South Wales and was the first of her family not to go to university – choosing instead to do teacher training.
She taught children of the British Forces in Germany after the war, where she met her husband, Paddy.
After they were married, the pair opened their first children’s home in South Wales, moving later to the Lake District – Diana always maintained the policy that no child would be refused.
In later years, she went on to set up a school in Majorca and on return to England, cared for old people in Gloucester, before moving to West Hill.
She has volunteered in Ottery hospital’s Linden ward, in the Brainwave charity shop in Mill Street and with the National Trust.

You can support Diana via her Go Fund Me page, all donations go directly to WLM.

Source: Sidmouth Herald