As well as today being the birthday and 75th year since the creation of the NHS on 5 July 1948, Ealing Hospital‘s staff and visitors are also celebrating 20 years since Beryl Carr first started volunteering at the Friends of Ealing Hospital Cafe.
Beryl, who turned 101 in January, still volunteers one day a week at the popular hospital cafe preparing and serving food as she has done since 2003.
Beryl said: “I’ve made a fair few sandwiches in my time but I really enjoy the social side of it. I can’t think of anything worse than being stuck in front of the TV all day. The great thing about volunteering is that you are helping other people but in a funny way you are helping yourself as well.”
Beryl was born in 1922 when George V was on the throne, Gandhi was imprisoned for opposing British rule in India, and archaeologist Howard Carter unearthed Tutankhamun’s tomb.
She survived the Blitz during World War Two which included being bombed out of her home and helped the war effort by sewing barrage balloons and working as a fire watcher as German bombs fell on the capital.
Beryl commented: “We spent a lot of time in the bomb shelter in our back garden and one of the nights we chanced sleeping inside there was an air raid and the house was hit. I ended up under a cupboard covered in plaster.
“Volunteering gave me a new lease on life and it is something I would recommend to anyone regardless of their age.”