image captionJoan Rich, accompanied by her daughter Diane (left) was joined by schoolchildren on her final charity walk and given a guard of honour as she completed it
A retired nurse has completed her fundraising mission of walking 102 laps of a park by her 102nd birthday.
Schoolchildren joined her on her final charity walk on Friday and she was greeted by a guard of honour.
“It was enjoyable walking in the fresh green of the park, but hard work sometimes,” she said.
Using a walking frame or pushing her wheelchair, Mrs Rich walked a 560m (1,837ft) route from her home, around Allenby Park, and back.
She was one of the first people to visit the park on 22 April when it reopened after the coronavirus lockdown.
image captionDozens of well-wishers turned out for the 102-year-old
A resident had mowed “NHS” into one of the lawns during lockdown and this inspired Mrs Rich to complete the challenge.
“You really just have to stick at it, like life really,” said the former auxiliary nurse.
“One person can make a difference if they set a goal and persevere.
“I hope the children who play here [in the park] know that.
“I hope they achieve things that bring them sunshine in their hearts when they look back on their past.”
Daughter Diane, who accompanied her on the walks, set up an online fundraising page.
“It’s not every 102-year-old who has to do a charity walk on their birthday,” she said.
“She could have been putting her feet up and eating cake, but Joan is doing something to support others instead and that’s typical of her.”
Mrs Rich, who was a nurse at Felixstowe General Hospital between 1964 and 1978, said she sometimes had to go to the park during shifts when patients who had absconded from the hospital had gone there.
During World War Two, she served with the Royal Military Police and was stationed in Jerusalem, nursing prisoners of war back to health.
image captionJoan Rich during World War Two