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104-year-old who raised £50,000-plus for charity receives coronavirus vaccine

Emily Chudy, PA
·1-min read

A 104-year-old who raised thousands of pounds during lockdown with a daily hill climb has received a coronavirus vaccine.

Joan Willett, a resident at Old Hastings House care home in Hastings, East Sussex, said she was “grateful and privileged” to be given the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on January 15.

“I feel very grateful and privileged to have been the first person in my area to get the jab,” she said.

“It’s wonderful to think that this now offers everyone fresh hope of getting through this pandemic.”

Joan Willett (Old Hastings House/British Heart Foundation)
Joan Willett (Old Hastings House/British Heart Foundation)

The former teacher, who has survived two heart attacks, is the first care home resident in Hastings to receive a vaccine for Covid-19.

Ms Willett appeared on the Piccadilly Circus lights in London and was shortlisted for a Pride of Britain Award after walking more than 17 miles for the British Heart Foundation.

The centenarian, who initially wanted to raise £500 for the charity, has now raised more than £50,000 with her efforts.

“It was only fitting that Joan – the inspirational leader of our residents – led by example by being the first care home resident here and locally to get the first jab against Covid-19,” said Jason Denny, manager of Old Hastings House.

“As Joan looks forward to her 105th birthday, she will be kicking dust in the face of Covid-19 as she continues conquering her hill.”

Ms Willett’s fundraising page can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joansdailyhike