A veteran charity collector who is raising funds for a local hospice was dismayed to be asked by a fellow busker to move on from her spot in the centre of Stroud today.

Ninety-three-year-old Paddi Spruyt, who served in the women’s branch of the British Army during the Second World War, had been proudly collecting donations for Longfield hospice in Minchinhampton when approached.

“I have been fundraising for Longfield for the past six years and have never had such a disappointing experience,” she said.

“Of course everybody wants to make money, but to tell me to move on – and in such an upsetting way – is unfair.

“I was just quietly holding my bucket waiting for people to see me.”

The elderly lady, who walks with a stick, could be seen holding her Longfield donations bucket as she walked around the town asking local businesses for donations before she stopped where the other busker was seen setting up. It’s a practice that Mrs Spruyt has enjoyed since 2014 when she first participated in the hospice’s annual charity walk that takes place each June.

“My late husband was an Anglican priest and so I feel it is very important to do your bit for others,” she begins. “I have my permit and so I am angry that the woman was so hasty in telling me I couldn’t stand where I was earlier. I feel hurt – this money is not for me after all.”

Mrs Spruyt's efforts earlier today come after receiving over £50 of donations while collecting in the town on Saturday. “It wasn’t much fun standing in the cold and wet weather, but luckily the staff of Wilko’s invited me to stand in the store’s foyer,” she explained. “Today’s dry weather was perfect for trying to repeat the sum collected over the weekend.”

“Each year I keep saying it will be my last for fundraising and maybe after this incident it will be,” she says. “I feel a bit less encouraged to go out again now, but it has been something to do that has been close to my heart.”

To donate in Mrs Paddi Spruyt’s name, call Longfield’s fundraising team on 01453 886868 or visit,