Abbie experienced a difficult childhood and a strained relationship with her family growing up. This meant that from a young age, she had to become independent in the family home and take herself to and from school. At the age of 11, the family moved to a new area, which had serious crime and ...
Harry, of Wallsend, was just eight when, in 2015, he lost his uncle and godfather David, 36, to sudden cardiac death. Tragically a year later his dad Steve died just three weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. Devastated by his family losses Harry decided to bring something positive out of ...
Growing up in Chitagong, now in Bangladesh, then part of Pakistan, Ram Prasad Sengupta could hardly have imagined his life today as a world-renowned neurosurgeon, honoured by royalty for his incredible work. Professor Sengupta, 79, known to friends in Newcastle as Robin, was born into extreme ...
Devoted and defiant mum Lynn Lucas has raised more than £2 million for cancer research since the tragically early death of her son Chris aged 18 in 2000. Lynn’s son Chris died of a rare form of cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma – a cancer that resembles muscle tissue, leading to his dedicated mum ...
HenPower was set up by the charity Equal Arts in 2011 with the aim of using hen-keeping to tackle social isolation, reduce depression and improve people’s wellbeing. Equal Arts’ director, Douglas Hunter, tells us how the project began. “We had been working in a care home when a resident with ...
Off-duty highways officer Peter Senior was having a coffee at a roadside coffee shop while Adam Tomlinson was driving home from work, when a motorcycle collided with a car on the A167 near Spennymoor, County Durham. The 52-year-old rider was thrown into the air and the female motorist was left ...
Born with half a heart and undergoing a record-breaking operation minutes after birth, Chanel Murrish is certainly a miracle; defying the odds and the predictions of doctors who feared she was unlikely to survive. But it’s her incredible mother, Fay Murrish who we are proud to honour with our ...
Ultramarathon runner Dennis Potton got more than he bargained in the middle of a 60-mile endurance race when he stopped for a drink and heard a child screaming for help. Dennis was taking part in the Hardmoors 60, a 60-mile run along the North Yorkshire coast when he heard children crying for ...
At 94, most people have given up working long ago - but not Harry Mercer! Harry, from North Shields, has been volunteering for over 70 years and says he’ll never stop working for others. For Harry, it all began in 1947, when his brother-in-law asked him to help raise funds to build a ...
Mark Taylor is an inspirational teacher who has refused to let advanced Motor Neurone Disease (MND) prevent him from changing children’s lives. Mark has been living with a diagnosis of the devastating illness, which has eventually left him unable to walk, eat or even talk unaided, since 2010. A ...
Last September PC Paul Canvin was on annual leave when an armed gang burst in and attempted to rob the newsagents that he was shopping in. Dressed in jeans and flip flops, PC Canvin sprung into action to help. The two masked men were armed with a 3ft metal bar and threatened staff whilst making ...
Eleven year old Katie Mitchelson was playing at the park with her friends when a dog suddenly started biting children at random all around her. Whilst some children might have panicked Katie remained calm and knew that she had to help. The first victim was seven year old Clara Villalard who was ...
Young Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk Neuroblastoma on the 7th of January 2013 at the age of just two. Given a 50-50 chance of survival, hospital staff nicknamed him “Resus Brad” after the many times they had to call the resuscitation trolley to his room to ...

At the age of 91, you'd excuse Jean for slowing down a bit.  But there's just no stopping this fundraising legend known universally as "The Bee Lady".


Dressed in her eye-catching bee outfit, she's out come rain or shine to collect loose change in a tin for good causes.

It's one of the most thankless forms for fundraising, but thanks to Jean's kind-hearted nature she has managed to collect £92,000 in her tin for Age UK Hull.

Despite suffering severe arthritis, she collects in shopping centres in the city whatever the weather every other Friday, and visits residential care homes regularly as well.

And as well as raising cash, she does it to put a smile on other people's faces too.

"The charity is so important, the elderly can be forgotten sometimes so I like to help them," she says.

Jean got involved with Age UK Hull 14 years ago, after the death of her husband.  She attended a craft class run by the charity and realised what a difference it made to the lives of so many older people who often suffer from loneliness and depression.

She decided she wanted to give something back, so the charity lent her a rented bee outfit to help attract some attention as she went fundraising with a tin.

Jean loved the suit so much, she kept rehiring it until eventually her daughter Jennifer Baldwin made one for her to keep fro, three hula hoops and some fur from a charity shop.

The busy bee has now become the mascot for Age UK Hull and is still going strong.

Jean says: "When the children come up to me, they all want to stroke the bee fur and have a cuddle."

She has also given youngsters a treat at Christmas by dressing up as Santa at shopping centres.

Pam Hall, business manager at Age UK says: "There's no stopping Jean.  Sometimes we ask her to take a break, but she just doesn't take no for an answer.  She's a real people person, and jsut likes to make everyone happy and do her bit for the charity.  We can't thank her enough for everything she does."

Last summer, Jean swapped her bee costume for the tracksuit of an Olympic torch bearer, when she completed a leg of the relay in Hull.

Even a nasty fall which put Jean in hospital for weeks two years ago didn't stop her and she has spent more than 1,000 hours rattling her tin.

She says: "Everyone knows me and after my fall I couldn't let them down.  The charity told me to take a break, but I wanted to keep helping.  I have no idea about technology so someone helped me set up a webby page with a picture of me in my busy bee suit, and people donated there while I was stuck indoors.  But I was back out as soon as soon as I was steady on my feet again."

Jean now has a Facebook page dedicated to her, with over 3,000 fans.

Not content with raising £92,000, Jean now aims to raise £100,000 for the charity.

Jean says: "The aim is £100,000, and then I will start all over again.  I love dressing up, and if I get tired I just sit down and have a cup of tea.  There's no stopping me."

When most people retire it's time to put their feet up.  But Jean is out whatever the weather to put a smile on people's faces, and raise money for an excellent cause.  She's a wonderful example to the rest of us.The Judges

View the embedded image gallery online at:

Image Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:

About us

The Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards in partnership with TSB celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world a better place.



Contact Us

Pride of Britain
One Canada Square
E14 5AP 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Follow us @PrideOfBritain

Like us on Facebook