Beccles fundraiser marks a 35-year milestone

Michael Porter has been collecting postcards for charity for 35 years. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Michael Porter has been collecting postcards for charity for 35 years. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

When Michael and Sylvia Porter inherited a collection of postcards they never imagined it would kick start a fundraising venture that would span three decades.

The Beccles couple managed to raise more than £110,000 for the Norfolk Children’s Deaf Society before Mrs Porter’s sad death from pneumonia in March.

This week Mr Porter is marking 35 years of fundraising for the charity and said he planned to continue in his wife’s memory.

He said: “I had done fundraising before, because between 1973 and 1984 we did dog shows and gave talks to different clubs and all proceeds went to local charities. We also produced two books with the royalties going to buy new nebulizers for Beccles and All Hallows Hospitals and The May Centre’s bus appeal.

“I used to be the treasurer for the Norfolk and Norwich Canine Society and there was a lady on the committee who had a deaf daughter. They had just started a £30,000 appeal for phonic ear devices. At the time the government weren’t paying for them, so we decided to help out by selling our postcards. After we had raised £5,293.33 the government decided to pay for them again, but she asked me to carry on because they always needed equipment.”

To date, £112,326.57 has been raised for the society through the collection and sale of picture postcards.

Mr Porter said:“I think it’s quite incredible when you think that some people don’t want postcards and just throw them in the bin. I had a lady the other day who brought over about 1500 cards for me to sell. The time has just gone and Sylvia and I really enjoyed it. I will carry on as long as I am feel I am able to as I’m going to be 80 next June, but it has been harder since Sylvia passed away. Sylvia loved doing it, she loved sorting out the postcards and finding particular ones for people. That was her pleasure to find something special for someone.”

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Mr Porter will be selling postcards at the Norwich Postcard Fair on Saturday, October 8, from 10am until 4.30pm and he will be giving a talk to the Mid Norfolk Family History Society on September 21.

If you would like to become a member of the Norfolk Postcard Club call Mr Porter on 01502 714352. The club meets every second Wednesday of the month.

Postcards can still be handed into our Norwich office for Mr Porter to receive.