A fundraising pensioner who turns fruits from her garden into jam to sell for good causes has been left stunned after discovering she has raised over £10,000 for charity.
Maureen Pearman, 70, has spent around 20 years making batches of jam from fruit she grows in her Haddington garden.
She then sells the jars to customers at the Save the Children shop in the town where she has volunteered for nearly three decades.
And while customers have been snapping up the spreads, Mrs Pearman said she was amazed to discover she had raised £10,089 after tallying up all her sums from a little notebook she has kept to record how much was made from every sale.
“I certainly was shocked when I added it all up,” Mrs Pearman said. “I just look at it this way – if I can help even one child, because I have two beautiful grandsons, then it will be worthwhile.”
So far this year the retired technical assistant has made strawberry, rhubarb and ginger, gooseberry, raspberry and blackberry jam as well as her favourite loganberry jam.
And despite admitting she doesn’t like “an awful lot of jam”, Mrs Pearman can make 36 jars in every batch using two giant pans and around 400 jars a year.
But she did joke that she receives a helping hand from her husband, Ron, 71, who is “excellent” at stirring and bottling all of the mixture in the “big team effort” since she first decided to start making it in 1971.
“My husband loves gardening and for years and years he attended horticultural shows because we have got quite a big garden and he’d grown an awful lot of fruit but I would think ‘what do I do with it?’ so I decided to make jam,” she said.
“Now I sell it as quickly as I can make it – it has become famous with my friends and people phone me up with orders.”
Mrs Pearman said she had no intention of stopping as the £1.50 jars of jam are always in demand in the community.
The money has helped the charity deliver crisis emergency response work in places such as Syria, Gaza and South Sudan where £10,000 could buy 3333 life-saving treatments, with each £3 treatment being able to help eight children with diarrhoea.
“Maureen has done amazingly well raising such a fantastic amount of money for Save the Children,” said Neil Mathers, Save the Children’s head of Scotland.