October 23 2014 Latest news:
by Tom Marshall
Friday, August 29, 2014
A lifelong campaigner against the abuse of animals has hosted her final fundraiser – nearly 75 years after embarking on her remarkable charity career.
Former travel writer Angela Humphery has been standing up for defenceless creatures across the globe – from caged bears to overworked horses and farmed puppies – since the tender age of 10.
It was in 1940 that she staged her first fundraiser at her parents’ home in Hampstead Garden Suburb, selling jumble in their garden and raising the princely sum of £4 for veterinary organisation the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA).
The 84-year-old’s commitment grew from then on – and her tireless efforts only gathered pace more than half a century later when she reached her 70s.
Ms Humphery has hosted up to five events at her Hampstead home every summer for the past 15 years – but now she and husband Martin, 85, are finally slowing down.
On Sunday, they called it a day with one last tea party in aid of Compassion In World Farming, bringing in £1,500 and increasing their total money raised in 2014 to about £7,500.
Ms Humphery, of Willoughby Road, said: “I’m 84 and it may sound like it’s only a tea party, but you’re putting on a show.
“It’s only a small show, but it’s still hard work and takes months of preparation, so I’m looking forward to having a rest.”
She added: “I used to lie awake at night, my heart pumping, wondering if it was going to rain – it will be a relief not to go through that any more.”
The dozens of lunches and tea-parties have raised “about £50,000 or £60,000” in all and attracted the support of a some big-name guests, with Hampstead-based comedian and actor Ricky Gervais a regular, along with fellow actor Peter Egan and TV vet Marc Abraham.
Ms Humphery supports 60 separate animal causes in all and those closest to her heart include Animals Asia, which campaigns against bear “bile farming” in China and Vietnam – “one of the cruellest things man has perpetrated on an animal” – dog charity Greyhounds in Need and Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary in Cornwall, which houses her former neighbour, Joey the monkey.
Joey was kept in a cage in Willoughby Road by shamam fraudster Juliette D’Souza – jailed for 10 years after being convicted of fraud earlier this year – and was “adopted” by Ms Humphery after she read about his rescue in the Ham&High, several years before the court case.
The Humphery’s plan to visit Joey at the sanctuary next month as they begin a well-earned period of “R&R”, in which they will also enjoy two cruise trips.
Seeking to explain her deep commitment to animal causes, she simply said it was something she was “born with”.
She added: “From day one, I was always passionate about the plight of animals, which are at the bottom of the heap.”