KNOWN locally as the Kirkbymoorside “WaterAid lady”, Jill Hiatt has built up a reputation as one of the most successful fundraisers in Ryedale, having raised more than £8,000 for charity.

What started off as a hobby making hand-crafted greetings cards for family and friends turned in to an impressive fundraising project for WaterAid, a charity providing clean water for communities and educating them about sanitation and how to maintain equipment.

Jill, who charges £1 for each card, had never thought of her hobby as a fundraising opportunity until her daughter offered to pay for one of her cards.

“I refused, but she insisted so, as at that time Kirkbymoorside Methodist Chapel was raising funds to sink wells in Mali, I decided that WaterAid should receive the money,” she said.

“If someone had said to me when I began making cards that I would raise that amount of money in 10 years, I would have been amazed.”

Jill’s fundraising total stands at just over £8,500, which has been boosted by selling her cards at the twice yearly Methodist Synod in the town. She has also just held her ninth coffee morning, which she organises every October.

Jill said: “These occasions are very happy and people enjoy meeting old friends. We have two very dear friends who help us out greatly by making tea and coffee to enable us to circulate.”

About 10 per cent of the world’s population are without access to clean water and 40 per cent have no sanitation facilities either.

Jill said: “My target is on-going for as long as I can make cards and people are willing to buy them.”

To donate to Jill’s fundraising, visit