ONE of Thatcham’s “local celebrities” is to have her 15 minutes of fame on television later this month.
Back in June, Joyce Lovelock was named as the surprise star of a new BBC series called Street Auction.
The programme sees residents enter items into a pop-up community auction and all proceeds are donated to a deserving member of the community.
Mrs Lovelock was chosen by the BBC for her “tireless and selfless work, day in, day out”.
The 91-year-old helps residents in Ferndale Court, collecting shopping and prescriptions, and taking them back if they aren’t correct.
Mrs Lovelock told the Newbury Weekly News that she had raised more than £60,000 for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal over the last 56 years, including more than £1,100 last year.
She is also a founding member of Thatcham Blind Club and is still active within the group. Mrs Lovelock also raises money for the RNLI.
With tears in her eyes when she was announced as the show’s recipient, Mrs Lovelock said: “I feel so shocked. I had no idea. I have got such a wonderful family and good friends.
“I spend my life looking after people. I just enjoy doing it.”
Now, Thatcham residents who attended the street auction hosted by Flog It! presenter Paul Martin, and people across the country, can catch Mrs Lovelock on air at the end of the month.
Mrs Lovelock will be kicking off the new series when it starts on BBC 1 at 11am, on Monday, September 26.
Her daughter, Susan Popiolek, said that her mother was still active, but was embarrassed by all the publicity surrounding the show, with countless people asking when she was going to appear on TV.
“We’re very excited really and totally honoured that mum was picked,” Mrs Popiolek said. “It’s fabulous that after all these years of doing what she does she’s been recognised.
“It’s just her way of life and what she enjoys doing. We’re extremely proud that she’s been noticed.”
The show raised £1,239, which the BBC used to treat the family to a trip out to the National Memorial Arboretum in Lichfield, Staffordshire.
Mrs Popiolek said the family had had the most fabulous day and one that her mother would never forget.
Mrs Lovelock was “treated like a queen” and asked to stand on a podium and had high-ranking army personnel saluting her.
The Royal British Legion also presented her with a bouquet of flowers as a thank you for her fundraising over the year.
There was also a touching moment for the family when Mrs Lovelock and her sisters linked arms and laid a wreath at a memorial to her father’s regiment, which fought in the First World War.
“There wasn’t a dry eye anywhere. That was wonderful that we could do that for all these people who gave their lives for everybody,” Mrs Popiolek said.