Simply the best! – Tina Turner surprises Vaccination Centre volunteers at Newbury Racecourse
'It makes you feel like you are helping people through what’s been such a dark time'
The volunteers at Newbury Racecourse Vaccination Centre had a blooming surprise this afternoon (Thursday), when Tina Turner showed up in a bright orange van and handed out bunches of flowers.
Mrs Turner has been spreading a little happiness across West Berkshire since January by presenting friends and random strangers with flowers, to ‘bring a smile to their faces’.
She started handing out the flowers after a chance encounter with Bill, who runs the flower stall in the market place on Thursdays and Saturdays.
“It was a wet, cold Thursday in mid-January and I was walking the dog through town, when I heard Bill calling out to passers by to buy his flowers before he shut up for the day.
“I asked him if he was really trying to sell them so cheaply and he said he needed to sell them. There was nobody around and it is his livelihood. I felt so helpless and said if I could I’d buy the lot.”
Minutes later Mrs Turner did exactly that. She rang her husband, Martin, who came to the stall in his van.
“Martin said to me ‘now what are you going to do with the flowers?’ – I really had no idea and then I thought why not hand them out to our friends to cheer them up?
"When we were driving around, I would see someone walking along the street, or just coming home from shopping, I’d get Martin to stop and I would jump out and hand them some flowers.
“People are so grateful to have just a little thing to cheer them up. It makes you feel like you are helping people through what’s been such a dark time.”
Today, Mrs Turner decided to visit the vaccination centre and hand out her flowers of kindness to the elderly, on the first day of second jabs being administered, and to some of the volunteers. “They’ve been doing such a great job. I thought it would be a nice way to say thank you to them.”
Volunteer Angela Hay from Newbury said: "Gosh! I think it's fabulous that in a difficult time there are selfless people thinking about others. People will really value this and recognise her kindness."
Mrs Stella Stevens, from Thatcham, had just had her second jab and felt "great". When she was presented with the flowers she said: "This is lovely and so kind - it makes you feel better already."
Her thoughts were echoed by Ann Forbes from Kintbury who said she "didn't feel a thing" after her second jab. "What a wonderful surprise and a lovely thought!"
Mrs Turner said: “People have been asking to contribute towards the cost of the flowers, which made me think it was an opportunity to raise money for charity.”
As a result the Turners set up a JustGiving page – to raise money for Newbury Cancer Care. She said: “I can’t believe we’ve already raised more than £400. It’s been brilliant.”
If you would like to contribute to Mrs Turner’s funding for flowers page visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tina-turner5