'SuperPam' to be given mum of the year title

Pamela Arundel Clarke

Pamela Arundel Clarke

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Ilkley/Otley Reporter

An 86-year-old grandmother, who still works five days a week at a supermarket and has dedicated her life to the people of her local community, has been announced as a Tesco Mum of the Year winner.

Pamela Arundel Clarke will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony at The Savoy, in London, on Sunday, March 23.

And as a result of her award Mrs Arundel Clarke was also a guest of David Cameron at 10 Downing Street yesterday in the run-up to International Women’s Day which takes place tomorrow.

She was chosen to attend the reception due to her tireless work in helping others in her community.

The proud mother of two adopted children and four granddaughters has worked at the company’s store in Ilkley for nearly 26 years.

In her spare time, Mrs Arundel Clarke dedicates every waking moment to helping others, including caring for her husband of 65 years, Bruce, 90, who is blind.

She became a Brownie in 1935 and has been part of the Guiding movement ever since. She goes to great lengths to support the many fundraising events held by them, raising thousands of pounds along the way. She was recently involved in raising £300,000 for a new Scout hut.

Mrs Arundel Clarke does not let her age stop her, and four years ago took a trip to Guide camp where she joined in the activities and even took a ride on the zip wire.

She is wardrobe mistress for the Ilkley Amateur Operatic Society, and has been for the last 30 years. Giving hours of dedication, she makes all the intricate costumes by hand. She is working on costumes for the Wizard of Oz production and she has even told her doctor that she can’t have a much-needed knee replacement until she has finished the show.

She has raised thousands of pounds for the operatic society and makes and sells hundreds of pots of pickles, jam and preserves for their benefit.

She was a treasurer at Ilkley’s first playgroup and helped out at the local swimming club, which she taught at for more than 20 years. Known in Ilkley as ‘Aunty Pam,’ she tries to be a mother to those who don’t have a mum.

She said: “I thought I was too old to be nominated for the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards. I’m absolutely thrilled. I’ve got more out of working with charities than I’ve ever given.

“What I’ve learned with charity is that you need to be generous. I have more than 400 friends but I’ve stopped sending Christmas cards and now donate to charity, including the Lifeboats and Salvation Army.”

Mrs Arundel Clarke’s story touched the hearts of the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards judging panel, including radio DJ Sara Cox, TV presenter Gabby Logan and Olympic gold medallist and TV personality Denise Lewis.

The glamorous red carpet ceremony, which attracts a host of celebrity guests, will celebrate inspirational mums from all over the UK, who have made a difference to the lives of others.

Debbie Chernin, Tesco Mum of the Year manager, said: “We are extremely proud to be holding the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards for the ninth year. It is a privilege to be able to recognise the achievements of an amazing woman like Pamela. Her commitment to helping others in her community is truly inspirational. The fact that she still works five days a week at the age of 86 and still has time to support others shows just how inspirational she is.”

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