Dream of charity for children finally realised after 50 years

HALF a century ago a missionary who had returned from the developing world gave a speech at Sheffield City Hall, inspiring an 18-year-old girl to dream of setting up a charity to help deprived youngsters.

But real life took over for Wendy Holmes, who married, had three sons and helped run the family frozen food business for 20 years, before moving into work training school leavers.

At the age of 45, Mrs Holmes, of Nether Edge, Sheffield, started visiting orphanages in the Philippines to work as a volunteer, returning 16 times, but is only now achieving her charity dream.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The 68-year-old, who ran Frozen Pantry, which had branches in Sheffield, Worksop and Mansfield, has decided to use her retail skills for Kids Around The World, which will open a shop in the city this month.

Mrs Holmes was yesterday busy sorting through donations, and said the shop in Chesterfield Road, Woodseats, would be her major focus for the next year.

As well as the Filipino orphanges supported by Mrs Holmes, charities which will benefit from the shop include Mercy Ships, which provides free medical treatment on board ships anchored off the coast of Africa.

Mrs Holmes said she particularly wanted to help children suffering with cleft lip and palate, facial tumours and orthopaedic problems.