An incredible Southport lady who has spent every day for the past 30 years feeding the wildlife at the Southport Hospital duck pond was given a very special surprise on her 91st birthday.
Betty Mellor adores local wildlife. Every morning without fail during the past three decades, regardless of the weather, she arrives at the pond with sacks of corn and loaves of bread to feed the ducks, the fish and other animals and birds there.
On Monday when she arrived she was presented with her very own inscribed bench, which says: ‘To Betty. Thank you for looking after the hospital’s wildlife’.
She was greeted by members of her family and by dozens of teary-eyed hospital staff. They included nurse Danielle Vaughan, who had the idea of presenting her with birthday cakes and flowers while gathering staff to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Betty.
Also there were Betty’s grandsons, Lewis Evans and Max Pender.
Her daughter, Sue Mellor, said: “Mum and her husband, Brian, moved from Forest Road to Althorpe Drive nearly 30 years ago and ever since Betty has been feeding the ducks and fish every single day come rain, shine, wind or snow!
“Even after losing Dad in 2005, Mum has continued to come to the duck pond at Southport Hospital every day.
“Mum has Alzheimer’s and it has now become part of her Alzheimer’s routine.
“She goes through approximately 40 kg of corn and over 30 loaves of bread a week! She feeds the birds in the gardens too.
“Mum is known to locals as the ‘duck lady’.
“I will continue to keep mum living in her own home so she can live her life feeding the birds and fish for as long as possible.
“She absolutely loves wildlife. She has so many bird feeders in her garden. You can tell which house is hers because it is covered with pigeons!
“It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, whether the sun is shining or if it’s raining, hailing or snowing, Mum is here at the hospital to make sure that all the wildlife is fed.
“They recognise her, when she arrives and is getting near they all come out to meet her.
“She loves it. She is doing really well.”
Southport and Ormskirk NHS Hospital Trust Director of Nursing Lynne Barnes was delighted to present the bench to Betty, along with a very special ‘So Proud’ certificate and badge.
During the presentation, she told Betty: “We are really grateful for everything that you do.
“We have got you a So Proud Award, because we are really proud of you.
“We couldn’t do all of this without volunteers like you. Thank you so much!”