Betty, 77, set for Wonsie Woddle in Hartlepool

IT’S not every day you see a onesie-clad pensioner walking down the seafront.

But that’s exactly what fun-loving 77-year-old Betty Smith will be doing after her nephew Stephen Picton talked her into signing up for the ‘Wonsie Woddle’.

Betty Smith in her Onesie

Betty Smith in her Onesie

“When he asked me at first I said ‘not a chance’, but he can be very persuasive,” laughed Betty.

Two weeks ago, the mum-of-four, grandmother of 12, great-grandmother of 23 and great-great grandmother of two, didn’t even have a onesie.

Now she is counting down the days until she pulls on her brand-new panda suit and joins dozens of others taking part in a fundraising first.

“I’m actually really looking forward to it now,” admitted Betty, who lives in Tristram Avenue, in the town, and volunteers at Brierton Lodge Nursing Centre. “A lot of my family and friends are doing it as well, Stephen is persuading everybody, so it should be really good fun.”

Betty Smith with a photograph of her with her late husband Ralph

Betty Smith with a photograph of her with her late husband Ralph

An army of onesie-wearing fundraisers will take over the Headland on Sunday, June 15, as they make their way from the Heugh Gun Battery to the Victoria Arms.

It’s the latest fundraising idea of charity champion Stephen, who famously amassed £50,000 for good causes before his 40th birthday.

He thought up the event as a way of showing his support for Dementia UK, the charity which has helped his dad, James, 67, since he was diagnosed with the condition.

Entry is £5 which will all go to Dementia UK but those taking part are then free to raise sponsorship cash for their own chosen charity.

Betty’s husband of 59 years, Ralph, sadly died in September last year aged 82 after suffering with a number of conditions including dementia.

He was cared for at Gretton Court Care Home, in the town, which is what Betty will be raising money in the build up to the ‘Wonsie Woddle’.

“I have raised about £145 already which I am delighted about,” said Betty.

“But I always say, no matter how much I raise it’s all going to make a difference so I’ll just keep going trying to raise as much as possible.”

There’s still plenty of time for people to sign up for this year’s ‘Wonsie Woddle’.

Entry forms are available from the Victoria Arms, on the Headland, Silhouette Beauty, in York Road, Bonnie Babies, on Hartlepool Marina and Monkey Sangers sandwich shop, in York Road.

You can also sign up contacting Stephen on 07903 776256 or for more information visit the Wonsie Woddle’s Facebook page.