A DETERMINED York pensioner has refused to let the coronavirus crisis halt her annual charity drive.

Sarita Adamson, who celebrated her 87th birthday on Sunday, has lived in the Southbank area of the city for more than four decades and is a familiar sight delivering collection envelopes during Christian Aid week.

The Covid-19 pandemic put paid to the house-to-house collections this year, but Sarita was determined to continue raising funds for the good cause. Despite trouble with her mobility, she set out on a five-kilometre hike around her neighbourhood and has already raised in excess of £400 for Christian Aid.

Sarita began venturing out for short rambles, with the aid of a walker, after developing problems with her hips, caused by being isolated and housebound during lockdown.

After initially walking around 20 metres to the end of her road and back a physio friend advised her to get out and about more often - and once she got going there was no stopping her.

Friend Jo Dalgleish, who has been accompanying Sarita on her walks, said: “She did the bottom of the street and back - 40 metres - for a few days, then began getting more confident and wanted to go a little more every day.

“After a week we made it to the corner shop. It made her happy as she saw people she knew as they were out shopping.

“She saw someone from church and they suggested she turn it into a sponsored walk for Christian Aid, as they are not delivering envelopes through doors this year and Sarita is a dedicated member of St Chad’s.

“We began with a target of one kilometre as she was doing about 100 metres per day, but she got the bit between her teeth and after two days she had already passed that - so her target now is five kilometres.”

Sarita said: “I walk a little further each day. The pavements are very uneven and I’ve never used a frame before, so we have to walk on the road.

“We regularly stop traffic! The frame is now decorated to tell people what we are doing and it has a little basket attached to the front that people can throw money into.”

Sarita’s efforts are similar to those of Yorkshire-born Captain Tom Moore, the 100-year-old veteran who raised more than £30 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his home.

Jo added: “The people of Southbank have been really supportive.

“Every day people throw money into her basket and sometimes have to chase her up the road as she is going so fast now.

“Every night - and now in the morning too - she is in pain from the extra walking, but she is determined to carry on and says her breathing, as well as her walking, has improved.”

Donations can be made through the Christian Aid website or at St Chad’s vicarage.