HILLARY Durrant said this will be the last year she sings Christmas carols and folk songs outside Ilminster’s Tesco in memory of her granddaughter after raising more than £60,000 for a young people’s charity.

Determined Hillary and her husband, Bill, were left heartbroken when Dr Jenny Bucknell suddenly died of an undiagnosed heart condition at 23.

When they attended her inquest, the coroner told them about charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, which aims to provide free heart tests to young people in order to detect underlying heart conditions. “When Jenny died, we really struggled with the grief, it was out of the blue, so unexpected,” Hillary said. “We have done some fundraising for charities in the past but when we heard about CRY we knew we wanted to help.”

Jenny had just qualified as a doctor and had started her first job when she died. Hillary said her sudden death had a huge impact on her family, friends and colleagues.

“Jenny’s death really hit a lot of people hard, especially the doctors she worked with – there was a ripple effect. They couldn’t have detected Jenny’s condition and I think that is what hurt everyone the most.”

The dedicated grandparents set up Jenny’s Fund in 2011 to raise money for the charity.

Hillary started busking on the streets and the couple has hosted a number of charity events over the years to top up Jenny’s Fund. Since they started fundraising six years ago, the couple has raised more than £60,000 which has allowed them to buy two new ECG screening machines for the charity.

To date, Jenny’s Fund has screened more than 700 young people with a further 200 scheduled for March 2018. “It costs £5,000 a day to screen 100 young people but it makes such a difference,” Hillary said. “People think that mobile heart screening is available on the NHS. Its not, its all funded by CRY.”

To raise more funds, Hillary will be playing Christmas carols and folk music outside Tesco in Ilminster on December 22-23 but said this will be her last festive show.

She said: “I have been performing outside Tesco for the last few years but this year will be my last. My arthritis has got worse over the year so the doctor has advised me to slow down, but it won’t stop me from doing my bit.”

“Over the years I have made hundreds of jars of jams and marmalades and sold them at fetes and events in Ilminster so hopefully I can carry on doing that.

“The tests that CRY gives can save lives and I am so glad our fundraising has meant more people can get treatment.

“I hope that plenty of people come and say hello to us while I’m performing.

“I am hoping to surpass last year’s total and raise more than £600 for CRY, every penny in our pots and buckets goes towards screening for young people and could save a life.”

Hillary and Bill will be outside Tesco in Ilminster from 9am on December 22.