A GREAT grandmother has hung up her Marigolds and her mop for the last time at Haddington Day Centre.

Elza Sproul called it a day at the centre – where she was a cleaner – after 28 years’ service. A cream tea was held to mark the occasion before Elza was presented with a number of gifts from her now former colleagues.

Elza, 75, said: “It is a big change to retire after so many years but the staff and everyone were so nice putting on a lovely tea for me.

“I still go in and visit, I know them so well, they are like a community to me.”

Elza, of Haddington’s Lydgait, is already well-known throughout the community for her annual charity work.

More than 100 dolls have been sent out to children each year for the last nine years through Operation Christmas Child, which provides them to children around the world living in poverty.

Members of the public have donated dozens of dolls to her, with kind-hearted Elza then knitting outfits before the dolls are sent out to youngsters in time for Christmas.

She also collects shoeboxes to fill with dolls and other presents for children.

Elza said: “I am keeping busy knitting and filling shoeboxes already for this year. They are collected by the charity at the start of November so need to be ready.

“I am always looking for donations of dolls as they are getting harder to come by. They must be small enough to fit in a shoebox for transport.

“It’s a very worthwhile cause and close to my heart. For these children this might be all they receive at Christmas and when I think of what my children got, and grandchildren and now my great grandchildren, it keeps me helping the charity.”

And Elza revealed she has discovered a love of jigsaws along with her knitting and charity work now that she is retired.

Harriet Mulloy, assistant manager at the day centre, wished Elza well in her retirement.

She said: “Everybody had a nice collection for Elza and she is going to carry on her knitting for charity. We are getting the clients of the day centre to do that for her.”

To donate a doll or shoebox to Elza contact her via the day centre.