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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Charities not to blame in Olive Cooke’s death

This news post is about 8 years old

​Granddaughter defends charities saying tragic fundraiser wouldn't want to portray them in a negative light

Charities played no part in the death of Olive Cooke, a member of her family has said.

The 92-year-old poppy seller killed herself in May with various media outlets speculating she had been hounded by cold calls from charities and direct mail shots.

However Olive’s granddaughter, Jessica Dunne, said it was wrong to portray her grandmother as "some kind of victim."

“All that wonderful work that she did – the stories saying she was killed by kindness are just not true. She was a very courageous, strong, determined woman with a real sense of justice," she said.

"She did decide to end her life and I wanted to make it quite clear that the family in no way feel that charity cold calling and letters and things were responsible.

"She did receive a lot and they were certainly a nuisance and certainly and irritation but no, in the grand scheme of getting old, there are so many problems to face.

“It's very complicated and also with the depression, it has been very over-simplified in the media."

An inquest into Olive's death was held last week, revealing she had left two notes before jumping from the Avon Gorge Bridge in Bristol.

Her family told the inquest she battled against depression for a number of years with her doctor also revealing she had suffered long-term illness from which she found it difficult to cope.



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