Olive Cooke death: 92 year-old Poppy seller ‘was not hounded by charities’, says granddaughter


Claire Hayhurst
Thursday 21 May 2015 01:38 BST

One of Britain’s oldest and longest-serving poppy sellers who died after jumping into Avon Gorge earlier this month had a history of depression but was not overly concerned about the number of letters she received from charities.

Olive Cooke, 92, was found dead by police on 6 May. An inquest that opened on 20 May heard that she died from multiple injuries.

Despite reports that she had been overwhelmed by letters from charities soliciting donations, her granddaughter said that she had left a “beautiful note” explaining the reasons for her death which had mentioned depression and issues involving being elderly.

Jessica Dunne, 37, a nurse from Hastings, also said the pensioner would have wanted charity work to be “promoted”. “She believed that charities are the backbone to our communities,” Ms Dunne said.

Coroner’s officer Linda Grove told the hearing that Mrs Cooke, a widow and retired postlady, was pronounced dead by a paramedic. “This lady had long-term issues with periodic depression and low mood,” Ms Grove said.

Terence Moore, assistant coroner for Avon, added: “I understand there are a couple of notes left by Mrs Cooke which would need to be authenticated by a member of her family.” Mr Moore adjourned the hearing for a full inquest on 16 July.

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