Volunteer Margaret Yates, who works at Bridgnorth’s Hope House Children’s Hospice charity shop, was a finalist for Volunteer of the Year in the prestigious Charity Retail Awards, widely considered the 'Oscars' of the charity shop world.

Margaret, known as Marg, is 80 years old, and lives in Broseley. She has volunteered at the shop for 20 years. She says she was overwhelmed to have been nominated and to have made the final. 

“I had to pinch myself when I heard. I didn’t even know I’d been nominated, so to be shortlisted from so many worthy volunteers was a shock. I was over the moon,” she said.

Marg travels on the bus to volunteer at the shop every Thursday, and helps out with extra shifts and events whenever she can.

She says: “I started working at the Hope House charity shop after I retired. A friend suggested I come along to help out, and I haven’t left since! I started working in the back, sorting, and then trained on the till. Being on the till is my favourite part of the job. You get to know the customers and hear their stories. There’s such a good atmosphere in the shop. Everyone’s so friendly.

“I’m very passionate about Hope House and the amazing work that the hospice does. I’ve visited the children’s hospice, near Oswestry, and it touched my heart. It makes you even more passionate about the work when you know where the money raised goes.

“I’ve done a zip wire challenge, run tombolas and been part on the Hope House float at Bridgnorth Carnival. For my 80th birthday party I asked guests to donate money instead of buying presents. I don’t need anything, so I thought the children and families who use Hope House would benefit much more than me. I was delighted to raise £560 from generous friends and family.”

Marg was nominated by shop manager Mandy Hill and is thrilled to be in the final three in the Volunteer of the Year category.

Mandy said: “Marg’s dedication over 20 years is second to none. She isn’t simply a volunteer, she’s a wonderful ambassador for Hope House and puts her heart and soul into working here. She’s understands the charity and can answer any questions from customers, whether about gifts in wills or how many shops we have.

“She has such a lovely way with everyone who comes into the shop. She is compassionate, always polite, and interested in what customers want.

“She gets involved with all our fundraising and even raised money through her 80th birthday party.

“No one deserves this more than Marg. Whatever the outcome at the ceremony, she’s an absolute winner in my eyes. We’re all very proud of her.”

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