Friday, 19 August 2022

Volunteers recognised for years of service

VOLUNTEERS at Henley’s two Oxfam shops have been presented with certificates for years of hard work

VOLUNTEERS at Henley’s two Oxfam shops have been presented with certificates for years of hard work and dedication to the charity.

A dozen people were given the awards by head of retail Ian Matthews at a volunteer recognition day at Henley town hall on Thursday last week.

They included David Partrick, who has worked at the bookshop in Duke Street for 17 years and is set to leave with his wife Jill to continue volunteering at shops in Oxford.

Mr Partrick, of Woodcote, is the shop’s music volunteer. He said: “There’s a wonderful team spirit in the Duke Street shop and quite a few of us have received recognition today but there’s a lot more people there who’ve been there for quite a few years and in the future it’ll be their turn.

“Oxfam is a very worthwhile cause and without volunteers its income would be much reduced so it’s nice to know it’s appreciated. The music team evaluate donations of music products from vinyl records through to instruments which the shop then sells.”

Tricia Rackham, who has volunteered for the charity for 16 years, said: “It shows that you’re appreciated but we don’t need an award. I’d been living in Cambridge and I’d come back to Henley and it was a good way of getting back into the swing of things.”

Mrs Rackham, who lives in War Memorial Place, added: “There’s lots of friendship, lots of fun and we laugh a lot.”

Jackie Lock, of South Avenue, Henley, said: “I’m very pleased. It’s nice to think you’re appreciated and I like a bit of attention. It’s very important for people like myself to come forward and help out. We couldn’t afford to pay everybody and the shop wouldn’t run without volunteers.”

Mrs Lock said she volunteered for 12 years and enjoyed the company it offered, while Abigail Peters, who lives in Mount View, Henley, has volunteered for two years. She said: “It’s lovely — I sort and fix and make some of the jewellery.”

Mr Matthews said: “Our shop network raises around £25 million a year. They are the absolute life blood. We don’t have lots of paid staff in shops. We have up to one full—time manager but in some shops it’s a part—time manager supported by 40 volunteers.

“We use the skills and experience that volunteers bring from their backgrounds to raise the money. This is to thank them for all their hard work.”

Other volunteers who received certificates were Ali Jinman, Anne Bird, Bruce King, Kevin Stenson, Philip Needham, Libby Allen and Jan West.

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