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National award for “exceptional” volunteers

Hardworking Frome volunteers have received a national award in recognition of their outstanding dedication and commitment.

Children’s charity Barnardo’s has presented the Marsh Trust Award 2014 to the shop in Kingsway Precinct.

The accolade is normally given to an individual, but the judges were impressed by the achievements of the whole team.

Several of the volunteers attended the charity’s recent AGM in London to receive the award.

It will be shared with the rest of the team back in Frome on Tuesday 9th December at 4.45pm.

They were nominated by Barnardo’s manager Judith Loughlin after both she and her deputy fell ill last year. Although cover was provided by other staff from elsewhere, the local volunteers worked longer hours than normal in order to ensure the shop remained successful.

Judith said, “Our volunteers are the core around which the rest of the shop revolves, and I was amazed by how they rallied around during such a difficult time. They were loyal and steadfast.

“Despite the wide range of ages and abilities, they all worked together and donated extra hours to maintain the charity’s income – receiving donations, sorting and pricing the stock, placing it on display and serving customers.

“During the busiest period they were receiving around 200 bags of donations each week but they never complained. They just wanted to carry on raising as much money as possible for vulnerable and disadvantaged children.”

The current team consists of 32 volunteers aged from 15 to 84 years old, who in the last six months alone provided more than 3,900 hours of help. During the same period they received a total of more than 5,700 bags of donations from the local community.

Judith added, “We are so lucky to have such a dedicated team who are so cheerful and funny. We are constantly being told that they’ve created such a nice environment – if this was a café instead of a charity shop I don’t think the customers would ever leave!

“The volunteers are an exceptional group of people. They take pride in their work and the money they raise.

“They are amazing ambassadors for Barnardo’s and they deserved recognition for going the extra mile.”

The Barnardo’s Frome shop is open Monday-Saturday from 9.00am-5.00pm and on Sundays from 10.00am-4.00pm.

The team always welcome donations of good-quality clothes, books, toys, games, bric-a-brac and accessories, as well as offers of help from potential volunteers.

Call (01373) 463513 or visit