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Local fundraisers praised for decade of dedication

TWO women from Frome have received long-service awards in recognition of their continued support for vulnerable children.

For the last 10 years, Val Harris and Margaret Croud have been volunteers at the Barnardo’s shop in Kingsway Precinct in Frome.

The women have donated over 7,000 hours of their own time to help with sorting the stock and serving the customers.

Margaret, a former nurse said, “Ever since I was a little girl, my family had always supported good causes in support of vulnerable children.

“I’m a people person so it suited my personality to volunteer in a busy shop. I’ve done everything from sorting stock and steaming clothes to serving behind the till.

“It’s a lovely atmosphere. We have fun with each other and we joke with the customers. It’s wonderful.”

Val, who came from a secretarial background, said, “I had too much time on my hands and wanted to do something where I could get out and meet people.

“It’s nice to have the flexibility to come and go as I want, but we always offer extra hours if needed.

“I’ve got a particular interest in all sorts of art so I’m often asked to look at some of the pictures and paintings.

“But I’ve also found some surprises – I’ve gone through the bags of donations and found a set of false teeth, a half-eaten sandwich and even a mankini!”

To mark their decade of dedication, and in advance of national Volunteers’ Week (June 1-7), they received certificates and flowers from shop manager Judith Loughlin.

Judith said, “Margaret and Val have made such a valuable contribution to the success of the shop and we’d struggle without their generous support.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to work alongside them.”

The Barnardo’s shop is open Monday-Saturday from 9.00am-5.30pm and on Sundays from 10.00am-4.00pm.

The team always welcomes donations of good-quality clothes, books, toys, games, accessories and bric-a-brac, as well as offers of help from potential volunteers. Call (01373) 463513.