A UTTOXETER volunteer has retired at the grand age of 85 to spend more time with her family and garden after an impressive 20 years in a town charity shop.
Ena Preussner, of Greenacres, has worked as a volunteer at Scope for the last time but it was an occasion her friends and colleagues were not going to let pass without a celebration.
They all gathered at the High Street store for a party with a buffet and Mrs Preussner, who was a dinnerlady at a Checkley school for 30 years, was presented with flowers, gardening vouchers and a certificate.
She said: “I have enjoyed working here and I have made many friends. I am sad to be leaving but it is just because I am getting older and decided now is the time.
“I have got enough to keep me going as I enjoy gardening and looking after my great-granddaughter Ellie who is two-and-a-half.
“It has been a lovely send off and very unexpected because I have always enjoyed coming here for a cup of tea and a chat.
“I will keep coming back every so often to see my friends.” Store manager Adelle Homer said Mrs Preussner was an example to others with her dedication and hard work over the years.
She said: “I am sad to see her go but happy she will spend more time with her family and she is welcome to have a cup of tea with us any time.
“I am really pleased she has been here so long, it is a big achievement and a good example to set to everybody.
“This is a positive and happy place to work and we are always after donations and more volunteers.” Also celebrating last week was volunteer Pat Burndred who received a certificate for five years of offering her time to the store.
Nancy Fielding-Stubbs, part-time assistant store manager, said the happy working environment led to people staying for longer than they expect and the store is also good work experience for those wanting to get into the world of work.
She said: “It is a very happy working environment.
People would not stay as long as they do if it was not a lovely place to work.
“I only came here for a few weeks and I am still her four years later. It is not just about the charity as we also get involved in community events.
“We do need more volunteers as we are very busy at the moment.” Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer or wanting to make a donation are asked to visit the High Street store or phone 01889 566398.