Veteran volunteers celebrate outstanding commitment to charity shop

From left, Betty Sheehan, Margaret Parson, who was 90 on August 24, Sandie King, who will be 70 shortly, Linda Green and Carol Walters 
Picture: Keith Woodland (161234-003)
From left, Betty Sheehan, Margaret Parson, who was 90 on August 24, Sandie King, who will be 70 shortly, Linda Green and Carol Walters Picture: Keith Woodland (161234-003)
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THEIR lunch outings have become a thing of routine, but a group of volunteers’ latest trip to their favourite pub brought two special causes for celebration.

Sandra King and Margaret Parsons enjoyed fish and chips at the Bluebell Inn in Emsworth to celebrate their milestone birthdays.

Sandra, who turned 70 earlier this month, volunteers alongside Margaret Parsons, who was 90 years old on Wednesday, at a charity shop in Emsworth supporting The Rowans’ Hospice.

The hospice, which first opened in Waterlooville in 1994, offers end-of-life support and care to people suffering from cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.

Margaret and Sandra, who are known as the ‘Wednesday girls’ after the day they work in the shop, have contributed over the last seven years.

Sandra said: ‘I always look forward to going into the shop each week.

‘It’s wonderful inside with the amount of books they have in there, I still remember all the times I would go in there as a customer.’

Sandra is no stranger to working for charitable causes, volunteering for Help The Aged (now known as Age UK) for an impressive 12 years.

Now only a short walk away from the Bluebell, Sandra admires the quayside location of her and her friends’ favourite lunch spot.

Grabbing a bite to eat with friend Carol Walters and fellow volunteer Betty Sheehan, Margaret and Sandra tucked into an indulgent seafood lunch.

She said: ‘The lunch yesterday was lovely, it’s always wonderful.

‘The bit of fish I had was so big it was spilling off of my plate!’

Su Gallard, who manages the Emsworth charity shop, commended the girls’ outstanding commitment to the cause since the shop opened in 2009.

She said: ‘They’ve been absolutely brilliant. They’re part of a team of volunteers who make a fantastic contribution to the charity and are extremely valued.’