Service with a smile at the grand age of 90

HELPING HAND Vera Andrewartha is still enjoying her work at the age of 90.     Picture: Ian Hargreaves (111125-4)
HELPING HAND Vera Andrewartha is still enjoying her work at the age of 90. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (111125-4)
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MOST people look forward to putting their feet up when it comes to retiring – but 90-year-old Vera Andrewartha has no plans to sit back and take it easy.

For the past five years Vera has been working as a volunteer in her local Oxfam store in Pier Street, Lee-on-the-Solent.

And the pensioner, who recently celebrated her landmark birthday with friends and family, says she has no plans to stop working.

Vera, of Marine Parade East, said: ‘I volunteer in Oxfam twice a week and whenever I need to cover for someone. I love going there because I get to talk to different people.

‘I also get to dress the windows and I would like to carry on working here for as long as I can.

‘I still work in shillings and pence though, so it’s a good job they have a till to tell me what change I need to give.’

Joy Sellers, manager of the Oxfam store, had asked Vera if she would like to work in the shop, when she met her five years ago.

Joy said: ‘Vera had just moved down and I offered her a job so she could get to know people.

‘She’s always talking to the customers and it’s made a difference to her life.’

Vera, originally from Bushey, Hertfordshire, has never been shy of working.

The grandmother-of-seven and great-grandmother to 16 children trained to be a hairdresser when she was 14 years old.

‘I was a hairdresser for about 70 years,’ added Vera.

‘I’ve always enjoyed working and I like to keep myself busy.’

And when Vera is not working she enjoys many hobbies including flower arranging, sewing, knitting and cooking.

Her son Graeme, 63, of Spencer Lane, said: ‘It’s great she’s working and it’s what keeps her going and able to look after herself.

‘It keeps her mentally active. She is still very independent and does her own shopping.

‘We’re all very proud of her.’