The A-Team: meet the volunteers who help Poole charity shop thrive

Bournemouth Echo: BIG WIN: Karen Pothecary, centre, manager at  the Scope shop  with Paul Hartford  and his national Volunteer of the Year award and long serving volunteers BIG WIN: Karen Pothecary, centre, manager at the Scope shop with Paul Hartford and his national Volunteer of the Year award and long serving volunteers

MEET the A-Team. That’s Poole charity shop manager Karen Pothecary calls her team of volunteers – one of whom has just been presented with a national award.

Paul Hartford, 48, won greatest contribution to Scope at a ceremony in London after just 16 months of volunteering at the branch in Ashley Road, Upper Parkstone.

“Paul has cerebral palsy and lives in supported accommodation. He’d never had a voluntary job before he came into our shop, but he’s really good at selling raffle tickets. He talks to the customer and makes them laugh,” said Karen.

“He just fell into this slot and is a fantastic asset to our team. Since I came here 16 months ago, we have gone from 11 volunteers to 27. Seventy-five per cent of them are people with different kinds of disabilities. This is a busy shop and the turnover of stock is massive. Without the team, we couldn’t do it. We’re always recruiting.”

Paul was invited to lunch at the Hilton Hotel and had a guided tour of new London landmark the Shard before being presented with his trophy and £100.

Other members of its volunteer team include Paul Burrows and Suckrain Cairns, who have both been given 10 year long service awards, and Diane Alderman, who has clocked up five years.

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