Peggy wins top volunteer award

Peggy Bainbridge at the awards ceremony

Peggy Bainbridge at the awards ceremony

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A Tring charity volunteer has won a national award.

Peggy Bainbridge has been named Volunteer of the Year in the national Charity Retail Awards, for her 24 years of fundraising for Rennie Grove Hospice Care, in Tring.

Peggy, aged 85, is entirely responsible for the creation of today’s Rennie Grove Hospice Care trading empire, which started from a small market stall in 1992.

Aware that a small team of nurses were looking after terminally ill people in her community, Peggy had the inspiration and drive to set up and run a Friday morning market stall, selling mainly bric-a-brac, to raise money.

Her first week’s profit was £77, the next week’s £100.

Each Friday she would walk to the charity’s office and hand over her takings, never ceasing to lobby for a ‘proper’ shop.

Over time, Peggy’s stall became known in the community and became well supported with donations and sales.

Increasingly determined that the charity should open a shop, Peggy approached it with a proposal.

She found a retail premises in Tring and negotiated a reduced rent with the landlord.

This was Rennie Grove’s first shop and the birth of retail for the charity.

More than 850 volunteers now help the 24 shops, based in villages and communities where the charity provides nursing care, raising a third of its £6.5 million annual target.

The Charity Retail Awards were hosted by the Charity Retail Association (CRA), which represents charity shops in the UK, and compered by TV comedian Nish Kumar.

Chief executive of the Charity Retail Association, Robin Osterley, said: “Peggy is a game changer with her eye for a good deal, phenomenal social skills and ability to make contacts and new connections to raise as much income as possible.”