Prestigious awards for volunteer who launched chain of charity shops

Peggy Bainbridge with her pair of awards

Peggy Bainbridge with her pair of awards

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A Tring charity volunteer has been recognised by two prestigious national awards.

Peggy Bainbridge, aged 85, has been awarded a British Citizen Award (BCA) and has also been named the Charity Retail Association’s Volunteer of the Year for her voluntary work for Rennie Grove Hospice Care.

The BCA recognises extraordinary achievements by ordinary people who have made a positive difference to the lives of others.

Volunteer and businesswoman Peggy, who owns 24 charity stores, received her medal at the Palace of Westminster on July 7.

Widowed with two young children in her late 30s, Peggy found out about a small team of nurses caring for terminally ill people in the community, and decided to set up a small market stall in 1992 to raise funds. As the stall grew in popularity, Peggy opened a store.

The retail arm of the charity now boasts 24 stores staffed by volunteers, raising a third of the charity’s £6.5 million annual budget.

Peggy still volunteers once a week at a depot used to sort and store donated items.

Peggy said: “The store may have turned into a business but it hasn’t lost its heart.

“People are still the reason for what we do every day.”

Peggy was nominated for the BCA by actor Geoffrey Palmer OBE, who is a Rennie Grove patron.

He said: “Peggy is quite simply an extraordinary person who, since its earliest days, has played a great part in the charity’s growth and success – more so than any other individual.

“She alone was responsible for the birth and expansion of its retail outlet.”