Local volunteer bows out after a dozen years

Published: December 18, 2014

Margaret Middleton (right) with Dagenham Heathway manager Lynn Evans and Chief Executive Peter Ellis

82 year-old Margaret Middleton has finally decided to call it a day after volunteering for the last 12 years at the Richard House Children’s Hospice shop at Dagenham Heathway.

Margaret, who also spent time volunteering at the Richard House shop in Hornchurch, began volunteering when her husband became ill in 2002. Dagenham born and bred, Margaret says: “I felt I just needed to help out, even if it was just for one morning a week.”

“I saw the Richard House shop and came in and asked if I could come and give them some of my time. It was the best decision I made and it has made all the difference.”

“I remember when I first started volunteering, I bought my husband a book and a cabinet for his toy soldiers and he loved it. I think over the years I must have been one of the best shoppers at Richard House too!”

She says the best thing about volunteering has been the people. “I love talking to the people that come in. They ask me if they have a problem and I can help them with that. It’s a really nice feeling, and it helps that I have nice people to work with!”

Margaret has some advice for others considering volunteering: “You won’t look back, come in and join the family. I’ve really enjoyed every minute of it.”

She is now planning to spend some more time with her grandchild and do more reading, but promises she will be back to visit the shop. “I’m definitely going to come back and say ‘hello’.”

Peter Ellis, Chief Executive of Richard House said: “Volunteers like Margaret are the unsung heroes of Richard House and their efforts are truly appreciated. She has been an inspirational volunteer and the effort and dedication shown by her in the shop has made a real difference to children with life-limiting conditions and their families.”

If you would like to volunteer at one of the six Richard House shops please pop into your nearest one for a chat.

Pictured: Margaret Middleton (right) with Dagenham Heathway manager Lynn Evans and Chief Executive Peter Ellis