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From 1 to 12 June marks the annual National Volunteers’ Week, which celebrates and recognises the value of volunteers across the UK. Here, we are celebrating some of our own amazing volunteers by telling their stories. Get ready to be inspired!

(Top row: Lee Newman, Ann Lonie, Kevin Cleightonhills, Dawn Francis. Bottom row: Ann Hemmel, Betty Watson, Graeme Scott, James Felkins)

Area manager Jane Rice on volunteer Kevin Cleightonhills...

“Kevin started volunteering in Ryde in June 2010. He had suffered a brain injury four years earlier in an accident and at the time it was uncertain if he would survive. He was left with memory problems and suffers from fatigue. When he first started he used to process stock accompanied by a carer. Over the last six years his confidence has developed a lot and he now comes on his own. He works on the till twice a week, which he really enjoys. He is so cheerful, polite and popular with the customers. It is a pleasure to work with him and witness him progress to where he is now.”

Area manager Salvador Fernandez on volunteer Dawn Francis...

“Dawn has worked at the West Wickham shop for seven years. She helps out regularly, she is always smiling and happy to help customers. Dawn is a high achieving volunteer who's great at getting people to sign up to Gift Aid. She is one of the reasons why West Wickham regularly hits its targets.”

Shop manager Suzanne Connelly on volunteer Betty Watson...

“Betty is an incredible lady. At 84, she could put a 25 year old to shame; she has the energy of someone less than half her age! She is loyal to the shop team and to the Salvation Army. Betty is tireless in her efforts, always doing her best to raise funds for a charity she loves, and always with an infectious smile. Betty is also a mini celebrity in the area, known for her home baking, dancing with anyone who’s willing, and making people laugh. I am humbled to have Betty as part of my team. She embodies everything our charity stands for, always going that extra mile – and in fact, Betty would probably consider a mile far too short a distance to go.”

Area manager Ann Penny on volunteer Ann Hemmel...

“Ann has never missed doing her two days-a-week in the last four years, and it shows her great commitment to our shop.”

Shop manager Yvonne Donkin on volunteer Lee Newman...

“Lee travels about 12 miles to get to the shop and has never let us down. He has been a real asset to the shop team as a volunteer. I trust him implicitly with everyday tasks because he’s shown real skill in every area of running a charity shop. He’s got a brilliant rapport with customers and he is genuinely someone who loves his job. Lee is also very creative – he writes music and is a graphic artist, so because of him, we always have great music playing and a wonderful window display!”

Area manager Nicola Crawford on volunteer Graeme Scott...

“Graeme has been volunteering with us for four years and he helps as a volunteer driver. Graeme is a single parent which in itself takes up a lot of his time but every week he makes sure he devotes a Tuesday and a Thursday to collecting donations for our Dumfries charity shop. He’s fantastic at reminding our donors to sign up to Gift Aid if they can, which means we are always able to raise more money. When he’s not out on the road, he also helps the shop team with processing donations.

Shop manager Lisa Kimberley on volunteer James Felkins...

“James is very passionate about working for The Salvation Army and knows a great deal about the charity. He volunteers most weeks, often giving his time on a full-time basis to help our shop to achieve its potential. He not only supports at Halesowen, but he also helps at our other shops within the local area when they are short of staff. James is somewhat of a shop celebrity, and he’s often asked after by customers when he’s not around. He provides the selection of music mixes in the shop, which creates a lovely atmosphere – customers have even been known to dance around in the shop, such is their delight at the choice of music! James never fails to remember that an army marches on its stomach too, and on many mornings, he’ll arrive early to prepare tea, coffee and toast for his fellow colleagues and volunteers! The shop could simply not function without James.”

Managing director Trevor Caffull on volunteer Ann Lonie...

“There can be few, if any, among our number who can claim to have been part of the organisation for the entirety of its 25 year history. Astonishingly, her service throughout that entire period of time has been unpaid – she has worked unbroken as a volunteer. Working within the Edinburgh area of shops, this remarkable lady is a unique ambassador for volunteering in The Salvation Army and is a very special lady indeed.”