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Celebrating retail excellence in our shops

Devon Air Ambulance Trust recently held its second annual internal Retail Awards, which celebrated retail excellence within the Charity.

Devon Air Ambulance Trust currently has 14 shops across the county, and is proud that all items sold have been wholly donated by the community which it serves.

Martin Bell, Retail Director of Devon Air Ambulance Trust said “Our annual awards are a way of promoting the fantastic work our retail team do day in, day out; from managers, assistant managers, support staff and volunteers, every team member plays an essential part in helping to raise funds needed to keep Devon’s two Air Ambulances flying.”

North Devon

Barnstaple Shop Manager Averil Kingdon has been honoured as Shop Manager of the Year for her dedication to duty.  Nothing is ever too much for Averil and when she is not in the shop you can often find her volunteering at events and attending cheque presentations. She was a major contributor in helping to set up the Charity’s new South Molton shop last year.

Barnstaple shop volunteer Janet Burden was also nominated as Retail Volunteer of the Year and was awarded a Certificate for this.  Colleagues say of Janet that she is so helpful and will always go that extra mile in order to help out.

Topsham has two Devon Air Ambulance charity shops.  Tom Robertson is the Assistant Manager for both and was awarded ‘Assistant Manager of the Year’. He has been with the Charity for 16 months.  Over the past year Tom has developed his role and been involved in areas outside his remit.  He has embraced social media using humour on the Topsham shop Facebook page in particular and has supported other less experienced members of the team in relation to digital media.  He is happy to volunteer and help out at events and get more involved which included taking part in the 2014 Commando Challenge.

Our Exmouth charity shop was rebranded in 2013 as a £1 shop. Manager Sue Redfern, Assistant Manager Judith Prytech and their fantastic family of volunteers embraced these changes and have made a huge success of this new initiative.  Having exceeded sales of £1,500 some weeks (that’s a lot of items!) this shop is also environmentally responsible selling items which may have otherwise ended up as landfill.


Newton Abbot/Torbay
The Innovation Award this year went to the Newton Abbot shop for their thinking outside of the box attitude and the creation and running of specialist events, which take place 3-4 times a year in the evening. This includes wedding and glamour and glitz evenings, where the shops effectively are stripped back and re set up as a specialist shop.  These evenings typically raise £800+ on top of what the shop already takes. The whole team gets involved.

Volunteer of the Year
Brian Gotts has been a volunteer for Devon Air Ambulance Trust for over 11 years, originally collecting boxes. During his time emptying boxes he has taken over £28,000!  For the past year Brian has also been one of our team of volunteer van drivers, helping with deliveries to and from the shops, delivering to members of the public who are putting on events and much more.  An invaluable member of the team!

Rosey Oakes, Volunteers Support Officer said "We are currently looking for volunteers to help in our shops. Could you spare some time? Volunteering has many advantages. It doesn't just give you that feel-good factor but it’s also a great way to learn new skills, enhance your CV and improve your employment prospects.  Volunteering has also been proved to increase your self-esteem and confidence and decrease depression.”

If you would you like to find out more about volunteering please get in touch with Rosey; ether by phone 01392 466666 or email Rosey

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