Norwich charity shop celebrates 90-year-old volunteer’s landmark

Christmas celebrations at a Dereham Road charity shop have started early this year to commemorate the shop's longest serving volunteer's 10th anniversary.

Gladys Podmore is still going strong with two shifts a week at the Break shop at the age of 90.

And yesterday staff at the store enjoyed a few treats to celebrate.

They have decorated the shop's front window in a Victorian Christmas style to mark the occasion and gave out some fun awards to staff for their work this year.

Mrs Padmore, who lives near to the shop on Dereham Road, said: 'I live alone and my family are all grown up so what do I do with my time? It gives me company and makes you feel wanted, and I do enjoy it as well.

'I serve customers and have done pretty much everything in the shop over the years but it is meeting people and having a chat with them.

'It gives you a feeling of doing a good duty because a lot of the people that come in here are lonely themselves, so I enjoy speaking to them.'

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Mrs Padmore has four daughters, 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren and has been pleased to work with Break - which provides holidays and respite care for children and adults with learning disabilities - as the charity helped her family in the past.

She added: 'Years and years ago I had two little grandsons who were helped by break, who had Sanfilippo syndrome (a metabolism disorder). One of them went to a home in Sheringham and the other went to one in Hunstanton to give their parents a break.

'So it's good to work for Break but I get the benefits because it's what keeps my going at my age I suppose.'

Mrs Padmore previously did volunteer work for 10 years with Age Concern around Norwich so is a well-known volunteer locally.

Manager of the Dereham Road Break shop, Tracey Lee, added: 'Gladys used to do three morning a week, she now taken that down to two, but she is just brilliant for her age.'

Do you know someone approaching a special anniversary? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or

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