Celia retires after 16 years at charity shop

Celia Laverton leaving pres Air Ambulance Charity shop, Spalding'Celia Laverton with colleagues ANL-141218-133344001

Celia Laverton leaving pres Air Ambulance Charity shop, Spalding'Celia Laverton with colleagues ANL-141218-133344001

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Celia Laverton is retiring this Christmas, after 16 years of volunteering at Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust.

Celia, who is originally from Essex, began working at the shop in Spalding in 1998.

The shop, which was originally in Red Lion Street but now in the Sheepmarket, has raised a whopping £315,598 over the past six years alone.

Celia, who began working in the shop after she retired from her job in the health care sector, said: ““It wasn’t an easy decision to leave the shop as I really enjoy meeting all the lovely customers who pop in to pick up a bargain and help us raise money for the air ambulance.

“Over the years, I have made many new friends that I have met working here, both customers and other volunteers.”

It costs £1.8m a year to keep the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance flying.

The Spalding shop is only one of 15 in Lincolnshire and is consistently named as best performing shop.

Shops Co-ordinator for the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust Sally Marsh said: “We were so sad to hear from Celia that she was ready to retire.

“She has been the backbone of the Spalding shop for many years and has helped build an amazing team of volunteers.

“Not many people know that the air ambulance receives no direct funding from government, which is why we rely so much on our army of dedicated volunteers to raise funds.

“We will find it hard to replace Celia as she has been instrumental in the shop’s success, but we would love to welcome as many new volunteers as possible because, without our team of amazing volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to keep the air ambulance flying and fully equipped and carry on saving so many lives.”

Celia concluded: “I will miss all my friends and the camaraderie but, after 16 years, it is time for me to spend more time with my family and I know whoever comes to work here will have wonderful time, just like I did.

“After my husband died, the people I met at the shop kept me going.

“I would urge anyone looking for something to do in their spare time to give volunteering a go.”

If you are interested in volunteering for the charity, or you would like to donate, those who would like to donate should contact the Lincolnshire office on 01522 548469 or email volunteer coordinator Sue Walker on s.walker@ambucopter.org.uk