National award is surprise for Anne

A GREENFIELD woman has been left stunned after landing a national award for her voluntary service at charity Oxfam.

Anne Watson receiving award from Jane Randrup Oxfam Head of Retail

Anne Watson was dumbfounded when she was named as winner in the accountability category of the 2017-18 Trading Excellence awards.

The 74-year-old retired teacher received the honour after stepping up as manager of the group’s store in Oldham, where she has volunteered for the past 20 years.

A new full-time occupant is set to step into the role but the woman who was presented with the prize at the store by Oxfam’s head of retail Jane Randrup has no intentions of making her stand-in role permanent.

Just the shock of scooping the honour was enough.

“It was a big surprise,” said Anne, who lives on Manchester Road.

“I didn’t even know I’d been nominated!

“One of the previous managers and quite a few volunteers nominated me.

“I didn’t know anything about it and I was told that I’d won it!

“The accountability category is for things like stepping up and doing a bit more and I was happy to fill in when previous managers were on sick leave.

“But I don’t want to be full-time manager – I’m a 74-year-old retired teacher and normally I do two days a week.”

Anne, who used to teach in the Glodwick area of Oldham, said she was ‘recruited’ by a former colleague.

She is not the longest-serving volunteer. That honour goes to Mary Pendlebury, who has clocked up an astonishing 47 years at the Yorkshire Street store.

But Anne wants to see more coming in, adding: “It’s difficult to get a volunteer that will stay, normally people come for a week or two but without volunteers, the store will not open. The more we can get, the better.”

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