Derry St Vincent de Paul shop volunteer Margaret Sweeney has won a ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Award in recognition of her long service and warm welcome for all customers.
Margaret won the award for the Northern Ireland region at the charity’s national awards ceremony in Galway.
Speaking as she presented Margaret with the title, Anne Crossan, Area Manager for SVP in Northern Ireland, said: “Margaret has been a Volunteer with Vincent’s Derry for the past 18 years. She has a very bubbly personality and is very much a people person which is a great asset for her role.
“She welcomes each customer as they come through the door and can be heard shouting things like, ‘Customers customers, we have lots of bargains today. Look at this gorgeous chest of drawers, now seriously this is a steal for £40!’ You wouldn’t believe this lady has just turned 70 too!
“Margaret is very popular with the customers and knows all the regulars by name. It is quite notable how busy the shop is when she is on duty as she has quite a fan base . They love her sense of humour and the atmosphere is always fun and light hearted with her. She has been known to model items herself and strut through the shop to entertain everyone.”
Anne Crossan said Margaret’s enthusiasm is infectious, but added that the Derry volunteer also provides a listening ear to customers who feel they need to share their worries or concerns.
“As a vital member of the team, we are thrilled to see her being officially recognised for her hard work, loyalty, support and dedication to Vincent’s Derry and to Vincent’s as a whole.”