A 90-year-old Cats Protection volunteer has been honoured for her two decades helping out at the charity’s Sidmouth shop.
‘Inspiration’ Doreen Hiscocks marked the milestone having first started assisting at the High Street outlet shortly after her husband died in 2002.
And 20 years later she can still be found supporting customers, receiving donations and taking payments two afternoons a week.
Animal lover Doreen, who at one point had two dogs, two cats and a budgie, said: “I think it’s a jolly good thing to volunteer, it’s for a good cause, gets you out of the house and there’s always a smiling face.
“The shop feels like the heart of the community – everyone is so friendly.
“I always enjoy meeting people and chatting to them; friends sometimes pop by to buy things. There’s a real sense of familiarity and friendship.”
Doreen’s dedication was recognised with a striking bronze ‘Abigail’ cat statue honouring 20 years of volunteering and’ an exceptional contribution’ to the cause.
She added: “We had a lovely celebration for my 90th birthday and my volunteering milestone.
“We went to The Anchor and I had a cake specially made for me which had a cat and flowers on it, lots of birthday cards and I was presented with the cat sculpture, which now sits on a table by my television so I can see it every day.”
Doreen is keen member of All Saints Church and divides her time between this, the charity shop and a variety of women’s clubs.
She enjoys regular coffee mornings and opportunities to socialise and meet new friends.
Sidmouth Cats Protection assistant shop manager Julia Newill said: “Doreen is such an inspiration; she has a really full and busy life so we’re extremely grateful for the time she devotes to helping us in the shop.
“With her 20 years of experience, there’s nothing Doreen doesn’t know about the shop and our customers – she knows them and they know her so well.
“We are so lucky to have her as part of the team and it was wonderful to be able join her for such a remarkable celebration.”
To find out more about the shop, which is open from 9am-5pm on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Fridays, call 01395 513394 or visit during opening hours.