‘Why I volunteer for St Richard’s Hospice’

“My heart is here and it always will be” – says a long-serving volunteer who continues to work in a hospice shop aged 99.

And after more than a decade of volunteering for St Richard’s Hospice, Evesham-born Dorothy Barnett shows no sign of stopping.

Mrs Barnett, who celebrated her birthday in January, is the hospice’s oldest volunteer and has been giving her time to the Worcester charity since 2006.

“I just look forward to the days volunteering here for St Richard’s Hospice,” said the great-grandmother.

“I feel we are helping people that need help. My heart is here and it always will be.”

Mrs Barnett volunteers up to four times a week at the shop in Evesham High Street, sorting donations from the public, and has made friends in her role.

“I enjoy the sorting and finding the good things,” she explained. “There are exciting things that have come in – you think: ‘my gosh we’re so lucky’.”

The nonagenarian first began volunteering in charity shops aged 40 and has supported a number of causes – along with managing her family’s grocery shop for 10 years.

She also previously worked at Evesham Hospital as Domestic Supervisor and was a keen swimmer in her youth.

When asked her secret to keeping active in her nineties, she said: “I put it down to willpower and having the right genes.”

Mrs Barnett has two daughters, two grandchildren and one great-grandson.

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Sarah Dawes