MEMBERS of the volunteer team at Helensburgh’s Oxfam shop have been named the best in the UK.

The team from the Colquhoun Square store were named the ‘team of the year’ in the charity’s Trading Excellence Awards in June.

And trading director Andrew Horton visited the town last week to present a certificate to the shop’s volunteers, and to manager Graham Newport, at a celebratory lunch held in the Helensburgh Parish Church halls complex.

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Several of the charity’s Helensburgh volunteers have been helping out at the shop for more than a decade – the longest serving, Margaret Thwaites, has been part of the team for more than 25 years – while the long-serving helpers have been joined more recently by a number of Hermitage Academy pupils keen to learn skills which they can put to good use when they leave school, as well as to give something back to their community.

Academy head teacher Robert Williamson was among those invited along to last Wednesday’s event to celebrate the team’s success, while the charity’s area manager, Brenda Waiton, was also present to give her congratulations.

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Oxfam has a network of around 650 shops in towns and cities across the UK, selling good quality used clothes, books, furniture, music, souvenirs and more to support the charity in its fight against poverty, raising funds for emergency response and development work all over the world.

Mr Horton said: “I was delighted to present Oxfam Helensburgh with the certificate for ‘Team of the Year’.

“Oxfam’s Trading Excellence Awards are an opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate our 24,000 dedicated shop volunteers and the invaluable contribution they make to end poverty around the world.

“This year the brilliant team in Helensburgh, led by manager Graham, have gone above and beyond with a number of successful events and creative window displays to engage their local community.

"I congratulate them on this well-deserved award.”

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