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East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices returns to Long Stratton store 12 months after breaking pelvis

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An 82-year-old charity shop volunteer has returned to action just 12 months after breaking her pelvis.

Olive Duffield, a long-serving volunteer at East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (Each), was forced to take a year out after suffering her injury in early 2021.

The soon-to-be great-grandmother also suffered a bout of shingles but was always determined to return to the shop in Long Stratton, where she has been a regular fixture for more than a quarter of a century.

Olive Duffield (left) with Long Stratton shop manager Rachael Fretter. Picture: EACH (56260341)
Olive Duffield (left) with Long Stratton shop manager Rachael Fretter. Picture: EACH (56260341)

“I’m as good as I’m going to be,” said the grandmother-of-four, who lives in Tharston with her husband of 56 years, Michael.

“I never thought about not coming back – it was always something I wanted to do.

“I wanted to get back in the shop as soon as possible because it’s something I’ve always enjoyed. I don’t get to see many people so I enjoy the chance to chat with customers.

“It gets me out and I like the sense of helping others. The more money we take the better, because of the charity we’re supporting.

“I’ve known many of our customers for years and seen children grow up, now coming into the shop with their own little ones.

“There have been so many changes but it’s something I continue to enjoy and would recommend to anyone.”

She is now back, dutifully giving up two hours a week every Friday morning.

Long Stratton shop manager Rachael Fretter added: “Olive’s a very valued and much-loved member of our team.

“To have been volunteering for a quarter of a century is outstanding and she’s shown sheer determination to come back, despite injury and illness.

“She was always so positive about returning and it’s great to see her back behind the till.

“We’ve really missed her and she’s settled in like she’s never been away. Our customers know and love her. She’s got so many stories to tell and is an absolute treasure here in Long Stratton.”

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