As well as being an avid fundraiser, Tony Harris is also a dedicated volunteer in the St Margaret’s Bridgwater Furniture Shop.
Tony has always had the volunteering bug, first of all helping out around the local school, turning his hand to anything from making repairs to planning the next fundraising event. Over time, Tony began looking for new volunteering opportunities in the local community.
Fatefully, he was in a café when he noticed the St Margaret’s Bridgwater Furniture shop. Fast-forward 2 weeks and he was busy volunteering, where he has stayed occupied for the last 3 years!
In 2015 Tony and his wife’s efforts were recognised when they received an MBE for their volunteering work. Tony is famous in the shop for his upcycling, taking tatty or broken items and giving them a new lease of life. If you visit the Bridgwater Furniture Shop you can find stylish planters and lots of repurposed furniture, waiting for a new home. “It’s great when something comes in broken and you fix it up to make it saleable,” says Tony.
Tony came to the Bridgwater Furniture Shop as a proactive person looking for a hobby, some company and a way to get out of the house, whilst giving something back. In return he enjoys the ‘brilliant atmosphere and company of lovely staff’. He enjoys ‘having a chat and a laugh with customers’ which is something people really value when they come into the shop.
As well as his endeavours in the shop, Tony now holds 2 Race Nights a year for St Margaret’s Hospice: “I’ll be doing another night soon. To me, it’s not hard work, I’m a bit of a showman!” The Race Nights are a hit and attract the local community while raising much-needed funds for St Margaret’s Hospice. This also gives Tony the opportunity to meet new people and ‘get out from under his wife’s feet’ for a few hours!
Tony feels that everyone should have a go at volunteering, “Go for it, it’s socially good as you meet so many new people and it keeps you active as well. There are so many different roles and projects people can choose to take on to grow their skillset. Volunteering doesn’t have to be just one thing, and at St. Margaret’s you can find something to suit everyone.”
On behalf of everyone at St Margaret’s Hospice, "THANK YOU" Tony.
If you are interested in volunteering in St Margaret's shops, please click here to see our current opportunities.