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Twenty one years of volunteering at Westbury shop by 90-year-old Joan!

Long-standing Wiltshire Air Ambulance shop volunteer Joan Eggleton has celebrated her 90th birthday.

Great grandmother Joan has been volunteering at the charity’s shop in Maristow Street, Westbury, since it opened 21 years ago and said she intends to carry on.

“I enjoy it and as long as the charity still want me to volunteer I will be here, although I never thought when I started here in 1998 that I would live this long!” she said.

“I like being able to help and chatting with the customers. The customers are lovely and enjoy coming in here.”

Joan, who has lived in Westbury all her life, volunteers four hours a week for the charity alongside her friend Elaine Cox.

Joan and Elaine both began volunteering at the shop when it opened on 15 March 1998 joining manager Dot Whitehead. Dot previously managed the British Red Cross charity shop in Westbury and both Joan and Elaine volunteered there.

The Wiltshire Air Ambulance shop is an integral part of Westbury and is well supported by the community. 

Joan said: “When the shop opened we hoped it would be successful and it has been. It seems to be getting busier and often the interest is continuous with people bringing stuff in for us to sell as well as buying items.

“Wiltshire Air Ambulance is a wonderful service. It has helped so many people, including my brother who was airlifted three years ago when he had a heart attack. Although he didn’t survive the crew gave him the best chance.

“In our county we need Wiltshire Air Ambulance and I’m proud to do what I can by volunteering at the shop in Westbury.”

Joan, a widow, lives with her son, Tony, and has two other sons, five grandchildren (one deceased) and 12 great grandchildren.

She celebrated her birthday with her family on Wednesday (24 July). As well as volunteering at the Wiltshire Air Ambulance shop, Joan is a member of The Thursday Club in Westbury.

Claire Kelly, people and wellbeing manager at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “Joan embodies the spirit that makes our Westbury charity shop what it is. She is always there with a smile on her face and is a pleasure to be around.

“The customers love her and we are really fortunate that Joan has dedicated two decades of her life to support Wiltshire Air Ambulance. By volunteering her time she has helped us raise vital funds enabling our helicopter and crew to save lives.”

Joan is the oldest volunteer at the Westbury shop and manager Carrie Aldous said: “Joan is lovely, she’s always helpful and is very supportive of what we do. We get regular customers visiting the shop when Joan volunteers and they enjoy having a natter with her.”

If you have been inspired by Joan and would like to volunteer at the Westbury shop please contact Carrie on 01373 822318 or email hello@wiltshireairambulance.co.uk

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