A devoted volunteer has been rewarded for 20 years service at a Sudbury charity shop.
Alexandra Mitchell, 81, of Melford Road, has volunteered at the PDSA charity shop in North Street since retiring.
“I’ve always worked,” said Mrs Mitchell. “And I didn’t want to just sit around.”
Before moving to Sudbury, Mrs Mitchell lived in London, where she worked at renowned jewellers Cameo Corner.
She often served high-profile customers, including Elizabeth Taylor and Mick Jagger.
“It was the sort of jewellers where you never knew who would be coming through the door,” said Mrs Mitchell.
After moving to Sudbury in 1981, she stopped commuting to London and ran a three-bedroom B&B for 10 years.
She retired in 1995 and volunteered at the Sue Ryder charity store, where she spent four years.
Mrs Mitchell, who is an animal lover, then volunteered at PDSA for two days a week.
“I’ve always loved cats – I’m a great cat lover,” she said.
Mrs Mitchell would recommend volunteering to anyone who is retired, as it has social benefits along with helping a good cause.
“You hear about people who sit at home and don’t do anything – it can be lonely,” she said.
“But you meet people through volunteering and I would recommend it.”
Mrs Mitchell enjoys customers visiting the shop to have a chat and, as a result, she has become a good listener.
“It’s like a social network,” she said. “It keeps your brain going.”
Volunteers are recognised for their service every five years.
Mrs Mitchell has received four certificates over the last 20 years, and was honoured with her fifth by the charity yesterday.