THE manager of Cats Action Trust charity shop at 9 Bath Road, Ruth Rixon, took her well-earned retirement on 29th June after 21 years of dedicated service.
Ruth reminisced about the time when she first joined the feline protection charity in 1998 when the shop was then located in Union Street. She started as a regular volunteer before becoming its co-shop manager alongside Val Coyne. When the latter retired six years ago, Ruth took over the management of the busy shop on her own, looking after a team of several volunteers.
Her job was time consuming as she was responsible for sorting out donated items of clothing, accessories and bric-à-brac, pricing these, keeping the shop clean and tidy and ensuring its smooth day-to-day running, liaising with customers and shop-helpers and often working evenings and weekends. Her husband and her mother, Joyce, also assisted her; Joyce worked in the shop twice a week for 15 years until the age of 84.
Ruth was also a cat fosterer for 18 years, rescuing abandoned cats and kittens and matching them with suitable permanent homes. Ruth, then a charity trustee, was very involved in the running of the charity. The charity says, “It cannot be underestimated how much her contribution has been valued by the trust, which is entirely run by a group of enthusiastic volunteers and depends on the proceeds of its only one shop and public donations for its subsistence.”
Ruth said she really enjoyed her time running the shop despite it representing challenges at times. She said it gave her a real sense of achievement and she was very touched by all the positive comments received from its visitors. Ruth thanked all the supporters of the shop for their generous donations of quality goods and for all its loyal customers.
Asked what she was going to with her time, Ruth said she was looking forward to taking a well-deserved rest, enjoying the company of her four grandchildren and going on holiday with her family.
Tracy Waldron and Karine Chevalier-Watts, both committee members and shop helpers, presented Ruth with a card signed by all the volunteers, as well as a gardening voucher and a bunch of flowers, as tokens of the organisation’s appreciation of her work.
If you would like to volunteer for Cats Action Trust please send your details to: catsactiontrust.org.uk.