Debbie’s bowing out, but she will still be on the team at Oxfam

Oxfam manager Debbie Birdsey is leaving her job

Oxfam manager Debbie Birdsey is leaving her job - Credit: Archant

The well-known face of a Hitchin town centre charity shop is set to retire at the end of the month.

Oxfam shop manager Debbie Birdsey is saying farewell after after four years with the charity, including three as boss of the Market Place store.

Debbie told the Comet: “I have loved every minute of my time here. It’s a very challenging job but a very rewarding one, too.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our lovely loyal customers, and of course our great group of volunteers.

“I was lucky enough to retire at the age of 52 – but I hated retirement so I returned to the world of work and ended up at Oxfam.

“I will be 65 this year and the time has come to slow down a little – although I will still be volunteering at the shop in my retirement!

“As someone who moved to Hitchin from London the shop has been a great place to meet new people. It’s very much like a community hub.

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“The donations we have had over the years have been tremendous – I’ve been regularly staggered by how generous Hitchin people are.

“It really does restore your faith in humanity and the kindness of strangers. It has been humbling at times.

“I wish the new manager well. If I had a message to pass on I would say to them: ‘Yes, it’s hard work and you have to be quick on your feet – but it’s a fantastic job, and a very enjoyable one.’ I leave with a lot of happy memories.

“We always have lots of interesting donations. For example only this week we had someone give us a Hornby railway engine and lots of track which should be popular.

“We have also come across so many weird and wonderful donations in my time – the strangest item I recall we had donated was a pair of cacti planting tongs.

“It’s testament to our team we sold them, which shows we aren’t doing too badly – as there can’t be too many cactus plants growing wild in Hitchin!”