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Community hero Connie retires from Upminster charity work after 25 years

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 December 2017

Connie Hawkins and family outside the Rainbow Trust charity shop in Corbets Tey Road, Upminster.

Connie Hawkins and family outside the Rainbow Trust charity shop in Corbets Tey Road, Upminster.

Archant

A much loved charity worker and pillar of the Upminster community has announced she is retiring after 25 years helping raise money for worthy causes.

Visitors to the Rainbow Trust charity shop in Corbets Tey will be more than familiar with the friendly face of Connie Hawkins, a sight that will sadly no longer greet them as they enter the store.

Ms Hawkins, who announced her retirement this week, thanked both the Recorder and the wider Havering community for their “loyal support” over the last quarter of a century.

In a touching farewell letter, the 81-year-old wrote: “After a great deal of thought and deliberation I have sadly decided to retire from my charity work.

“It has been 25 years since I first started at St Francis Hospice shop and then in 2009 opening the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity Shop in Corbets Tey Road.

“I say “I” but in fact it was a great team effort and what a loyal team you have always been, many of you being with me for all 25 years.

“To you all I say from the bottom of my heart a big thank you for all your support and hard work in making the shop a success and I know we will remain friends.

“This thank you also includes my wonderful husband Tony and my family whose support has meant so much to me, and lastly to you the public for your generous donations and the customers for their loyal support.

“I wish the shop continuous success in the future.”

Last year, Connie’s tireless fundraising was recognised by then Mayor of Havering Councillor Brian Eagling with one of the borough’s Civic Awards.

At the time, he said: ““The Civic Awards are a small way of recognising the tremendous contribution people make to our community here in Havering.

“Each one was nominated by other residents who appreciate the work they do and I was delighted to present them with these special certificates.”

Now, Connie is looking ahead to December 21, when she will be celebrating her 60th wedding anniversary.

The Recorder would like to wish her a happy and fruitful retirement.

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