Founder of hospice retail group presented with British Citizen Award

Peggy Bainbridge receiving medal from Pat Egan
Peggy Bainbridge receiving medal from Pat Egan
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A volunteer and businesswoman has been recognised at the House of Lords for her outstanding contribution to community and business.

Peggy Bainbridge, 85, who created the Rennie Grove Hospice Care retail trading empire, has been presented with a British Citizen Award (BCA).

The BCA, in partnership with InMoment, recognises extraordinary achievements by everyday people who have made a positive difference to the lives of others that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Peggy, who owns 24 stores across Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, received her BCAv Medal at the Palace of Westminster on July 7, after devoting more than 25 years to voluntary work.

Peggy said: ‘It’s an honour to be presented with such a prestigious award. I have worked hard throughout my life in order to benefit others. When I found out I was being recognised for a BCA I was so thrilled. The store may have turned into a business but it hasn’t lost its heart, people are still the reason for what we do every day.”

Rennie Grove Hospice Care is a charity providing care and support for patients in Hertfordshire and Buckingham diagnosed with life-limiting illness. The charity was formed in 2011 when two hospice charities – Iain Rennie Hospice at Home and Grove House – joined forces.

After being widowed in her late 30s, Peggy was left to raise two children alone. She later discovered a small team of nurses working as part of Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, caring for terminally ill people in the community. She was inspired to support their efforts and decided to set up a small market stall in 1992 mainly selling bric-a- brac to raise funds.

The stall quickly grew in popularity and generated much needed income. Peggy then approached the CEO of the organisation with a proposal to open the first store.

The retail arm of the charity now boasts more than 850 volunteers helping to run 24 stores based in various villages and communities.

Peggy continues to give up her time for Rennie Grove Hospice Care trade and retail teams, despite suffering from a life-threatening illness. She works once a week at a depot used to sort and store donated items. The stores earn the charity one third of its required £6.5 million annual budget.

Peggy was nominated by Geoffrey Palmer who said: “Peggy is quite simply an extraordinary person who, since its earliest days, has played a great part in the charity’s growth and success more so than any other individual. She alone was responsible for the birth and expansion or its retail outlets, and for that she should be proud.”

The BCA is in partnership with customer experience management company, InMoment and proud to be supported by the world’s largest optical retailer and audiologists, Specsavers; one of the largest property and leisure management, development and regeneration companies in the UK, Places for People; leading ethical law firm Irwin Mitchell; palletised freight company, Pall-Ex and creative communications group, Beattie Group.

October 2016 will see the introduction of the British Citizen Youth Award, recognising young people under the age of 16 who have positively impacted communities or particular groups and have contributed through their own endeavours to making a difference.

Nominations can be made now until 30 September 2016.

To find out more about the BCA or British Citizen Youth Awards, and to nominate someone for the next awards in January 2017, please visit britishcitizenawards.co.uk.

Peggy is pictured receiving her award from Pat Egan, group executive director of Places for People.