We believe in community spirit here at J&PR and it’s something which should be shouted about – just like long serving volunteer and a well known book expert Helen Muir.
Ms Muir, an expert in rare books, has volunteered at Renaissance in Tower Street, Ludlow, for more than seven years.
Well known in the town, she has been responsible for raising around £75,000 for The Furniture Scheme, the charity which runs the shop, through the sale of books alone.
Bosses believe thousands more has been raised through other work she has assisted with.
Ms Muir said: “I am delighted to have been able to put my knowledge to good use by working in Renaissance.
“The people of South Shropshire played a vital role in creating the bookshop, wIthout their donations it could not have happened.
“I created a climate which encouraged the donation of a very wide variety of books which gradually improved to help us have a book department head and shoulders above the others.
“It has been a great pleasure for me to be able to sort through the many books we have had donated and find some extremely rare ones over the years.
“From the £900 Rambles by Yorkshire Rivers to an entire library of Gree and Latin classics, there have been some very exciting times in the shop.
“It is now time for a change of scene for me and I hope the team from The Furniture Scheme can find someone else to help out and keep the popular shop going.”
Ms Muir, whose father was an antiquarian book seller and taught her all she knows, began volunteering at Renaissance after travelling past the shop a few times and seeing it as a challenge. So she went in and offered her help.
James Cooper, Operations Manager at The Furniture Scheme, said: “Helen has been responsible for building up the reputation of our bookshop over many years.
“People have visited us from Hay-On-Wye, world renowned for books and bookshops, and said this is the best bookshop outside of that town.
“We have been very lucky to have her here and are sad to see her go – but we are eager to build on the hard work she has done and will continue with this bookshop.
“We are looking for a new book expert to join our team of volunteers.”
Helen has moved to the Welsh coast.
The Furniture Scheme was launched over 20 years ago as a way to ensure some of the most excluded members of the community could benefit from recycled household items.
It now runs Rockspring Community Centre in Sandford Road, Ludlow, and the Craven Arms Community Centre in Newington Way, Craven Arms.
Activities include computer courses, carpentry workshops, volunteering in the garden, a holiday scheme for young people, weekly community lunches and a choir.
Visit www.furniturescheme.co.uk or call 01584 874922 for more information about the charity.
If you know of someone who has made a contribution to their local community then get in touch with one of the team at J&PR today.