A charitable retiree from Plas Newton is the first Chester entry for Your Champions 2014, having notched a nomination for Champion Volunteer of the Year.

Former nursery and play group carer Sheila Peak, 66, spends two days a week working in the Age UK shop in Watergate Street.

She began helping out at the shop when she retired six years ago and says she has no intention of putting her feet up just yet.

Sheila, who counts many of the shop’s regulars as friends, said: “I really enjoy it and love meeting our regular and new customers.

“I have always worked and when I retired I decided I’d like to volunteer to work in a shop. My daughter, Val Lowe, is the shop manager and I really enjoy working with her and the rest of the team.

“And I have been known to dress up on occasions too. During the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee I dressed up as Her Majesty and stood outside as a way of attracting customers to come into the shop. It’s something that helps raise awareness.

“Age UK is such an important charity and many local older people benefit from the schemes the charity is involved in.”

But Sheila’s philanthropy extends further than her work for Age UK, as she takes new goods to Newton House, the sheltered accommodation where she lives, and takes orders from fellow residents.

She said: “Some residents can’t get into town too easily so when we have new stock, such as socks, gloves, tea towels and such like, I take a sample and take orders.”

Age UK area sales manager Sally Hughes is full of praise for Sheila and her ‘many hundreds of hours of voluntary work’.

“She is a wonderful ambassador for Age UK and certainly helps raise awareness of the many issues affecting older people in what remain tough economic times,” Sally said.

Speaking about her nomination, Sheila said: “I am privileged to be nominated for this award. I love my volunteer work and meeting people from all walks of life.

“It’s really nice that people actually take notice of the work that us volunteers do.”

Sheila’s daughter Valerie Lowe, who is the manager of the Age UK store in Chester, added: “Sheila has raised hundreds of pounds over the years and I am so proud of all she does to help others both in my shop and also in the wider community.

“She’s one in a million and also loves putting a smile on people’s faces especially in one of her many fancy dress outfits on certain occasions.”

To nominate someone for a Your Champions award, fill in the form below.  Closing date for nominations is October 11 2014.