A Fond Farewell to a Dynamic Duo

Mary’s Living & Giving founder Mary Portas was joined by volunteers and the community to say a huge thank you to two departing stars of the Teddington branch.

If shop managers in Teddington could be awarded an Olympic medal for their contribution to the community, customers and staff, then Mary’s Living & Giving bosses Jackie Beedle and Andrea Bailey would win gold. But, sadly, it’s now time for them to step down.

The dynamic duo, manager and deputy manager of ML&G, have worked unstintingly for the last eight years to energise, style and support the people drawn to this gem of a charity shop. From fashion shows to wedding events and fashion reboots, Jackie, Andrea and their team have created a vibrant community hub. 

The views of many were echoed in a farewell speech by volunteer Jane Kenny who said: “Your warmth and generosity have created something exceptional in Teddington”.

Who will now run this popular shop of eclectic pre-loved clothes and accessories – described by Mary Portas during her recent visit as ‘a beauty’ – is yet to be determined.

But one thing is certain, local volunteers, out of respect for Jackie and Andrea’s monumental role in creating the UK’s top performing Save the Children store, will continue offering a warm welcome to anyone wishing to find beautiful pre-loved fashion or donate their own past favourites.

Volunteers, who attended a lively farewell event at The Wharf, hope that whoever picks up the manager’s baton will follow in Jackie’s footsteps and embrace the belief of Paul Hunwick, former Head of ML&G, that “Fashion is the bows and ribbons of what we offer, but humanity is at our core.” 

Jackie Beedle’s reflections on her time at ML&G can be heard on Mary Portas’s Kindness Economy podcast (22nd July 2021), recorded in Teddington.

To donate to Save the Children visit: savethechildren.org.uk 

Fiona Kingston


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