Surprise party and presentation for inspirational Bridport couple

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: WONDERFUL COUPLE: Vera Brown, Hazel Richards, and Tom Brown, after Hazel organised a special presentation to thank the pair for the work they do in the local community WONDERFUL COUPLE: Vera Brown, Hazel Richards, and Tom Brown, after Hazel organised a special presentation to thank the pair for the work they do in the local community

CHRISTMAS came early for a Bridport couple who have dedicated more than 25 years to helping others in their community.

Tom and Vera Brown have volunteered for decades at the Magna complex in Hibernia Close to help other residents with tasks such as shopping.

Now the couple have been thanked by their friends and neighbours with a surprise party and presentation.

They will also have a bench dedicated to them for their continuous hard work.

It will be sited outside of the Hibernia Community Hall and will be delivered and installed by Magna by the new year.

Organising weekly bingo, coffee mornings, shopping and hospital visits are the sort of tasks the couple take on and they also wake up early to sweep the leaves away from front doors.

Mr Brown, 88, said: “We do it because we like to help people and we get enjoyment out of helping others. We were up early making sandwiches for this week’s bingo, we didn’t realise it was a surprise party for us.”

The couple were presented with flowers, wine and chocolates at the group’s Christmas party by the grateful residents.

Tom and Vera have been married for 64 years, and moved into the Magna complex following their retirement.

They have lived in Bridport the majority of their married life, with Vera working as a chef at Sir John Colfox School, and Tom working as a Calor gas vendor throughout the county.

The work carried out by the couple is all the more impressive after Vera, 83, had both of her hips replaced five months ago, and Vera credits her desire to work and to help other people down to her upbringing.

She said: “My mother wouldn’t turn a tramp away and she said to us from a young age that we have to work to provide for ourselves and our families.

“That is where the work ethic comes from, and we do really enjoy it.

“I think if we ever stopped enjoying it or my hips got worse we would stop, but we’re fit and enjoying it so we’ll carry on for a while yet.”

Hazel Richards, who organised the surprise party for them and made the presentations, said: “They are constantly visiting friends, making trips to the hospital to take things for patients, taking people shopping or doing someone’s shopping for them.

“They are always doing things for their community, and host many things such as the bingo every Thursday.

“They do marvellous work throughout the year and we want to let them know how much we appreciate them.

“They are really wonderful people and it’s a pleasure to know them.”

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