End of an era at RSPCA shop as May steps down

May Allan is retiring from the RSPCA shop in Alnwick.'Picture by Jane Coltman
May Allan is retiring from the RSPCA shop in Alnwick.'Picture by Jane Coltman

A long-serving RSPCA charity shop manager, who has animal welfare running through her veins, has stepped down from the role after more than 20 years at the helm.

Emotions were high last Thursday as dedicated May Allan marked her final day in charge of the Alnwick store on Bondgate Within, having held the position since the outlet opened in 1993.

It’s not the end for the 68-year-old though, as she will be coming back to the shop in a volunteer capacity, while Veronica Goulding, 52, will be taking over as manager.

May, from Alnwick, said: “It is emotional and the flowers and presents I have received have had me in tears. I have met some wonderful people and the volunteers at the shop are wonderful, dedicated and loyal and it has been a pleasure to work alongside them. Without them, things couldn’t function.

“Being manager has meant everything to me because the RSPCA and animal welfare means so much to me – it is in my blood. The shop offers such a valuable service because the money that comes into it is used in the Newcastle and north Northumberland branch area to help animals.”

May has been involved with the RSPCA since the 1970s, fund-raising for the charity, fostering cats and kittens and helping to re-home animals.

Branch administrator Debbie Wray said: “It has been a pleasure to work with May. She has brought compassion, her dedication has been faultless – she is an incredible woman.”

Anyone interested in volunteering at the shop should pop in or call 01665 510585.