We have some sad news – at the end of this month our village shop manager of eleven years, the much-loved Kevin Gamble, is to retire.
After more than a decade of working at Elmbridge Kevin wants to spend more time with his eight grandchildren, who are aged between two and thirteen. He also plans to travel and has trips booked to Zuzuland in South Africa, as well as Japan.
Kevin has managed shops most of his adult life. Before he came to the village he ran a newsagent and then a card and gift shop, which he sold in 2005. After taking a short break he saw the then-vacant shop manager position at Elmbridge advertised in a local paper and successfully applied.
Since then he has worked extremely hard, using his experience to build the shop into a thriving, successful village facility and becoming good friends with many Elmbridge residents along the way.
“Elmbridge is a happy, enormously welcoming community and this is one of the main reasons I have stayed so long,” said Kevin. “Over my time here I have tried to provide residents with a truly first rate retail experience and this is something I feel appreciated for. The sense of satisfaction I get from my job is tremendous.”
For the last eleven years Kevin has tirelessly ordered and collected fresh produce to sell every morning, priced up goods, stacked shelves, checked stock levels, cashed up and greeted Elmbridge residents with a smile when they come in to do their shopping.
Keith Henesey, Elmbridge Village Manager, is positive: “Kevin has been a valuable member of the team and made the shop a huge success. He often goes the extra mile by delivering groceries direct to residents’ doors should they be unable to do their own shopping. We wish Kevin a long and healthy retirement.”
In 2008 Kevin’s brother Martin sadly passed away from cancer at the age of 53. Nurses from Macmillan Cancer Support helped care for him towards the end of his life.
Kevin said: “Macmillan’s team was absolutely brilliant and I wanted to show my appreciation. I started organising and undertaking sponsored cycle rides and extended hikes to raise money for the charity. Elmbridge’s residents and staff all got behind me and donated, not just once but again and again. I was blown away by their generosity.”
Over the last nine years Kevin has raised approximately £15,000 for Macmillan, £12,500 of this from Elmbridge alone.
He added: “I would like to say, from the bottom of my heart, an enormous thank you to the residents of Elmbridge. They are a kind, wonderful bunch of people who have been and continue to be a big part of my life. I may be retiring but plan to visit the village regularly to catch up with people.”