Thief-fighter Paul Cardwell lands prestigious charity award

Paul with his trophy inside the Orchard Street store.
Paul with his trophy inside the Orchard Street store.
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A crime fighting volunteer has received national recognition for his dedication tackling shoplifters who blighted a city charity shop.

Paul Cardwell beat off competition from across the country to be named Volunteer Newcomer of the Year in PDSA’s annual Volunteer Awards. The 50-year-old joined the PDSA’s Orchard Street shop team six months ago at a time when it was regularly targeted by thieves stealing stock and items donated to the veterinary charity.

Paul Cardwell has beaten off competition from across the UK to receive the Volunteer Newcomer of the Year in vet charity PDSAs annual Volunteer Awards.

Paul Cardwell has beaten off competition from across the UK to receive the Volunteer Newcomer of the Year in vet charity PDSAs annual Volunteer Awards.

“When I heard about the situation with the shoplifters I wanted to do something to help,” explained Paul. “The work I’ve been doing is relatively simple but I’m glad it’s making a difference.

“The great thing about volunteering is that you’re part of a team and I’d encourage anyone to give it a go.”

Paul uses the local CCTV to monitor activity around shop, relieving management of the burden of having to watch out for light-fingered opportunists.

Manager of Preston PDSA, Michelle Littlefair, said: “When Paul started we had a problem with theft in store and we were being targeted by shoplifters.

“He offered to become a volunteer loss prevention office and made it is duty to patrol the shop during busy periods watching for suspicious activity and monitoring valuable items.”

Paul was presented with a trophy, framed certificate and a £50 Pets at home voucher last Friday by PDSA Retail Central Operations Manager, Toria Salisbury-Scott.