TODAY marks the end of an era as a popular public-spirited charity worker from Kidderminster is set to retire.

Kath Durrant, aged 72, has spent the morning (Thursday, October 3) selling magazines for The Salvation Army outside the town hall for one last time, something she has done every week for the past 12 years.

From 2007, Kath has sat dressed in her Salvation Army uniform in the town centre, raising money for the charity through all kinds of weather.

But, due to ill health, she will retire from the job she has loved over the past decade today.

Kath, who was born in Black Heath, first took on the role after her husband Graham died.

She says that everyone in the town centre knows her and she has also collected donations in Stourport.

One of her regular visitors presented her with a bunch of flowers this morning to mark her retirement.

Kath said: "Everybody comes to me and knows me.

"I suffer with my chest. I keep getting chest infections.

"I'm sad about retiring but needs must."

Sheila Jordan, from Kidderminster, who regularly buys the magazine from her, said: "She’s there in rain, snow, all sorts of weather. She used to work for the Royal British Legion.

“I thought it would be nice for her to be recognise for all the good work she has done.

“I talk to her when I buy the magazine. My husband likes to do the puzzles.

“I started a sewing group and she comes along – at Baxter Church. I’ve known her for about five years. She’s a lovely lady – always smiling, always happy.

“People buy her coffee or buy her a sandwich.

“She’s raised a lot of money for charity.

“Kath's just moved into a council bungalow. She was robbed at the end of last year and they stole a lot of money and jewellery.

"She used to take the collection money home with her and I’d tell her not to because people would put notes in around Christmas time.

"Kath was very upset and distraught by the whole ordeal and so the council moved her into a bungalow.”

Godwin Morgan, from The Salvation Army said: "We would like to thank Kath for her service for the past 12 years.

"She represents the Salvation Army and we thank her for her valuable membership."

Asked whether there will be a celebration to mark her retirement, Kath said: "I've been told to put my uniform on for something on Sunday. What's in store I don't know."