real5 Faces

Meet the Real Face of Business

Sharon Dunne

River Reeves Foundation

Who are you?

I am a Trustee of the River Reeves Foundation and manager of the charity shop in GS ‘Vintage Viola’.

How did the business come about?

The River Reeves Foundation was set up in 2016 following the tragic accident that killed River Reeves and the rest of his band (Viola Beach) and their manager, Craig Tarry. The charity fund raises to help support young performers, artists and music projects through bursaries and grants. It also has the aim to support the mental health of youngsters through education/projects.

How long has your business been in existence?

The charity shop, ‘Vintage Viola’ was set up in December 2018 after I left my teaching career of 25 years to concentrate more on caring for my family and the charity work we had started in 2016.
We originally opened in the Cockhedge Centre December 1st 2018 – it was on this opening day that Ian Cox popped in and was suitably impressed by the vision for a charity shop with a difference.
We moved the shop across the the GS and reopened on 28th July 2019.

How many people do you employ?

1 assistant manager – I work voluntarily alongside other volunteers.

What job or achievement makes you most proud?

Creating a unique charity shop that is my personal tribute to River and the lads. Hearing customers coming into the shop and having to ask if it is a charity shop as it is so unique and ’boutiquey’.
Providing Warrington with the best charity shop experience ever.
Riv and the rest of them would be at home chilling upstairs at VV with a brew and their guitars.

Why Warrington?

I was born and bred in Orford, Warrington. I left in 1990 to go to university and never dreamt of coming back. I moved to London and spent most of my teaching career there.
I moved the family back to Warrington in 2007 following the tragic death of Riv’s mum., Miranda.
Riv and his elder brother, Fin moved in with me and their Dad.
I needed to be ‘back home’ and buy a bigger house for my expanding family.
Riv joined Viola Beach in 2015, he had met Kris Leonard at Priestley College where they studied music together. VB were a Warrington band…

Tell us one interesting thing about you that people might not know?

My grandad, Harold Phoenix, was the World non-stop Champion roller skater in 1936. He was sponsored by Bovril. He skated 100 hours non-stop.

Who are the people most important in life to you?

My children…shortly followed by my husband 🙂

What is your ‘get through lockdown tip’?

Devise a new routine & keep healthy. Take this as an opportunity to review and reset to be ready for the ‘new normal’.

Like a 1:1 with Sharon?


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