A dedicated volunteer who has given over 30 years to Garstang causes has waved goodbye to the town and set off for pastures new.
Laura Nixon who has been involved with the WVRS luncheon club, British Legion and for 17 years Garstang’s Slimming World group has hung up her hat and ‘retired’ to Warrington.
Since moving to the market town in 1976 after marrying husband Bill, Laura has lent herself to numerous community roles, from Legion secretary, luncheon club chef to weigh in lady.
The 79-year-old, grandmother of 12 said: “I honestly don’t know how I got into it (volunteering), people just seemed to ask me and I thought that doesn’t sound bad and I have enjoyed everything I have done.
“And that’s been the key really and the fact I like being with people.”
The former Ribble Bus Company worker has been honoured with numerous awards for her services. And she has been invited to Downing Street and the Buckingham Palace Royal garden party in recognition of her volunteering efforts.
And as well as her Garstang duties, Laura has also given 30 years to the Toc-H Holiday Club, providing meals for underprivileged children.
“I have met so many friends and acquaintances through the different things I’ve done and it’s been good for me over the years to keep myself busy.”
Laura lost husband Bill in 2008 but had no desire to leave Garstang until suffering an accident at Christmas. She has since moved to Warrington to be closer to her son Stephen and family.
She added: “It has been a very big wrench.
“After Bill died my family asked if I wanted to move and I wasn’t ready, I have had a wide circle of friends and was very active.
“But I knew in the back of my head I would have to move eventually just later rather than sooner.
“Once I made up my mind up, I didn’t shed any tears, it was the right time and it’s been lovely to be nearer my family.”
Friends and fellow volunteers rallied round to give Laura a very special send-off and with a collection of vouchers she has bought a new camera to take lots of pictures of the family’s latest addition.
She said: “It was a bit flabberghasting really but I will be keeping in touch and friends are already planning visits.”
Nicola Evans, leader of Garstang Slimming World added: “She is a remarkable lady at 79 years young and has done a fantastic job over the years.”