Outgoing Belle Vale councillor takes up senior citizens centre post

Halesowen News: Jill Nicholls takes up her new role at the Senior Citizen's Centre welcomed by Judith Wheatley, Frances Daniels and Jane Bergin. Jill Nicholls takes up her new role at the Senior Citizen's Centre welcomed by Judith Wheatley, Frances Daniels and Jane Bergin.

THE Senior Citizens Centre in Halesowen has been given a boost after outgoing Belle Vale councillor Jill Nicholls has announced she is the charity's new coordinator.

The Queensway centre was in danger of folding three years ago after founder Elsie Maybury died but now Ms Nicholls believes it will thrive again under her stewardship.

Despite being deselected by her fellow Conservative councillors after 11 years in office Miss Nicholls, from Pedmore, will continue to be a familiar face in the ward through her work at the centre.

She said: "The centre was one of the projects that I supported as a councillor and I am looking forward to taking up my new role as co-ordinator.

"Although I have put politics behind me I feel having represented the community of Belle Vale, where the centre is, I am very much part of the area and this will not change."

The charity was started in 1985 by community stalwart Elsie Maybury, who managed it for 15 years, and now her work is continued by a team of volunteers. Visitors can enjoy the company of each other as well as take part in activities at the centre and food and drink is available.

The 56-year-old said: "I have been inspired by the huge contribution the volunteers make as they help those visitors who would feel lonely and isolated without the centre."

The new co-ordinator is planning to bring in new speakers into the centre and organise new activities.

She said: "We are always looking for new visitors, the centre is open from Monday to Friday and is for anyone retired over the age of 55.

"We are also in urgent need of volunteers and anyone who wants to help out should phone us on 0121 550 0118."

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