Norma retires from Colne Open Door charity

Volunteer Norma Dower who is retiring after 14 years of helping out at the Open Door Centre in Colne.
Volunteer Norma Dower who is retiring after 14 years of helping out at the Open Door Centre in Colne.

A devoted volunteer who has helped out at a Colne charity for 14 years has decided to retire.

Dedicated community worker Norma Dower (76) has freely given up thousands of hours of her time to the Colne Open Door Centre.

As well as working as a volunteer, Norma has served as a trustee for the last nine years and was previously chairman of the Friends of Open Door fund-raising group, set up to help finance the centre in the early days of its existence.

During her working life, she worked as a nurse for 15 years at Bury General Hospital and brought her valuable medical and life experience to the Colne centre in Great George Street.

She first become involved when the centre was just starting up, making cups of tea and sandwiches and helping it to what it is today.

Since then, Norma has become the public face of the centre, providing a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on, serving behind the counter and helping to promote the facility in any way she could.

Dawn Lange, the centre manager, said: “Norma will be sadly missed. She is a warm hearted, supportive and reliable volunteer and will be hard to replace.

“All the trustees, staff and volunteers will be sad to lose her but we wish her well in her retirement.”

Norma said: “I first started because I was bored at home. I had a little bit of help from the centre so I decided to give something back and it’s gone on from there. I have loved every minute of it and I’ll be emotional I’m sure. But I don’t feel I can commit to it any longer and it’s time to retire. I would like to thank everybody at the centre for the opportunity to work here. I’ve had a great manager and worked with lovely colleagues.”

The trustees, staff, volunteers, friends and family will celebrate Norma’s time at the Open Door Centre on Friday in the café.