A woman who has set up volunteer groups across Rutland has been given a heartfelt send-off from those she has worked with.
Sue Bamber has stepped down from her role as the Oakham co-ordinator for Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland after 15 years in the job.
During her time, Sue has provided care for more than 300 elderly people through volunteer groups she organised, including Rutland Befrienders, Rutland Carers Support Group and New Horizons, a support group for elderly widows and widowers.
A goodbye party was held to mark her efforts at the Voluntary Action Rutland offices in Oakham on Friday.
Sue, 51, who lives in Main Street, Greetham, said: “It’s been a privilege to work with the people of this community.
“I’ve had a great deal of satisfaction in helping older people and I’ve really enjoyed my time with Age UK.
“It’s been hard work and quite draining at times, but always been fun. I’ve made a lot of friends along the way.
“I had a tear in my eye at the party on Friday but it was lovely and really nice to feel appreciated.”
As part of her job, Sue has co-ordinated more than 50 volunteers who care for the elderly in the county. Working about 18 hours a week, she organised home visits and social events for those in need of care or simply wanting company and support.
Friday’s farewell to Sue included coffee, tea, cake, and speeches from volunteers and Age UK staff who thanked Sue for all her hard work over the years and gave her a John Lewis voucher.
Wendy Bye, who is the Uppingham co-ordinator for Age UK, said: “Sue has been a wonderful co-worker and I’ll really miss her.
“She’s been full of good ideas and put her heart and soul into the job.
“Whoever comes in to do the job has big shoes to fill.”
Sue said she had done all she could with the group but that she was looking to do more volunteer work in the community.
She added: “I just felt that I had done all I could and that it was time to move on.
“It’s time for someone to come in with fresh ideas and take it on to the next stage.
“I’m helping out a friend in a shop in Oakham and doing volunteer work with groups in Greetham. I’ve really enjoyed my time and I hope I’ve made a difference in some way.”