Ann-Whitehouse

At 70 years young Ann Whitehouse has a lot to celebrate.

Not only has she reached the landmark birthday, she has also clocked up more volunteer hours than anyone else on the Torbay TimeBank.

What better then to bring together all her friends for a timely celebration at the Windmill Centre yards from her home in Pendennis Road, Hele on Friday night.

Former Torbay Hospital worker, Ann has banked more than 1000 hours through her work with Timebank doing everything from looking after people’s cats to walking with an Alzheimer's sufferer,  to helping with children at the Acorn Centre.

Then there is her talent for sewing and knitting – she teaches both as well as producing lots of pieces for the Torbay Yarnbombers who meet each week at The Lounge in Fleet Walk.

It was her hours lodged with the Timebank that helped her when it came to organising her party – using some of them to provide, among other things, the musical entertainment.

She is also a prolific fundraiser and used the occasion of her birthday to present cheques totalling £500 to five of her favourite organisations – Windmill Centre , Gardens and Greens, The Torbay Timebank, the Baptist Church at Hele and the Hele and Lower Barton Partnership.

She first the very first to register with the Timebank back in the beginning, three years ago, and has loved every minute of working and volunteering through it. On Friday night she was presented with a trophy to say thank you for her efforts

Set up with the help of Ageing Well Torbay, the Big Lottery Funded project aimed at reducing isolation in the over 50’s, Ann is a major supporter of the project.

“Ageing Well is just fabulous,” she said “I do so many things with them and if I didn’t I could be very lonely. All these things get me out of bed in the morning”

And Ann is irrepressible – keeps fit through going to the gym, walking and swimming – she raised her £500 by walking the seven and a half miles from Hele Road to Goodrington Sands and back - and indulges her passions for wildlife, travel and people as often as she can

Not only did her friends flock to the Windmill for the celebrations on Friday evening, her fellow Yarnbombers kicked off the celebrations at the Lounge on Thursday with a cake.

Theo Tanser who leads the Timebank on behalf of Ageing Well said of Ann: “When she retired, she didn’t want to sit around. She knows everyone in the area and everyone knows Ann. She has a heart of gold and likes to give to others.”

People can learn more about the Torbay Timebank and sign up by going to: http://www.torbaytogether.org.uk/ and find out more about the work of Ageing Well Torbay by going to: www.ageingwelltorbay.com

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