An organisation which has helped hundreds of people in Corby has had to close its doors for the final time.
Age Concern Corby has been helping people in the town since the early 1990s with a range of services, including advice on benefits, employment rights, housing, home safety, social care and filling in forms.
But with just a handful of volunteers left and the number of people going to them for help dwindling, the branch has decided to call it a day.
Maureen Forshaw, who served on Corby Council for nearly 40 years and was the first woman to be given the award of Alderman by Corby Council, handed the keys for their base at the former TA building in Elizabeth Street back to the council last week.
Before returning the keys to Corby mayor Julie Riley, Maureen said: “We rented the building from the council and we would have been able to keep the rent going for another year, but I doubt we would have got any further than that.”
Cllr Riley said: “I would like to thank you on behalf of all the people of Corby and would like to thank you for all the years you have put in and all the hard work you have put in.
“You have been an inspiration to me.
“Even when I was in the wrong party, you still inspired me and helped me.
“You were always very welcoming to me.
“You have helped a lot of people and we would like to give you these flowers as a thank you for all you have done.”
Looking back over the years, Maureen said they have helped ‘hundreds and hundreds’ of people in the town and the closure was a sad day for everyone involved.
But she added: “We want to thank all the people of Corby for helping us the way they have over the years and all the businesses that helped us.
“And we are so sorry that we have had to close.”
But as well as handing over the keys for the building, Age Concern Corby also presented a cheque for £5,000 to the Autumn Centre in Counts Farm Road.
Maureen said: “As we are planning to close down, we had a committee meeting of three and decided that whatever money was left in our funds after we had paid our bills we would give to you to do some good for the people at the Autumn Centre.”
A spokesman for the Autumn Centre said: “It’s a sad day for Age Concern, another worthy organisation biting the bullet unfortunately during these sad times.
“But we are very grateful for the donation and this will go a long way to continuing the Autumn Centre’s work to provide services to the community.”
The Autumn Centre also presented Maureen with some flowers to say thank you for all her work.