A mum of two who strives to improve the lives of people living in the community around her has won a Teesside Hero award in recognition of her efforts.
Lyndsey Peters, from Eston, volunteers her time to run several programmes at the Whale Hill Community Centre in Eston.
She set up a food bank when it became clear others living in her community were struggling, organised a clothes rail to help provide children’s clothes and school uniforms and volunteer networks to run and replenish both.
When the centre’s mother and toddler group was at risk of closing down through lack of funding, Lyndsey got to work enrolling volunteers to take over.
She’s also set her talents to organising trips and days out for the community, including a visit to Disneyland Paris for families, which involved an enormous amount of time setting up payment plans, organising transport and even showing people who had never been abroad before how to apply for passports.
Now Lyndsey, 37, mum to two boys, has become the latest recipient of a Teesside Hero award after being nominated by her mum Olwyn.
She received the award in a surprise presentation by Jo Lowes of Middlesbrough firm Crystal Galleries, patrons of Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, the charity behind the Teesside Hero Awards.
“It was an absolutely gorgeous surprise,”said Lyndsey.
“Most of my work is behind the scenes and that’s the way I like it.
“My grandma was a founder member of the community centre and my mum was the chair so I have always been involved because it has been a family thing. I first got in to it because I have two young boys and there was nothing really going on for young people so it started with just bringing things in for children, organising day trips out and went on from there really.
“I enjoy being able to make things affordable to people, getting people to join in, I enjoy the social side of it too. If you go into the centre for a natter or a cuppa it is like getting a communal hug.”
As part of her award, Lyndsey, who works as a play leader at Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice in nearby Normanby, receives a £1,000 award from the Foundation to put in to any charity of her choosing.
She has asked for the money to be put back into the Whale Hill Community Centre to fund more initiatives for the people of Eston.
“That was where I was nominated and it will make a big difference to the community,” she said.
“We could maybe look at using it to help make events affordable for people – baby showers and christenings, that type of thing, and hopefully in turn that might bring more money back in to the centre.”
Mum Olwyn has been a driving force at the community centre for many years. She is also a past winner of a Teesside Hero award for services to the community.
“As her mother, I’m extremely proud of Lyndsey and sometimes in awe of her dedication to the community of Whale Hill,” said Olywn. “She is obviously well known and well respected for everything she does.”