Betty ends ‘enjoyable’ term as Forum chair

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NEWTOWNABBEY Senior Citizens’ Forum chair Betty Gillespie described her three year term as head of the organisation as a challenging but enjoyable time as she stepped down at this week’s AGM.

The well-attended annual meeting, held in Carnmoney Community Church hall, was told about how older people can help drive the local economy forward.

Guest speaker Majella McAlister, Director of Community Services for Newtownabbey Borough Council referred to the council’s Corporate Plan for 2012 to 2016 and the many ways that the work of the forum linked into it.

She commented on the growing number of older people in the borough and highlighted the value of seniors who help drive forward the economy through the purchase of goods and services as well as providing childcare and financial support and sharing experience and wisdom.

Among those in attendance were Deputy Mayor Alderman Frazer Agnew, councillors, tutors, distinguished guests and forum members.

The business of the meeting included the election of the committee and the office bearer’s reports.

Accounts were adopted and Michael Hunter and Company was appointed as the independent examiner for the forthcoming year.

Gifts were presented to Majella McAlister as guest speaker, Kathy Wolff for chairing the election of committee members and a special presentation was made to Betty Gillespie who had completed three years as chair of the organisation.

Betty told the Times: “It’s been a challenging but very enjoyable time for me as chair. I am delighted that we managed to secure funding recently from the Big Lottery fund for a new project we will be delivering in nursing homes and sheltered accommodation in the new year.

“We have a new project worker starting with us in January to deliver that project which I am looking forward to.

“Throughout my time there has been many trails that we have overcome, but there has been a strong committee behind me that has been an incredible support.”

At the forum’s first committee meeting Anne Watson is expected to take the position of the chair.

Betty added: “I would wish Betty all the very best during her time, she has been a great support to me as well as [administrator] Wilma [Neilly]. Both their support and experience has been a tremendous support.

“I will of course remain involved with the committee and would wish Anne all the best of luck for the next three years.”

Following the meeting everyone enjoyed a light lunch.