A COMMUNITY champion has had her efforts recognised as she continues to fight for the area she loves.

Lyndsey Peters runs several programmes at the Whale Hill Community Centre in Eston, near Middlesbrough, where she is a dedicated volunteer.

The mother-of-two set up a food bank when others living in her community were struggling, organised a clothes rail to help provide children’s clothes and school uniforms, and organised 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, she got to work enrolling volunteers to take over.

The 37-year-old has become the latest recipient of a Teesside Philanthropic Foundation Teesside Hero award after being nominated by her mum Olwyn.

The Northern Echo:

Lyndsey Peters with her mother, Olwyn, who nominated her

“It was an absolutely gorgeous surprise,” she said. “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.”