A COMMUNITY centre has bid farewell to a long-standing volunteer commended for his hard work and dedication.

Vince Crosby was wished a happy retirement by the community following ten years of service at Newton Aycliffe Community Centre.

Mr Crosby began working at the community centre in 2009, which saw him take on the role of town council representative on the board.

He later rose to the position of chair and took to the challenge of making the centre a charitable organisation.

In 2018, the Newton Aycliffe resident stepped down as chair but continued to carry on his important work as a volunteer.

He said: "As volunteer there wasn't one role I did, I just did everything to make sure the centre ran.

"I've really enjoyed my time at the community centre but thought it was time I retire.

"I plan to use my free time to go to the gym as that's what I like doing."

The volunteer has always enjoyed helping others and was known to dig over old people's gardens who were moving into new homes on council estates in the 1950s.

Later, for several years, he served as a volunteer with Deerbolt, helping young offenders make the transition back into society.

Workers at the community centre said he is a pillar of the community and has taught the group a lot.

During Mr Crosby's time as chair Durham County Council stopped all open youth provision in the County – and he had to oversee a complicated asset transfer which involved a huge amount of work from the 79-year-old.

Newton Aycliffe Community Centre chair, John Clare, said: "Vince volunteered thousands of hours at the centre and led it through what was perhaps the most difficult time in its history.

"Everybody who values having a flourishing youth and community centre in Newton Aycliffe needs to be extremely grateful to him."

"I've really enjoyed my time working at the community centre – I've done all sorts there.

"I'll have a a lot more free time now so I plan to go to the gym and