Stalwart youth club worker retires after almost 30 years helping youngsters
AFTER nearly 30 years of serving at the coffee bar of Grimsby's Shalom Youth Club, community champion Pauline Hollies has been wished a fond farewell.
Generations of young people returned to the club to thank the 68-year-old for all of her care and kind words.
A presentation to the dedicated volunteer was held on the same night the club, in Rutland Street, marked 40 years of supporting young people from the East Marsh.
Pauline said: "I have been here since 1984. Shalom is such a special place.
MAYFAIR ESTATE AGENTS
If we cannot find you a tenant within one month, we will find you one for FREE, yes FREE, you will pay no fees
Contact 01472 355553
Terms: Terms and Conditions Apply
Contact: 01472 355 553
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
"I believe in the work we do to ensure every young person is valued. We listen to what they say and we act on it. We respect them all.
"The best part of it is seeing them grow into maturity. The most important thing is for the young people to have confidence and self-worth and realise they can be anything they want to be.
"Every young person who comes through that door is given a chance."
She thanked the many people who placed tributes on a presentation poster.
The Reverend Canon John Ellis, head of the group, said: "Pauline has served at the coffee bar here for 28 years.
"But she does more than that. She is a legend at listening to the young people and advising them what to do and not to do. She has also done specialist work with people with special needs.
"She has been amazing. The most important thing is reliability and Pauline has that 100 per cent.
"It has been lovely to see the tributes to her, many of them saying how she kept people out of prison and have successful careers.
"This event also marks exactly 40 years since we started in 1972. We had 16 young people in that night in an old prefab hut. The walls were so flimsy you could push a pool cue through them.
"We had a game of Twister and a table tennis table with just three legs so we had to push a chair under it."
Ward councillor Jon-Paul Howarth, a member of and volunteer at Shalom, said: "Pauline is irreplaceable. There are some families who have had three generations cared for by her."
Other well-wishers wrote messages to Pauline, and they made a special cake.
One said: "All the best Pauline. Sorry to see you go, but it's time to relax and you sure deserve it."
And another wrote: "The club has helped me become calmer. I have learned to control my temper and not lash out and not be mardy."