By Ian Dipple Friday 13 September 2013 Updated: 13/09 10:39
A MUCH loved community figure has retired after more than two decades serving the public.
Tanweer Dean has left her post as an outreach and development worker at The Sandycroft Centre which she has officially held since 1992 when it was formed as the All Women’s House. She was also involved before that when the group met elsewhere in the borough.
During that time Mrs Dean has helped hundreds of women from various communities with a wide variety of issues. Her success stories include a woman who could not speak a word of English when she arrived at the centre and has gone on to run her own business.
But after 24 years of service Mrs Dean has now decided the time has come to pass on the torch but has pledged to continue her voluntary work as chair of the British Asian Women’s Group and for a short time will still be involved with the centre one day a week.
Mrs Dean told the Standard: “This seems like my second home this place. I just love working here and helping people. I know so many people who now have a good life because of my help.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and it’s been so much fun.”
A special celebration was held at the centre in West Avenue in Smallwood last Friday (September 6) during which scores of people attended to acknowledge her achievement.
More than 300 photographs were displayed of activities Mrs Dean has run over the years including cultural events in schools, trips and organising sports days.
Presenting her with a special certificate Deputy Mayor Pat Witherspoon said the contribution Mrs Dean had made to Redditch was second to none.
“What she’s contributed to this place really is above what anybody could have expected. My memories go back a long way and when I think of all the activities that have gone on here, none of it would have been possible without you.”
Madge Tillsley MBE, who was part of the centre’s founding group which included Mrs Dean, Betty Passingham and Pat Wilson, gave her a gold watch and added: “When there wasn’t any money Tanweer was here. She never says no to anybody or anything - she’s been a wonderful community leader.”
Sue Yeng, Mrs Passingham’s daughter, presented her with a vase which belonged to her late mother as a personal tribute.
“You were an awesome quartet and would absolutely move boulders. This was never going to happen, there were 100 people who came to a meeting and said this house could never be, but you and mum, Madge and Pat had a vision of what this house could be and it has come to that.”
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