HANDING OVER: Gordon Thompson, left, is taking over as chairman of the Association of Teesdale Day Clubs from Peter Wood
HANDING OVER: Gordon Thompson, left, is taking over as chairman of the Association of Teesdale Day Clubs from Peter Wood

THE chairman of the Association of Teesdale Day Clubs has stood down after almost two decades’ service with the group.
Although Peter Wood is taking a back seat, he will continue to support the association – which is best known for providing weekly lunch clubs for the elderly – as a roving volunteer, helping out individual clubs as and when they require it.
Mr Wood, of Cotherstone, said his final year as chairman had been one of the association’s most difficult after all meetings were halted due to the Covid-19 crisis.
“None of us anticipated that the situation would still be the same, or possibly worse, a year on,” he said.
“During the year the staff, volunteers and trustees have worked extremely hard to support all the association’s members and to make sure they were all as safe as possible and had all they needed, including regular phone conversations.”
Mr Wood had hoped to step down sooner, but remained in post until a successor came forward and taking over will be the association’s secretary Gordon Thompson.
“I have been involved with the clubs for the last 18 years, filling various officer roles, mostly as chair, and during this time I have met many wonderful people and many dedicated and, skilled and supported staff and volunteers,” said Mr Wood.
“Although I will miss many of the people involved in our work, I hope to continue to see them. I am in my 80th year and feel that I am now old enough and cantankerous enough to become a member volunteer at Cotherstone, but with a roving volunteering role to provide support to any club that needs help.
“I also believe that as a member, the clubs need my ‘Victor Meldrew’ tendencies,” he joked.
“I am relinquishing my roles in the management of the association with the knowledge that the staff and trustees will do everything they possibly can to restart the lunch clubs as soon as it is safe to do so and that the association is in safe hands and has a secure future.”
Asked what his highlights were during his service with the association, Mr Wood said celebrations for both the tenth and 25 anniversary of the group stood out.
“All the clubs attended the tenth anniversary and the fact we have kept the organisation going successfully for 25 years was a highlight.”
Mr Thompson said the priority in the short term was supporting the clubs to get their members together and socialising again, which they had all missed.
“In the longer term, it’s about how to maintain the success of the day clubs,” he added.