Dedicated Wendy in line for award
A community worker who has dedicated more than 40 years of her life to helping people in Blackpool has been shortlisted for a national award.
Wendy Pearce, 72, is in line for recognition in the Lifetime Achievement category at the National Diversity Awards.
Over the years she has worked with schools, young offenders and first time parents to try and improve their lives.
And despite clocking up more than four decades, she has no intention of retiring just yet.
Wendy, who lives in Bispham, said: “I was speechless when the email came through informing me I had been shortlisted.
“You don’t expect this kind of accolade after all the years of not being recognised.”
The mother-of-three and grandmother has helped generations of people, and is still handing out advice now.
She said: “Only a few months ago I had 26 young women on the babysitting course I run.
“But over the years I have worked with a lot of young people in Blackpool, many of whom have come here from other parts of the country and so don’t have anyone close at hand.
“Some are now in their 30s or 40s, and I bump into them when I am shopping or out in town.
“I see young people with a lot of different issues but when they get their confidence, they are like butterflies taking off when they see what they can achieve.
“There is always something you can find that they can shine at. Young people don’t see youth workers as a social worker, or a parent, or a teacher.
“We slowly build up a relationship with them so they tell us things they wouldn’t tell other people, and it’s our job to ensure they get the help they need.”
Wendy currently works for Blackpool Boys and Girls Club and the UR Potential on Central Drive.
Over the years she has also worked for the Youth Offending Team, Homestart on Grange Park and with the Millennium Volunteers, as well as at schools.
She said: “I don’t want to retire, as there is still so much to do.
“The work keeps me young and on my toes, and I just like watching young people grow and develop.”
The presentation of the awards will take place at the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool on September 8.
The awards are supported by a number of celebrities including TV presenter Graham Norton.
He said: “Promoting and celebrating diversity is close to my heart.
“I want to wish all of this year’s shortlisted nominees the best of luck for the ceremony, you all deserve to win.”