A devoted charity leader who set up Hyndburn’s most vital drop-in centre has retired from her position.
Maundy Grange founder Dorothy McGregor, 79, was admitted to hospital in March suffering from exhaustion.
She has since returned home but is now taking on a less demanding role as a spiritual director in order to recuperate.
Her sister Margaret Moxham said Dorothy is at home and being assisted by a carer.
She said: “She has retired as a manager and is acting as a spiritual director. There is an acting manager in place. We assume she will not be returning to her original position but Maundy is continuing as normal. The charity is still available to people and the voluntary team are doing a wonderful job.”
Dorothy set up the charity 15 years ago on Maundy Thursday, to provide counselling, spiritual advice, food, small grants and support to those most vulnerable in the community.
The former nun has worked tirelessly, using her former experience as a probation officer and psychiatric nurse to guide her.
In a previous interview with the Observer in October 2010, Dorothy told how she began her working day at 3am every day, not leaving the drop-in centre until 5.30pm and taking calls overnight.
Hyndburn Council leader Miles Parkinson said Dorothy deserves to take a ‘backwards step’.
He said: “Her volunteering is something that has been much needed in the community. In these austere times there is a great need for this essential community facility.
“It’s nice to hear she has left hospital but is now being cared for at home. She deserves to take a backwards step. I’m sure she doesn’t want to, however I know she will still have a huge input at Maundy Grange.”
Former council leader Peter Britcliffe said Dorothy has worked ‘tirelessly and devotedly’ to the community for many years.
He said: “It’s good to know she will be taking it a little easier, but knowing Dorothy I can’t imagine it will be so easy because she is so devoted. For many people she has been a hero for years.
“She has played an important role in fulfilling a need that in many cases was not available and has built up a strong reputation.
“A lot of people have been very worried about her and a lot of prayers have been said for her.”
Dorothy was awarded the Freedom of the Borough in 2001 at a civic carol service at St James Church, Accrington, in recognition of her outstanding service to the town.
Maundy Relief declined to comment.