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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Allerdale Disability Association has new chairman

A Workington charity that provides vital help to disabled people has a new chairman.

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NEW CHAIRMAN: Peter Mallyon, left, is taking over as chairman of Allerdale Disability Association from Stella Howarth, who is retiring as a volunteer along with husband David

Peter Mallyon has taken over the running of the Allerdale Disability Association from Stella Howarth.

Peter, 52, of High Street, Maryport, has been with the association for more than 20 years.

He has vowed to continue his predecessor’s good work while admitting she will be a tough act to follow.

Stella received an MBE in recognition of her services to the disabled as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

She joined the association 20 years ago as an information officer.

It was established in 1976 as a campaigning group to improve access for disabled people, and had early success fighting for dropped kerbs in Workington.

Peter said: “None of this would be here if it weren’t for Stella. We would have shut down so many times from lack of funding.

“Because I have known Stella for so many years, this is not like a takeover and it certainly makes the transition easier.”

Stella, 62, and her husband David, 63, formally retired last month from the charity, based at Curwen Park, after two decades of volunteering.

Peter joined the association as a volunteer after suffering from a head injury when he was knocked down by a car.

He will continue in his role as chairman of the brain injury association Headway (Cumbria).

Stella, David and Peter agreed that the search for funding and the problems faced by disabled people were becoming increasingly difficult.

Since the recent shake-up of the welfare system, the association has seen calls increase by between 30 and 40 per cent.

The charity helps disabled people to fill in benefit forms, and hosts informal drop-in sessions.

Volunteers also run a talking newspaper for the partially sighted and blind.

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