High Sheriff of Cheshire Susan Sellers has pledged to meet as many volunteers as possible during her year in office.
And top of her list was in her home village of Tarporley at the War Memorial Hospital where a dedicated team run activities for elderly people.
She said: “The country’s ‘loneliness epidemic’ has been making national headlines lately and for years the day centre has been helping to combat that locally.
“It really is a fantastic facility in the heart of the village offering elderly people the chance to take part in interesting activities and make new friends.
“The volunteers who run it are real gems and just the sort of kind-hearted local people I want to meet just to say ‘thank you’ to over the next few months.”
A dozen volunteers run activities such as art classes, craft-making and quizzes. Pensioners enjoy lunch and companionship. On May 30 the centre will hold a coffee morning to raise funds.
Plans are in the pipeline to create a sensory garden and buy more equipment for activities.
As guest speaker Mrs Sellers, who took her badge of office earlier this month, explained the role of High Sheriff.
The post, which dates back to Saxon times, places the former Women’s Royal Air Force recruiter among the country’s top dignitaries and her duties include attending at royal visits to the county as well as acting as a returning officer in parliamentary elections.
A former chairman of the Countess of Chester Hospital, she is also keen to raise money and awareness of Cheshire’s five hospices – St Luke’s in Winsford, The Hospice of the Good Shepherd, Backford, East Cheshire, Macclesfield, St Rocco’s, Warrington and The Haven, Halton.
Forthcoming duties will include Cheshire mayor-making events, meeting council leaders and a citizenship ceremony at Chester Town Hall.