WHEN he was dragged into a disco Phil Lancelotte never thought it would lead to a long-term commitment to a charity – and becoming a hero.
But, almost 30 years on, he’s as keen as ever on helping the Wrexham Phab (Physically and Able Bodied) Club, which has earned him an award from his employers at the Village Bakery in Minera.
Phil, 46, has been named as the company’s first Village Hero, an award set up to recognise the effort or contribution of any of the 185 employees.
As a result, the Village Bakery is giving £250 to the Phab Club and Phil will receive £100.
Phil, from Coedpoeth, has been a baker for 24 years but it was five years before that he had his first contact with the Phab Club, which provides sport and leisure activities for physically and mentally disabled.
He said: “I’d no idea what the club was but a friend of mine was a leader and asked me along to a disco at the centre in Queens Park. I didn’t know it was for the disabled until I got there.
“I hung about outside because I didn’t know what to expect, but he sent two girls out to drag me in and I’ve been going ever since.”
Phil became a voluntary leader himself, joining in all the games and activities with the children and adults.
They range from babies to pensioners, all of whom enjoy the atmosphere and chance to unwind.
The club meets weekly and members also go on day trips and holidays.
Phil not only accompanies them but raises cash to help subsidise the outings.
He organises an annual duck race on the River Clywedog at Nant Mill and helps run a 100 Club, of whom about 30 of the contributors are his Village Bakery colleagues.
In the past he’s run Christmas draws, car boot sales and other events.
Gill Namack, who founded the club 36 years ago and is now secretary, is delighted Phil’s work is being recognised by his employers.
She said: “He gets on well with everyone and knows how to deal with things. He has a way of talking to people.
“He has done so many things for the club over the years.”