A LONG-SERVING and popular charity worker has been given a rousing send-off after retiring from Tavistock Area Support Services (TASS) after 17 years’ service.

Jacky Norris, TASS coordinator, has worked in several roles at TASS including driving and organising volunteer drivers. Her other duties were ordering stationery, office supplies and food and drink for the Rest A While Cafe in the Pannier Market, organising room bookings at The Anchorage and handling bookings for mobility aids such as scooters and wheelchairs and also supporting volunteers.

Holly Stirling, TASS manager, said: “Jacky has been a very popular, reliable and caring, much-loved member of the team. We had a fabulous retirement party with over 85 people visiting to say goodbye. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. We are going to miss Jacky a lot.”

Two new staff are joining – Emma Wright and Debbie Holland – who will be sharing the post vacated by Jacky.

When Jacky worked as a driver for TASS she had a contract with Devon County Council to pick up students and take them to Tavistock College. This meant driving all over Dartmoor and to remote rural places, like farms, in a minibus which was more suitable for this job than the usual bigger buses.

During her driving riole she saw children join school, then leave after their school life, because she took them to school and back every day. Many made her their social media friends - calling her ‘Jacky the bus lady.’ She still recognises a lot of them.

Jacky has said she would volunteer as a driver after leaving her paid coordinator role. Another familiar face less likely to be around is Jacky’s grandson Finley Norris, 12, who joined Jacky at TASS HQ after school and was inspired by her driving to aspire to be a driver himself and to run a haulage firm.