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Wayside Community Centre’s Sister Jean honoured by Channel 4’s You Deserve This House

15:30 11 September 2012

Jean John in her home which was renovated by a TV crew. Photo credit Carmen Valino

Jean John in her home which was renovated by a TV crew. Photo credit Carmen Valino

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A community hero from Lower Clapton was over the moon when she discovered her home had secretly been given a makeover by a team of volunteers for a Channel 4 television show.

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Jean John only found out about the revamp when she found presenter Amanda Lamb outside her home in Powerscroft Road, after being whisked off to spend a weekend away.

Jean had been nominated by her granddaughter Charmaine to appear on the daytime show, You Deserve This House, which is dedicated to people who give up so much of their time for others that they haven’t any left to put into their own homes.

Also known as Sister Jean because of her work as a Methodist preacher, she was picked out for her work over the last 25 years running the Wayside Community Centre in Chatsworth Road.

She set up the community centre for people with mental health problems, the elderly and to provide respite care for carers, and over the years many people have been helped onto the road to recovery there from sickness and depression.

“There are always needy people in the community, when you see the social services are closing down, I just have a passion for people who are suffering in the community,” she said.

“I don’t worry too much about what a I haven’t got but while i know I’m making somebody’s life worthwhile it gives me such great satisfaction that I forget my own needs.”

Cllr Ian Rathbone, who is also Patron of the Wayside Community charity said Jean had selflessly given her life to help others, and even her family are all involved in helping.

“She is a wonderful caring person who has persisted through thick and thin to keep Wayside going - a place of refuge and of help to so many people locally.

“It has been a real and humbling privilege to know her and work with her over the last 25 years.”

To see the programme on 4oD go to www.channel4.com/programmes/you-deserve-this-house/4od#3390893

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