Changing careers can be daunting at any age but Ruby got an MA, set up a company and became its chief executive at 78 – and all to help others.
She had retired as Assistant Director of Social Services in 1996 and, after a lifetime working with children and families, began volunteering. Ruby joined and often chaired various groups supporting service users and carers in the north-east, for which she was awarded an MBE.
Then, when one voluntary group was threatened with funding cuts, she took action. “To become financially viable,” she says, “my learning project was how to set up a Community Interest Company.” Working with law students and a business tutor at the Northumbria University, she helped create the company called North East Social Care Advisors CIC.
Angela Brown, chief executive of Training in Childcare Ltd, says Ruby’s commitment to learn in order to help others is remarkable. “This is not only a fantastic example of role modelling for those who have retired, but also sends out a strong message to volunteers to undertake learning.”