Tribute to founder of Dinas Powys Under Fives group
8:20am Tuesday 10th July 2012 in News
ONE of the founder members of popular local group Dinas Powys Under Fives, which meets at St Mary's Church Hall in the village, has died.
Alison Sheen, co-founder of the group which has been running for over 30 years, suffered a massive stroke at her home in England, and did not survive.
In 1979 she and her friend Nicky Price gave up work to become first-time mums and knew very few people in the area.
"Alison was always the calm one," said Nicky, of Dinas Powys, who is chaplain at St Richard Gwyn RC High School.
"She and I founded a babysitting circle and when meetings became too big for our houses, we asked Father Ray O'Shea (celebrating his Golden Jubilee as a priest last month) if we could use St Mary's Church Hall."
From there, Under Fives grew to four mornings a week, and at one point 150 mums and babies were using it. Now it is part of village life - in no small part due to Alison's resourcefulness.
As a social worker she saw the needs of young mums, often isolated from their families, and Under Fives provided support and friendship.
Health visitors would approach Alison or Nicky to ask them to invite fragile new mums to the group - and there are many mums, grandmas and childminders who are grateful for that initiative "She was a truly good person," added Nicky.
"And although she travelled all over the world, where her husband's job took them, she would make friends and support people wherever she went."