HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to an “incredible” mother who helped found the Hockley and Hawkwell Day Centre more than year 30 years ago.

For decades Iris Reason MBE, from Hockley, played a huge part in the day care centre.

Having noticed there weren’t any facilities in the area for those on their own and who weren’t able to get out as often, she set to work organising an abundance of raffles and more to help see the centre come to life.

The mother-of-two, who was awarded an MBE for her efforts, passed away on Saturday at the Ashingdon Hall nursing home at 93-years-old.

Her daughter Margaret Robertson, said: “Mum was instrumental in setting up the centre, we were so proud when she received her MBE in 2000 for everything she did there.

“Her and her friend Joy both did, and worked there from the beginning.

“My father was also involved in founding it, and I think the whole family were roped into it during the early days.

“It all started when she was with the Hockley and Hawkwell Old People’s Welfare Association. As she was going round doing the meals on wheels she realised there was nothing for them to do in Hockley.

“They started it off in the old fire station on a Thursday afternoon, but she soon thought ‘no we can do better than this’.

“From there she went on to fundraise for a purpose built centre. They formed a fundraising committee and got to work raising the money, which was about £150,000.

“It was quite a sum of money in those days.”

Margaret fondly recalls her happy childhood with her brother Alan.

She added: “Even when it started off things were slow, with cold meals and salads.

“Now it’s just blossomed and is open to anyone over the age of 55. Mum was truly amazing and was very well known in the area. I remember she loved going out for a morning coffee and lunch to all the cafes near us.

“Sadly she hasn’t been involved in the day centre for the last few years due to ill health.

“We will never forget her, and want to say thanks to all the staff at her care home.”

The Hockley and Hawkwell Day Centre also expressed sent condolences, adding “our thoughts are with her family.”