Janet Heap, who is 70 years young, together with husband Bill, run Dovetales, a non-denomination church, in Shaw.
They have a dedicated aim in life – to help alleviate social isolation wherever it is found.
Janet throws open the doors to her premises on Beal Lane most days of the week with a Sunday service, knitting group, craft and art groups, a stroke support group, an over sixties group, IT sessions, monthly meals on a Saturday and much more!
If you think that’s a full week, you are wrong!
Janet also attends many meetings connected to health and wellbeing, as well as numerous Age UK events across Oldham and Greater Manchester as a whole. She never stops.
But it’s not just in this country. In the past Janet and Bill have visited and promoted clean water bore holes in India, assisted and encouraged village elders in getting roads and electricity to isolated villages, and then schools, some of which provide free hot meals. Street children have been helped and a mobile clinic assisted to treat leprosy and tuberculosis. Even buffalos and goats have been purchased to help sustain poor families in times of need.
It’s not surprising therefore that as soon as there is a need somewhere in the world Janet is on the job.
After the huge tsunami on December 26, 2004, Janet rallied around for donations and opened up Dovetales on New Year’s Day for donations and delivered them personally to devastated villages.
And, although India has been and still is a main area to help, supplies and assistance have been given to people in Romania, Moldova and Israel.
Janet said: “We want to help people here in our local community and also those around the world. We love to help people – it has meant a fruitful retirement for us while also helping those less fortunate to have a better life. It is very rewarding.”
And don’t take our word for it. Here are just a few people who have benefitted from Janet’s warm heart and caring ways:
Margaret Smith, from the Create-a-Craft Group held at Dovetales, has known Janet for 16 years. She said: “Janet is the nicest, most helpful, considerate person I have ever met. She is extremely supportive.
“If someone is down and needs support, you are made welcome and you forget all your woes. Everybody has a skill, and in Janet’s company those skills just shine.”
Elaine Gregg, from the Stroke Support Group, said: “Janet is one in a million. Nothing is ever too much trouble.”
Barbara Yates, from the Royton and Crompton Over 60s Group, has known Janet for over 12 years.
She said: “If anyone’s got worries, or personal things going on she is a good listener. She is always ready with a cup of tea.”
Edna Abbott, Royton and Crompton Over 60s Group, said: “She is a wonderful woman, the work she does is unbelievable. She helps anybody and everybody in their hour of need.”
For more information on Dovetales and their activities email: [email protected]