A POPULAR district councillor for Clent and Belbroughton has vowed to continue her charity work after stepping down after 15 years in the role.

Janice Boswell, who had represented the Furlongs ward on Bromsgrove District Council since 2000, has been chairman of the council, vice-chairman and civic head during her time in local politics.

The 72-year-old retired mobile hairdresser also raised thousands of pounds for charities - The Edward's Trust in Birmingham, Primrose Hospice, Dogs for the Disabled and the Stroke Association's Life After Stroke Centre - during her time in the top jobs. She also had chance to visit Buckingham Palace and met The Queen.

She said: "I've really enjoyed it. It's been an absolutely brilliant time in my life."

Despite quitting the council at the May 7 election, she has no plans to give up her work in the community.

She has just become a parish councillor on Belbroughton Parish Council and she aims to continue as a volunteer at the Bromsgrove based Life After Stroke Centre.

A keen supporter of the centre since it opened nearly three years ago, Janice - in a strange twist of fate - found herself needing its services after discovering last August that she had suffered a stroke.

She said a blood clot was discovered in her spinal area which caused damage to her nerves but nearly a year on she is able to get around with the help of a stick.

Janice is full of praise for the centre which she describes as a "wonderful place".

She added: "It's the only one in England. I've seen miracles happen. It's the most wonderful organisation; it can help so many people."

Janice, whose grandmother suffered a stroke at 52 which left her bedridden for the final 15 years of her life, is also involved with a monthly singing group at the centre which she says helps to help lift the spirits of stroke survivors.

She said: "Everyone loves to sing. It's absolutely wonderful. I get such a lot out of it."

Janice, who lives in Belbroughton, added: "This month is Action on Stroke Month - we're doing so much for it; trying to raise awareness because you can have a stroke anywhere. I had one in my spine."

Johanne Hughes, Life After Stroke Centre co-ordinator, described Janice as a "wonderful ambassador for the Stroke Association and the centre in particular" and she added: "We've got a wonderful sense of community here of which Janice is a key part.

"We run a range of activities on Mondays and Thursdays - of which the singing group is one - to demonstrate to people there is life after stroke."

Based in Church Lane, Bromsgrove, the centre is open to anyone from across the West Midlands and Worcestershire areas affected by a stroke.

To find out more check out www.stroke.org.uk/lasc, email lascevents@stroke.org.uk or call 01527 903903.