Gainsborough town councillor says “It’s never too late to start”

Coun Liz Clews

Coun Liz Clews

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Since becoming a town councillor in May last year Liz Clews has had a lot to learn on her journey so far.

Liz, 54, has lived in Gainsborough for 27 years, after she moved here with her partner who was overseeing the build of West Lindsey Leisure Centre.

Liz works as a specialised fitness instructor.

She said: “I love my job, I love the fact it makes a difference to people not just physically, but mentally and in such a positive way.

“It is so rewarding and I have evolved from being a fitness freak and slimming consultant to nurturing a massive market in mature health, which I have only just scratched the surface.

“I studied continuously throughout my teaching life and now specialise in COPD, Dementia and Parkinson’s working partly with a charity called Vitality NHS approved and partly under West Lindsey Mature Fitness, a group I founded to develop new projects that support vulnerable groups in the town.

“My other love is teaching yoga and pilates, all immense subjects that work so well together, more and more mature people are taking up yoga for wellness it’s fantastic for everything, physically mentally and emotionally and many health conditions.

“I will soon be involved with a new project called Dementia Adventure, a sensory stroll with Richmond Park which is very exciting.”

Liz said before she become a town councillor she knew little about what the role would entail.

She said: “I knew nothing about what a Town Councillor entailed, I even thought you got paid.

“To be truthful I don’t look as this as political, the varied list of things that we are asked to make decisions on are for the good of the town.

“I’ve had phone calls about picking up rats, allotment gates, trees, graves and crossings.

“All the jargon that baffles me is educating me. I feel so lucky to be making a difference on things that, not only affects the whole town, but small decisions on helping someone getting a sign at the end of their road. 

“It is challenging, and such a commitment, but one I will ensure I do my best.

“I might not be the most eloquent in my Suffolk drone but my passions always shine through.”

Liz said since becoming a councillor she has learnt so much.

She said: “I never knew what a motion or campaign really was all about, I didn’t have a clue about various policies. It’s been a scary journey and from being on the radio and now the telly, I have to pinch myself. No way did I consider this as my role. But I’m loving it and yes it was the right decision, I won’t be looking back in wonder.

“I have an 18-year-old son James, and when I was hovering in my decision to go for councillor he said, ‘Mum, you’ll regret it if you don’t take up this opportunity’ and my mum stated, ‘If you make the decision to go for it then you’ll never wonder for the rest of your life, what if?’

“I can honestly my short journey so far has been great, And crikey am I still learning?

“In less than 12 months not only did my son go to University, I ran a large Vitality event Celebration Day to raise profile for Mature Health where 100 people attended at the Western Rooms with more than 20 partners in the town, helped set up Morton and Gainsborough Women’s Institute, joined a choir and became a town councillor.”

Liz said her ultimate ambition is to develop support groups for both suffers of Parkinson’s and Dementia, their carers and utilise the John Coupland Hospital.

She said: “You watch this space, it will happen.

“At the age of 54, with a knee op under my belt and many other areas with wear and tear, I realise just how important Mature Health is now than ever before.

“It’s certainly never too late start either.”

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