A FORMER volunteer at a nature reserve has made a special return as part of a Lostock Gralam care home's 'Make a Wish' initiative.

Sheila Yale, 81, was a long-standing volunteer at Martin Mere Wetland Centre near Ormskirk before becoming a Lostock Lodge resident.

Country Court Care, which runs the care home, has joined forces with Oomph! to deliver engaging trips out – with Sheila the latest recipient after telling staff she would love to go back but didn't feel she could make the trip.

“We really wanted to find a way of working through the challenges to get Sheila there,” said Sarah Holt, activity coordinator at Lostock Lodge.

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Bill Ramsbottom, Oomph! minibus conductor, added: "We had several steps to overcome and for a long time were worried we couldn't make it happen.

"We have eventually overcame the challenges by removing a seat from our minibus and by taking a piece of equipment with us to achieve what appeared to have been impossible.

"For me this trip was a culmination of plans stretching back to February when Sheila told me she had been a volunteer at Martin Mere.

"Not only was I delighted to have finally achieve it and see the pleasure she and her husband Brian obtained from it, but I was also amazed by the knowledge and genuine pleasure expressed by all of the other residents."

Sheila was made redundant from her remedial teaching post in 1976 and decided to turn to private teaching of pupils that need extra help.

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While preparing for this, she started work as a volunteer at the nature reserve, continuing to enjoy and learn more about the wildlife she loves.

She worked in the education department at Martin Mere, showing the many school parties around the site.

During the recent trip Sheila was able to impart some of her knowledge on her fellow residents and they all enjoyed chatting with current volunteers, and seeing the gardens and wildlife.

Current volunteers Enid and Di said: "It is so nice for us to meet someone with experience from so long ago. It is wonderful to see the residents getting out and about."