'Chocolate chick' Val says her farewells

Pictured from left to right are Val Cooper, George Taylor, Lydia Hindle, Callooh Callay owner Alison Hughes, June Nicholson and Eileen Wetherall.
Pictured from left to right are Val Cooper, George Taylor, Lydia Hindle, Callooh Callay owner Alison Hughes, June Nicholson and Eileen Wetherall.
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A former councillor and Town Mayor's farewells to her "beloved Clitheroe" have included numerous get-togethers and the presentation of a very special award.


Val Cooper (71), who has helped raise thousands towards renovation work at Clitheroe Parish Church by completing a workathon and staging an Easter Extravaganza concert, is relocating to Leicestershire to be closer to family.

An inspirational character in the local community, Val threw herself into fundraising for the parish church following the death of her husband Gary, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2015 and died last March.

Setting herself a "workathon" challenge, Val worked for half a day in 22 shops and businesses around Clitheroe.

The wide variety of work that she undertook included serving breakfast in a local hotel, being a waitress in local cafes, shampooing hair in a local hair salon, pulling pints in a pub, selling shoes, gifts, cards, gents clothes, furniture, electrical goods and much more.

Throughout the challenge, Val took a photo diary of her adventure and asked people to donate whatever they could to support her work on behalf of the church.

As well as her "workathon" challenge, for a bit of fun, Val and a couple of her friends have also been busy finding the best hot chocolate that's on offer locally.

Forming her own little social group called "the chocolate chicks" consisting of Val, June Nicholson and Eileen Wetherall, the trio visited every cafe in Clitheroe for a hot chocolate awarding points for service, presentation and, of course, taste.

"It started out last winter having a hot chocolate together," said Val, "and we realised that there were so many cafes where we could meet and enjoy a hot chocolate.

"All were very different and all were good, but some were outstanding."

Following their research, the trio agreed unanimously that Callooh Callay on Moor Lane are the clear winners and presented a silver engraved cup to owner Alison Hughes.

Val, who during her time in Clitheroe was also secretary at the Pendle Club, and with her late husband Gary relaunched the luncheon club there in 2011, has also been presented with a leaving gift from the club's members.