A leading voluntary sector boss in Keighley is retiring in May after 16 years in the town.

Caroline Schwaller has run Keighley and Ilkley Voluntary and Community Action (KIVCA) since 1999.

She decided the time was right to step down from the challenging role of coordinating support for community groups across Keighley constituency.

Caroline, 62, began when the organisation was known as Keighley Voluntary Services and its chief role was providing advice for groups.

Since then KIVCA has grown dramatically, establishing new services and playing a key role in decision-making at district level.

Caroline also spearheaded the transformation of derelict Central Hall into a flourishing community centre, and a merger with Ilkley Voluntary Services.

Caroline, who lives in Hipperholme, said she had been thinking of retiring for a while, after having a grandchild and talking to friends who had recently retired.

She said: “I still enjoy the job, but it’s time to go. I’ve had a fantastic time.

“I get huge pleasure out of the things happening because of what we’ve done at KIVCA.

“It was really important that KIVCA was rooted both in local development work and influencing policy.”

Caroline will continue for the next 18 months as chairman of the National Association of Voluntary and Community Action.

And she said that throughout her retirement she would definitely remain involved in the voluntary sector.

She added: “I don’t want to be just a committee person. I’ll will never stop wanting to be part of the community.”