SOUTH Queensferry teacher Joyce Faulkner is to stand down as chairwoman of the GreenFerry environmental group after eight years.
The announcement has drawn tributes from friends, colleagues and fellow volunteers, who praised the 59-year-old’s service to her community.
Joyce, who also co-founded GreenFerry, will continue to fundraise for the group but wants to spend more time with her husband, Jim McIntosh.
“I need a little more time to be with him as he’s 80 this year,” said Joyce, who has a son, Steven, 25.
Born in Glasgow on January 15, 1953, Joyce grew up in the Gorbals, attending Croftfoot Primary and then King’s Park Secondary.
“There was a fantastic community round there at that time,” she said. “And my mother made a point of making me think of people worse off than we were, even though there can’t have been that many people who were worse off than we were.
“We did not have any spare money in our house, that’s for sure. I can remember my father making us games and toys out of cornflake boxes.”
It was while at secondary school that Joyce’s desire to do good for others was deepened through successful completion of a Duke of Edinburgh Award.
She said: “I’ve always got a lot out of helping other people and that award really reinforced for you that you want to be doing the best for your community, service to the community and all that.”
Joyce, who left school to study English and Psychology at Strathclyde University, was able to explore her interest in community service further after qualifying as a teacher and later specialised in further education.
For the last 30 years she has been based at Stevenson College as a teacher of Communication and English.
She said that GreenFerry, which has organised events in South Queensferry including litter clean-ups, garden improvements and painting of the High Street railings, emerged almost by accident. “I just fell into environmental activities,” she said.
“GreenFerry grew out of the Queensferry In Bloom competition, which tries to get locals to make improvements to their areas.
“It’s really important someone steps forward to replace me, otherwise the group will be forced to cancel. It would be such a shame if we didn’t have flowers in the High Street any more.”
Gordon Wood, chairman of Friends of Ferry Glen, said: “I first met Joyce back in 2002 when she took it upon herself to pick up rubbish along the cycle path through the Ferry Glen.
“Every community needs a Joyce. She has played a tremendous role in the community and it should be indebted to her.”
Anyone interested in leading the group should contact Joyce on 0131-331 4153 or 0793 1901115, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.