A charity service that provides free and confidential support to residents in and around Sudbury will change hands as the directors have announced their retirement.

Tim and Joy Ayrton of Number 72 will officially hand the baton over to Lesley Mitchell, manager, and Claire Walker, assistant manager, in July. 

Number 72, based in their cafe and drop-in centre in North Street, offers free advice to families and individuals including on issues such as debt, bereavement, anger management, parenting and self-esteem. 

Tim and Joy Ayrton who are retiring from Number 72Tim and Joy Ayrton who are retiring from Number 72 (Image: Number 72)

Claire Walker said of the charity: "We have a vision to help families and individuals deal with the various challenges of modern-day life, aiming to offer an easily accessible, non-judgemental, listening and sign-posting service."

Joy and Tim Ayrton, who opened Number 72 17 years ago, will retire from their roles in July with a two-day drop-in celebration on July 5 and 6 to celebrate.

Claire Walker, who will take on Number 72 with Lesley MitchellClaire Walker, who will take on Number 72 with Lesley Mitchell (Image: Number 72)

An invitation to the retirement events reads: "After 20 years working with families, and 17 years of those at Number 72, Tim and Joy Ayrton, Number 72’s founders, will be retiring.  

"The drop-in will be open both days for a “strawberry cream tea” where we will commemorate Joy and Tim’s foresight, commitment and hard work at Number 72. 

"Do come along and wish them well on their retirement as they hand over the baton of Number 72. 

"Since 2007 they have touched many lives through the help and support that they have given families and individuals in the area. 

"If you are one of these people, or even if you are not, drop in for a cream tea; no booking necessary.  We look forward to seeing you." 

Lesley MitchellLesley Mitchell (Image: Number 72)

Ms Walker said: "We have every confidence that the great work started by Tim and Joy will continue and many more people will be supported through it. 

"If you feel you would like to support 72 with its on-going work within the community, by either a one-off gift or regular giving, please go to www.number72.net/donate."