Ex-soldier 'at a loose end' took to rescuing teenage prostitutes
FINDING himself at a "loose end" set John Delaney down a road that saw him rescue teenage prostitutes, run youth clubs and chair community groups.
And it is his work with the people of Osmaston and Allenton over the last 32 years that has earned him a nomination for a Community Champions award.
John, 69, said: "I left the Army in 1981 and found myself at a loose end, so I decided to try and set up an adventure playground in Allenton.
"That wasn't successful but instead we set up the Allenton Adventure Playgroup which was a portable play area."
Orders taken over £2000 , will receive £100 off and the option to take 2 years interest free credit
Terms: £100 off only on orders over £2000 with the option to take 2 years interest free credit , this offer ends bank holiday Monday 27th may 4 pm , this voucher must be printed and presented on ordering .
Contact: 01332 419898
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
But this was only the beginning for John, who quickly started a summer playscheme at St Bartholomew's Church.
John, of Peveril Street, Allenton, said: "We had 100 or so kids every day for six weeks from about 1982 to 1996 or so.
"They were really good days."
And it was not just activities for children to which that John turned his hand. He also tackled more serious issues.
John said: "We had a real problem with teenage girls being prostituted.
"Me and some like-minded people helped girls in Allenton get away from their pimps.
"We even went down to London to save a girl who had been taken down there.
"We did that for four or five years until the problem fizzled out."
John then took on the task of becoming chairman of the Osmaston Community Association until five years ago.
John said: "Our main role was helping out people with basically any problem they had.
"We would help people with welfare rights, if they were in debt or had trouble with the police.
"We would work as intermediaries and help in any way we could. And, if we couldn't, we always knew someone who would."
John has now become vice-chairman of Osmaston Park Community Centre.
He said: "I help out in the cafe, office and sometimes the cleaning as well. It is a fantastic resource."
To nominate your community champion, fill in the onlineform below or send in the nomination form (right) to Joey Severn, Derby Telegraph, Northcliffe House, Derby, DE1 2BH.