Rotherham salutes volunteers and community groups at moving ceremony
The wide-reaching impact of Rotherham’s Voluntary and Community Sector was recognised at Friday’s ninth annual Community Achievement Awards, where individual and group winners in three categories were announced in an emotional ceremony.
Jonathon Kirk collected the award for Young Volunteer, open to under 25’s. Jonathon volunteers at Broom Valley Allotments assisting visually impaired gardeners to tend their allotments as well as being involved in young people’s activities through his role as a volunteer Scout Leader. Other Young Volunteer finalists were Silethokuhle Sibanda who was instrumental in setting up a “Glee Club” for young people in Rawmarsh and has become an Ambassador for the Rotherham Children’s University, encouraging young people to join in out of school learning opportunities. The third finalist was Ash White who is the driving force behind Steps Productions, a young theatre group, directing, producing, overseeing costume and hair design and designing and building the scenery for their two productions each year. Carole Haywood, Manager of the Local Strategic Partnership presented the awards.
The 2012 Volunteer award was scooped by Janet Worrall, voluntary secretary for the Friends of Boston Castle and Parklands (and Moorgate Cemetery) and has been promoting the importance of Rotherham’s heritage for over 10 years. Other volunteers shortlisted for the final nominations included Liz Booth who volunteers for many local, regional and national projects including chairing the Rotherham Older People’s Forum where she works hard to ensure the voices of older people are heard. Heather Seddon was the other finalist. Heather volunteers every weekend and bank holiday as a Community First Responder, attending life threatening emergencies in her local area.
In the Project category, the winner was Friends of Clifton Park, a volunteer project which aims to protect and develop Clifton Park and keep it safe for future generations. Other finalists in the category were Rotherham One to One Macmillan Support (ROOMS), a volunteer project that provides one to one support to ladies with breast or gynaecological cancer and Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, a community development programme that promotes physical and emotional health, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, learning, confidence Building, social integration and community cohesion. The awards were presented by Peter Broxham, Voluntary and Community Sector Trustee.
The evening was rounded off with a selection of Michael Buble songs from a talented young man from Rotherham – Luke Taylor. Luke is 17 years old and has been performing on stage since he was 7 with Rotherham Teachers Student Academy. He is now Studying at Cathedral Academy of Performing Arts.
Organised by Voluntary Action Rotherham on behalf of Rotherham Partnership, the Community Achievement Awards were staged at the Carlton Park Hotel.