The wide-reaching impact of Rotherham’s Voluntary and Community Sector was recognised at Friday’s eleventh annual Community Achievement Awards, where individual and group winners in three categories were announced in an emotional ceremony compered by Michael Kilby-Scott from Rother FM.
Rebecca Parkin collected the award for Young Volunteer, sponsored by Morthyng Group Ltd and open to under 25’s. Rebecca is a member of Rotherham Youth Cabinet and spends much of her personal time raising awareness around equality, mental health, bullying and autism, drawing on her own experiences to support other young people and ensuring their voices are heard. Other Young Volunteer finalists were Gary Boyes who dedicates time to help run the Military Community Veterans Centre (MCVC) Outreach Trailer and attend the Drop In, using his own experiences to support the military community. The third finalist was John Collins who has been involved in many of Rush Houses fundraising activities and Casting Innovations, recycling and casting aluminium cans. Carole Haywood, Manager of the Local Strategic Partnership presented the awards.
The 2014 Volunteer award, which was sponsored by Willmott Dixon Partnerships, was scooped by Patrick Cahill, the driving force behind Hotshots Junior Theatre Group tirelessly organising and tending to the group from the start of a production to the end. Other volunteers shortlisted for the final nominations included Lewis Allen who volunteers for Rotherham and Barnsley Mind and jointly runs the peer led Art Group which is delivered for people with mental health problems. Ida Atkin was the other finalist. Ida has run the Peregrin Way Community Centre in Harthill for countless years providing many activities including weekly luncheon clubs, bingo nights and art and craft activities. The awards were presented by Cllr Mahroof Hussain MBE.
In the Project category, sponsored by Irwin Mitchell, the winner was Rotherham Community Transport, which provides accessible, cost-effective, flexible transport for older people, those with disabilities, rural or isolated communities or those unable to access conventional bus services. Other finalists in the category were Kimberworth Park Club 50+ which provides a weekly social afternoon to people 50+ reducing isolation and loneliness in their community and surrounding areas and Patients’ Library Volunteers who provide a library service to patients on the wards of Rotherham Hospital. The awards were presented by Peter Broxham, Voluntary and Community Sector Trustee.
The evening was rounded off with a selection of songs from the Rotherham Teachers Student Academy. The talented youngsters entertaining the audience were Beth Atkin, Charlotte Hucknall and Mollie Huddleston.
Organised by Voluntary Action Rotherham on behalf of Rotherham Partnership, the Community Achievement Awards were staged at the Carlton Park Hotel and supported by Marketing and Creative Services at RMBC, who produced the films for the night and B&B Press, who printed the programmes.