Community Achievement Award Winners Announced

29th November 2018

The awards, which recognise and celebrate the wide-reaching impact of Rotherham’s Voluntary and Community Sector, were presented at a ceremony on Friday 16th November at The Carlton Park Hotel.

The awards, organised by Voluntary Action Rotherham on behalf of the Rotherham Together Partnership, showcase the outstanding contribution that the voluntary and community sector make in Rotherham.

In all, there were over 50 nominations for the awards from a variety of community groups, organisations and individuals from across the borough.

The winners are Kiran Meharban, a young volunteer for Rotherham Looked After Children’s Council, Lawrence Sanderson, a volunteer at Rotherham United Community Sports Trust and Fisherman’s Friends and Rotherham African Drummers.

This year, the judges decided to give an additional ‘special recognition’ award to Fin Birch, who at just 9 years old, is the youngest person ever nominated.

The panel of independent judges consisted of Michael Holmes and Kellie Rodgers, Rotherham Together Partnership; Andrew Mosley, Editor at Rotherham Advertiser; and Adrian Dexter, Senior Pastor at Liberty Church.

Janet Wheatley, Chief Executive Voluntary Action Rotherham added “It’s always a very humbling and inspiring evening recognising the efforts of the voluntary and community sector in Rotherham, the projects and work they do and the vital role that volunteers – young and older – play in our town.

All of the nominees are winners, their work, commitment and dedication helps to make Rotherham the great place that it is.”

The 2018 Rotherham Community Achievement Award winners are:

Young Volunteer 

Kiran Meharban

Kiran has been a dedicated volunteer for over 3 years with the Rotherham Looked After Children’s Council working tirelessly every week with the group and always going the extra mile.  She has been a driving force for many of the LAC Council’s Voice and Influence Projects and has made a huge impact on the projects and individuals.  Kiran is an inspirational young woman who is caring, non-judgemental, empathetic and patient and always takes the time to welcome new members to the group, she is truly unique and an outstanding volunteer.

Finalists:

Kieran Reeves and Jay Rose

Volunteer 

Lawrence Sanderson

Lawrence volunteers with Rotherham United Community Sports Trust running and supporting Fisherman’s Friends, encouraging people to be out in the fresh air in a relaxing, safe environment.  The group was initially set up to provide a safe place for individuals with mental and/or physical health issues to fish but more so to be part of a group to reduce social isolation and increase self-worth. Lawrence also sources funding opportunities to maintain and develop the group, one member quoted “I don’t know what I would do without this session, the group has helped me to make friends and improved my confidence.  Lawrence is an amazing support to the group”.

Finalists:

Nicola Speke, Mick McCafferty and Andy Gooding

Project 

Rotherham African Drummers (RAD)

RAD was set up in 2015 with a group of 10 people to try and combat issues such as racial tension, social barriers and community pride.  They now run 6 evening classes a week and are a diverse group ensuring that people with learning and/or physical disabilities can access classes based on their skill level as well as providing a safe space for people of all ages, ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds to learn and socialise with each other.  The project has inspired young people to find their own opportunities for performance and mature members of the group have expressed a great love for the project allowing them to socialise and be more active.

Finalists:

GROW and Kindness & Co

Special Recognition Award

Fin Birch

Fin, who is 9 years old, has volunteered on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day every year since he was 5 years old. He has persuaded his school to make 100 handmade Christmas Cards for older people who are lonely at Christmas and even managed to go sugar free for a month and raise £600 for the project. Fin is an inspiration to all of us and an example of how much young people can contribute to our town and how regardless of age you can have a positive impact on society.

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