The wide-reaching impact of Rotherham’s Voluntary and Community Sector was recognised at Friday’s tenth 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.
Nathan Garner collected the award for Young Volunteer, sponsored by Morthyng Group Ltd and open to under 25’s. Nathan volunteers at Swinton Lock Activity Centre, presenting training programmes and talks to groups on caring for the environment and local wildlife and the history of the canal, as well as being a crew member on the narrowboats on pleasure trips. Other Young Volunteer finalists were Christopher Badger who volunteers with Open Minds Theatre Company supporting the annual Shakespeare Festival, selling programmes, raffle tickets and working front of house. The third finalist was Rachael Chesterton who volunteers at Lifeline Milton House Project, delivering one to one sessions with people who are concerned about their alcohol use. Carole Haywood, Manager of the Local Strategic Partnership presented the awards.
The 2013 Volunteer award, which was sponsored by Willmott Dixon Partnerships, was scooped by Linda Maxted, Neighbourhood Watch District Chair, for her 23 years dedicated service to the scheme in Rotherham. Other volunteers shortlisted for the final nominations included Marilyn Lawton who volunteers in the LASER Credit Union Ltd office supporting staff and clients. June Thomas was the other finalist. June is the Chair of the Rotherham fundraising branch of the British Heart Foundation as well as being a hardworking committee member and supporter of events in her local community. The awards were presented by Cllr Mahroof Hussain MBE.
In the Project category, sponsored by Irwin Mitchell, the winner was Two’s Company, the Age UK Befriending Service set up to provide one to one befriending support and companionship to older people in Rotherham who are affected by loneliness and isolation. Other finalists in the category were Model Village Community Group, a group based in Maltby East set up to make the area a more pleasant and safer place to live and Rotherham Explorer Scouts, which exists to actively engage and support young people in their personal development. 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 Ben Green, Emily Huddleston and Katie Eyre.
Organised by Voluntary Action Rotherham on behalf of Rotherham Partnership, the Community Achievement Awards were staged at the Carlton Park Hotel and supported by RMBC Public Health, who produced the films for the night and B&B Press, who printed the programmes.