The wide-reaching impact of Rotherham’s Voluntary and Community Sector was recognised at Friday’s twelfth 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.
Julia Bodorova collected the award for Young Volunteer, sponsored by Morthyng Group Ltd and open to under 25’s. Julia volunteers for RMAARI and has been instrumental in the development of the girls’ football team as well as volunteering for youth club sessions, Ministry of Food cooking lessons and interpreting and translating for participants. Other Young Volunteer finalists were Toni Paxford who volunteers for Rotherham Youth Cabinet, dedicating her time to campaigns such as Mental Health, Votes at 16 and the Living Wage. The third finalist was Emily Taylor who is a Community First Responder, attending life threatening emergencies in her local area. Carole Haywood, Manager of the Rotherham Partnership and Chris MacCormac, Chief Executive, Morthyng Group Ltd presented the awards.
The 2015 Volunteer award, which was sponsored by Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, was scooped by Phil Bowers, a Community Safety Volunteer with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue carrying out home safety checks and fitting fire alarms in Rotherham. Other volunteers shortlisted for the final nominations included Brian Button the Chair of Active Independence who provides support to disabled people, older people, their carers and families. Cath McCartan was the other finalist. Cath is a volunteer and steering group member for the Big Local in Thurcroft, a partnership of local residents making Thurcroft a better place to live. The awards were presented by Andrew Mosley, Editor at Rotherham Advertiser and Paul Jagger, President at Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce.
In the Project category, sponsored by Irwin Mitchell, the winner was Tassibee, which provides support to isolated and socially excluded Asian women. Other finalists in the category were Environmentalist Litter Pickers who are a group of children keeping the Abbey Reach estate in Maltby litter free and Rotherham Dementia Action Alliance who aim to create dementia friendly work and public space. The awards were presented by Carole Haywood, Manager of the Rotherham Partnership and Alison Gregory and Katy Bailey from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.
This year a Special Recognition Award, sponsored by Age UK Rotherham, was also presented to Edna Bateman who volunteers at Rotherham Hospice Charity shop. At 99 years young Edna has volunteered for the last 18 years, liking to keep busy and active. The award was presented by the Mayor, Cllr Maggi Clark and Lesley Dabell, Chief Executive at Age UK Rotherham.
The evening was rounded off with a selection of songs from the Rotherham Teachers’ Student Academy. The talented youngsters entertaining the audience were Charlotte Hucknall, Isabel Canning and Matt Roddis.
Organised by Voluntary Action Rotherham on behalf of Rotherham Partnership, the Community Achievement Awards were staged at the Carlton Park Hotel.