Over the past few months you have been sending in your nominations for this year’s Tenants’ Choice Awards and we are pleased to say that we now have our list of finalists!
To pick your winners in each category:
- go online to www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SLHDTCA2021 and cast your vote
- telephone our Customer Involvement Team on 01302 862743
- or send an email with the names of the people you have chosen to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tenant of the Year
Janet has been a member of Barnby Dun TARA for many years and during the pandemic she took a leading role in supporting people in the local community. She stopped at nothing to make sure everyone received the help they needed – from co-ordinating food deliveries, to checking in with residents daily by telephone to see if there was anything they wanted. She looked out for others despite her own needs, and her regular contact with people helped to reduce the social isolation many had been feeling.
Nothing was too much trouble if it meant that people felt safe and supported. Janet has a heart of gold and always puts others first, she was incredible before the lockdown but has really gone above and beyond to look after everyone through these difficult times.
Ron is a member of the St Leger Homes Tenants' Appeal Panel and an active member of the Get Involved Group, regularly taking part in focus groups and training sessions to improve services for tenants. Despite shielding through the pandemic, Ron found many ways to stay involved with his community. He is always ready to go that extra mile to get the very best outcome for everybody.
Ron uses his natural talent to engage with people in his writing for the It’s Our Community publication. Ron has embraced this role and also taken on the responsibility of printing and delivering the publication to his neighbours, and is now typing and sending in their contributions as well. Ron truly embodies the spirit of involvement and brings a little sunshine and sparkle wherever he goes.
Best Green Initiative
Balby and Hexthorpe Community Community Interest Company
The CIC run many projects to help the local environment. They complete a weekly litter pick in Balby and Hexthorpe and are creating a flower bed to attract wildlife, in particular to helps bees and other insects in need of wild flowers.
Throughout the lockdown they have been able to help volunteers increase their daily exercise by carrying out daily walks in the estate to get rubbish removed, collecting over 400 bin bags of rubbish during the pandemic. They are helping to stop fly tipping and are aiming to look after the community by making the estate a welcoming place to visit for all.
Denaby Social Well Bean
This group of pensioner volunteers have come together to improve the old community allotment and turn this open space into a warm, welcoming, friendly environment for all to use. The sheds have been mended, paths laid, benches painted, and vegetable and flower seeds are growing.
They want to create a welcoming, friendly and peaceful environment to share with everyone, including a sensory garden to support people with dementia, autism and who are partially sighted to help improve mental health and physical wellbeing. They want to make a green impact in the community, educate others and teach them how to grow their own produce.
Friends of Martinwells Lake
This used to be a no-go area with a history of vandalism and fly tipping, but the group are developing it into a hub of activity where people can have a peaceful walk, do a spot of fishing or have a picnic.
The group have worked to tidy the area up and prune trees and undergrowth. They applied for funding to install outdoor gym equipment and have renewed the fishing pegs for people to use. They organise community days and promote water safety in partnership with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, and have received the Duke of York community award for all their hard work.
Julie is Chair of Greenwood TARA. She is always coming up with new ideas to entertain people and keep them informed, including race nights; fish and chip suppers; Valentine’s afternoon tea; knitting, sewing and craft sessions; and day trips out to Bridlington and Whitby.
Julie has a great sense of humour and encourages people to give time and volunteer. She is the go to person in the community when help is needed or people have questions – and if she doesn’t know, she will get the answer. She has been an amazing support during the pandemic and the floods, for the community and TARA alike.
Fenulla has a passion to support people and is always willing to go that extra mile to put people of the community first. During the pandemic she delivered lunch parcels to the community, checked on local people who are vulnerable, helped those in need to access benefits, and provided a door-to-door service for people who needed to get their vaccines.
Fenulla belongs to a number of local groups and has worked digitally during the pandemic to support them – writing funding bids for groups, which were successful, and helping set up bank accounts. She has a desire to help people and support communities in Conisbrough and Denaby.
Joanne helped people during the pandemic by delivering over 4,000 food parcels and collecting food donations from local supermarkets on a weekly basis to deliver to communities. She even worked on weekends to help.
Joanne will always make the time or people and go that one step further to help a resident in need. She completed a sponsored bike ride from Balby to Cleethorpes to raise funds for the local support hub, raising £500. She does this despite working full time, showing pure dedication to the local community. Her support has been so important to Balby and Hexthorpe CIC and everyone loves Joanne!
Community Group of the Year
Barnby Dunn TAA
This group support the community with a range of activities. Pre-Covid they held coffee afternoons, special Easter and Christmas events, lunch clubs, and craft and dance sessions.
During the pandemic they helped to keep people going by staying in touch with them to reduce social isolation and support one another through difficult times. They organised food parcels and made sure that everyone had deliveries from the local shops. Afternoon tea was sent to all members during the summer and they even delivered gifts at Christmas. They have an amazing community spirit and have made such a difference to so many people that would have been on their own if not for their support.
Toll Bar TARA
This group hold community events including coffee mornings, bingo, craft classes and children’s dance classes. Some members are flood wardens and regularly attend flood watch walks with the Environment Agency, which enables them to share their ideas or concerns.
They arrange galas at Easter, Christmas and the school holidays, and always get into the spirit of things for special occasions like the Tour de Yorkshire. During the pandemic the group continued to support residents and held meetings outdoors when it was safe to do so. They even dressed one of their vehicles up as Santa’s grotto and an Easter bunny hut and drove around the estate giving free gifts to the local children.
Hyde Park TARA
Throughout the pandemic the TARA continued to put others’ needs ahead of their own. Despite the community house being closed, they continued to support people by delivering supplies to those in need.
The TARA have always held events for key holidays such as Easter and Christmas, and rely on these events to fundraise. Due to the pandemic such events had to be cancelled so they used their own funds to bring cheer and support to the community. They delivered Easter eggs to children in hospital and on the Hyde Park estate. At Halloween they made goody bags and held competitions for local children on the estate to give them something to get excited about.
Best Community Project
Greenwood TARA – Community Support Walk
During the pandemic Julie, Chair of Greenwood TARA, wanted to help the most vulnerable and elderly members of the community so they came up with the idea for Community Support Walks.
By walking around the community twice daily the TARA offered help and support to people, especially those who were older or more vulnerable and did not have internet access to get the latest information or support telephone numbers. The Community Support Walks fulfilled a great need within the community by giving people the help and support they needed, showing that others cared and were looking out for them, improving peoples’ mental health and forging stronger links between the community and Greenwood TARA.
Young People's Voice group
These young people worked on a number of projects with St Leger Homes during lockdown. They all pledged to complete the Level 2 Youth Health Champion qualification, which will give them a qualification and help them become ambassadors for health and wellbeing in their communities and schools.
They have shared wellbeing information with their peers, created buddy networks at schools, raised awareness of mental health wellbeing and written newsletters for other young people. They have taken part in training and are continually developing themselves. They have supported many young people across the borough and are working hard on ideas and projects for their community again when it is safe to do so again.
Balby and Hexthorpe CIC
Over the last year the CIC have sent out over 10,000 food parcels; supported over 6,000 residents on a weekly basis; collected prescriptions for people; and created a ‘free from’ food parcel range for those with specific dietary requirements. They also supported Riverside Homeless Shelter with daily food donations and hygiene products.
The team started a period poverty support hub to help young ladies who are struggling to buy the most basic products. Up to 50 young women attended the hub every week, which goes to show the need for this kind of support. The team have provided a huge amount of support for people in the local community.
Young Person of the Year
Samuel is an incredible young person who is a volunteer with St Leger Homes, part of the Doncaster Youth Council, Scouts group and much more. Samuel has worked hard to complete a Youth Health Champion qualification with Street Games so he can support his peers further.
Samuel has a real passion to get involved and help services to develop and work well for young people. He really wants to make a difference within his community and help young people to be seen differently to their stereotypes. He promotes the hard work of himself and his peers through social media to inspire others and show the amazing work that young people can do.
Trinity is an extremely hard working young person who volunteers with St Leger Homes to learn new things and expand her skills and knowledge. During the last year she has taken part in webinars for Dementia Friends, Safeguarding Awareness, Money Management, Five Ways to Wellbeing, and completed a three month Youth Health Champion course about health and wellbeing.
Trinity was actively involved in designing the Keeping Safe leaflet which will be distributed across Doncaster to raise awareness of safeguarding and how to report concerns about abuse. Trinity also took a lead role in the Doncaster Keeping Safe week where she delivered a Safeguarding Awareness session on Facebook Live which was viewed by over 200 people.
Melissa is an amazing young person with a real passion for helping others. During the pandemic she wanted to find a way to engage with others and learn new skills to give something back to her community. She joined several St Leger Homes training sessions including the Dementia Friends course, Safeguarding Awareness and Youth Health Champion training.
Melissa joined the Pen Pal Christmas card project which involved writing cards for older people in the community to help them feel less socially isolated during this last Christmas under lockdown restrictions. She also developed her own project where she sent out ‘feel better’ boxes to help people who were struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.