St Leger Homes today held their Annual Tenants’ Choice Awards ceremony, paying tribute to people in Doncaster who make their local communities a great place to live.
Five awards were given out to local individuals and groups who make a positive difference to their local communities.
The ceremony, held at the Earl of Doncaster hotel, brought together people from different areas and different backgrounds in an inspiring event paying tribute to what’s best about Doncaster.
Paul Tanney, Chief Executive at St Leger Homes, said:
“It’s great that we can come together and celebrate the achievements local people are making within their own communities through our Tenants’ Choice Awards. Doncaster is a great place to live and work and these awards help show how vibrant community life is locally.
“Over the last 12 months all of our nominees, whether they are individuals or community groups, have made massive positive impact on those around them. Congratulations to everyone who has been nominated – you are all winners in our eyes.”
The Community Champion Award was won by Cath Siddall. Cath has always been keen on supporting the community and raising local spirits. She has a huge passion for regeneration and promotes positive projects within Edlington to try and reduce the negative perception of the area.
Cath initially got involved in local community work supporting people in the Miners’ Strike. She still supports people on the poverty line and those who are disadvantaged. Cath also volunteers for a variety of projects.
Cath Siddall said: “I’m absolutely amazed! I wasn’t expecting it but it’s brilliant. Thank you to everyone who voted for me and to ECO for nominating me.”
The Young Person of the Year Award was won by seven-year-old Harper Matthews. Harper is the son of a volunteer at Edlington Community Organisation (ECO). He gets involved in all aspects of ECO, including setting up activities, managing craft tables, leading kids’ events, supporting the jumble sales, making up emergency food parcels and doing gardening.
Harper even does jobs at home to raise money for ECO – he has a special jam jar where his ‘wages’ are stored for helping his granny around the house – last month he raised £2.06 from washing the pots, tidying socks and gardening and he donated this to ECO to help with their work.
Harper Matthews said: “I feel really good, I’m going to put my award at home in my bedroom.”
The Community Group Award was won by ECO Community Cupboard. Edlington Community Organisation (ECO) delivers massive projects within the heart of Edlington. With an army of over sixty volunteers they help with regenerating Edlington and improving the general quality of life for all with creative and innovative projects that make a difference.
The Community Cupboard project intercepts surplus food and uses it to support disadvantaged people. Residents can come and do a weekly shop for £4, with the average shopping bag containing over £20 worth of shopping. The project has been running for two years and has helped over 350 people across 90 households – whilst saving £40,000 of produce from going to landfill.
Madge Taylor from ECO Community Cupboard said: “I feel fantastic! It means a lot to us - these girls work hard! Anybody that needs any help, they’ve just got to come to ECO and there will always be someone there to help them. We are very proud to win this award. Thank you to St Leger Homes and everyone who voted for us.”
The Good Neighbour Award was won by Jenny Jurgens. Jenny goes above and beyond what is expected of a good neighbour, shopping for people nearby who can't get out of their houses themselves. She also does washing and ironing for people who can't do it themselves.
Jenny checks on neighbours who live alone and they have her phone number in case of emergency. When an elderly neighbour went into hospital recently Jenny visited and continued to check on them when they were discharged home. Jenny always puts others first – never expecting reward for her actions.
Jenny Jurgens said: “I was a bit stunned, because I wasn’t expecting to win. What you see is what you get with me, I just do what I need to do and that’s it. I am very pleased and surprised when I was put forward the award.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award was won by Eileen Cooper. Eileen served on Mexborough Common Tenants and Residents Association (TARA) for many years before becoming treasurer of the Lakes TARA. She also started a group for young people – which became the borough’s first Junior TARA. Eileen is an active member of the Positive Activities Group, offering suggestions and getting involved with engagement activities for young people.
As a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator Eileen works tirelessly to make our communities a safer place to live in – and is also Chairperson of the Mexborough Neighbourhood Network group, which works to raise aspirations in the community. Her first project with Mexborough Neighbourhood Network was a clean-up which saw over 80 tonnes of waste being removed from the local area.
Eileen Cooper said: “I’m absolutely amazed and thrilled, really thrilled. I never expected it and never actually expected to be nominated, so to win the award is tremendous. The award will have pride of place at home and I’m so thankful to everybody that voted for me and very, very appreciative, so thank you very much.”
Short videos of all the award nominees can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzs8IWHH9D0aaQRtSkd-6oJ5B6GBq2Sr8&playnext=1&index=1