St Leger Homes marked the end of its tenth year anniversary celebrations by holding their inaugural awards event celebrating the hard work of tenants across local communities in Doncaster.
The Tenants’ Choice Awards, held on 13th September at Doncaster Racecourse, were both uplifting and inspiring – bringing together individuals who are making a real difference where they live.
The award winners in each category were voted for by fellow tenants and showed how appreciated they were by those they help and serve.
Susan Jordan, Chief Executive of St Leger Homes, said: “It’s great to be able to come together and say thank you to people who are making such a positive contribution to their local communities. The fact that these awards are voted on by fellow tenants, shows that the hard work individuals undertake on a daily basis can make a real difference to those around them. Our tenants are the heart of our work, and we believe they are the centre of what’s good about our local communities.”
Cllr Jane Nightingale, Cabinet Member for Housing at Doncaster Council, said: “It’s great to see the things that residents are doing to make Doncaster a better place to live and this event today is also a testament to how seriously St Leger Homes takes its tenants. Here more than anywhere the contribution of tenants is really valued.”
The Community Champion Award was won by Samantha Siddall. Samantha is currently project manager of Edlington Community Organisation. She is always smiling and willing to help whether someone is the first person or the fifty-first person she has seen that day. She motivates volunteers, treats everyone with respect and is very caring about the community where she herself grew up. She is already a community champion in the eyes of Edlington.
Samantha said: “It’s amazing to win this award, but also great for the local community too. I’ve volunteered in Edlington since I was 14 – it’s important to raise aspirations in what’s quite a deprived area. It’s good to hear something positive about the area, rather than just negative stuff.”
The Young Person of the Year Award (for under 25s) was won by Linzi Williams. After a difficult start in her life, Linzi has grown into a model tenant and is now fully committed to helping other young people. She participates fully in the work of the Doncaster Foyer, supporting and mentoring other residents, encouraging them to develop new skills. She also organises fundraising events and has been appointed a co-ordinator at the Foyer.
Linzi said: “I’m really shocked to win, as I thought one of the other finalists should win. It’s great that St Leger Homes are doing these awards giving recognition to local communities, I hope that through this we might get more young people involved in our sessions at Doncaster Foyer.”
The Community Group of the Year Award was won by ECO – Edlington Community Organisation. ECO covers Edlington and Warmsworth, running activities for all age groups and many family events. These include a weekly craft group, Tai Chi, Brew and Browse (where residents learn to use smart phones and tablets over a cup of tea), cook and eat sessions, and a Slipper Swap whereby residents can swap their old slippers for a new pair. They also run a food bank and offer free meals cooked by volunteers.
Leslie Cooper from ECO said: “I’m speechless. This award is brilliant for Edlington. The last six months everyone has really come together as a community. We have different activities that reach out to different people, it’s really diverse – I am really proud of the village and all that is being done.”
The Good Neighbour Award was won by Tom Haslam. Tom helps people living on his estate in Stainforth. He visits his neighbours on a daily basis, regularly shopping for an elderly resident. He is also the first point of call for any issues on the estate – repairs, crime or problems of any nature.
Tom said: “It’s a shock to win. It’s not a win for me, it’s a win for everyone in Stanley Gardens where I live. I’ve always felt whatever needs doing, I’ll knock on doors and get it done. I’ll take the award to our Community Centre and put it up there, because it’s for the whole community.”