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.
Six 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:
“Doncaster is a fantastic place to live and work – and it’s great that we can come together and celebrate the achievements local people are making within their own communities.
“Our Tenants’ Choice Awards recognise excellence and hard work. 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.
“Every year we hear new inspirational stories and this year is no exception – we have had some really strong stories about the ways that local people are making Doncaster a better place for everyone to enjoy.
The Community Champion Award was won by John Allard and Steve Ackerman who work tirelessly in Denaby to engage the local community, creating a digital hub so people can access resources and learn new skills. They created Party in the Park which is a social activity bringing organisations and the Denaby community together, and have also helped with activities such as cooking sessions at the Craganour TARA.
John Allard said: “It’s great to win and a recognition of what we do as a Tenants and Residents Association in Denaby. We’ve been involved for around 12 years and we enjoy what we do. A lot of it is around tackling social isolation – we put nights like bingo on and try to give people of all ages something to do.”
Steve Ackerman said: “This is great for the Craganour Centre and everyone involved who are putting work into the local community. It's become natural, trying to engage old people as much as the young and we’re delighted to win.”
The Young Person of the Year Award was won by Morgan Tiplady. She is a student at Trinity Academy, and was recently presented with their ‘Good Citizen Award’. She volunteers at Thorne Moorends Community Hub and Foodbank to help others in her community. She loves to help and be part of the group, and attends as often as she can. Morgan helps to register people when they arrive, offers advice and assistance, and helps people find support if they need it. By helping others Morgan is growing as a person, developing her own skills, and enriching her life through her hard work and volunteering.
Morgan Tiplady said: “My aunt Anne got me into the food bank and making a difference locally. Sadly she passed away, but I wanted to carry on doing it. I enjoy helping people and really pleased to win this award.”
The Community Group Award was won by DN7 Foodbank who provide support for members of the community who are struggling to provide a meal for their families. They opened their doors in 2015 and have been donating food to families and people in need ever since. With the increased use of foodbanks today, DN7 have to work very hard so that they can offer a variety of good quality food for those who need it most. This foodbank is a lifeline for members of the local community.
Pauline Sophianou from DN7 Foodbank said: “It’s a lovely surprise to win the award, we’re really pleased. We have 28 volunteers who all work hard and this is great for them. We've become good friends and bonded through the work we do. It’s a real shame in this day and age that we need food banks. Volunteers come from all over the DN7 area, supported by local churches, Tesco Edenthorpe, friends on the allotments and the wider local community.”
We would love to be made redundant because we aren't needed but unfortunately at the moment people do need this support
The Good Neighbour Award was won by Madge Taylor. She is a hands on tenant in Edlington and always has a smile on her face. She looks after her neighbours and uses the community building to put on activities for them. She organises games of bingo and a lunch club. Madge has helped with Edlington’s Independent Food Share since 2016, whereby she helps fill in paperwork and offers help to people who attend. Madge always greets anyone with a friendly smile, working hard for her local community.
Madge Taylor said: “It feels fantastic to win, I’ve never won anything in my life. I’ll speak to anyone and help them, it costs nothing. I look out for people and put them in touch with the right people when they need help. I love every minute of it, I just wish I could do more.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award was won by Maureen Tennison. She has worked tirelessly for residents for many years, showing dedication and passion for everything she is involved in. Maureen has worked closely with St Leger Homes as a Board Member, examined processes and practises as a member of the Scrutiny Committee, and been involved in a number of tenant consultation programmes. Maureen is also a driving force behind Edlington Royal TARA. The village has seen difficult times with anti-social behaviour and Maureen has always given people a way to resolve their issues. With the Friends of Martin Wells Lake group, Maureen has taken an active role in transforming the site into a local beauty spot. Maureen is a valued member of Edlington Community Organisation, always willing to turn her hand to any task. If it is too physical, such as erecting Christmas Market stalls, she still comes along to happily make tea and sandwiches to support the staff and volunteers.
Maureen Tennison said: “We started work with the Tenants and Residents Association in Edlington in 1998 and have been standing up for the community and helping people ever since then. People still need our support. There’s lots of groups such as ECO (Edlington Community Organisation) working together to help people. It’s a great place to be.”
The overall winner of the St Leger Homes Photographic Competition was Rachel Ackerman, aged 16, for her photo River of Reflection, for which she received a 360 degree camera. The runners up were Caroline Mobbs and Boleslaw Olszewski, for their photos Sunset Moments and Our City at Night respectively. The runners up and winner also received a framed canvas print of their entry.
Rachel Ackerman said: “This competition was a great opportunity to show my pictures. I enjoy taking photos and this picture says about what living in Doncaster means to me. I’m shocked to win, but it's great.”
Above is a photo of the winners. Pictured (Back row, left to right): Maureen Tennison; Rachel Ackerman; Steve Ackerman and John Allard. (Front row, left to right): Pauline Sophianou from DN7 Foodbank; Madge Taylor and Morgan Tiplady.