Success for community spirit in South Ribble
THERE'S cause for celebration for a bunch of local heroes in South Ribble who go beyond the call of duty to take pride in their neighbourhood and support their community.
Their selfless efforts have been recognised as part of South Ribble Borough Council's annual Community Achievement Awards scheme.
Nominees Jane Bell, Christine Massaro, Sarah Heaton, Shona McLean and the Lostock Hall Kidz Klub received prestigious awards to mark their outstanding contribution to the South Ribble community.
The winners were presented with trophies and certificates in front of a packed audience at the Civic Centre in Leyland last week.
The decision process was based on the candidate's contribution to the South Ribblecommunity through voluntary work, caring for vulnerable or disabled people, offering advice or support or raising cash for charity.
South Ribble Borough Council joined forces with BAE Systems, Sawle & Co Solicitors, the Disabled Information & Advice Centre, Progress Housing Group and Accent North West to honour South Ribble's unsung heroes.
The Community Achievement Awards were set up to commemorate the lives of Vaughan Seddon, a council youth and development worker who died tragically in 1999 and Joe Schultz, a charity worker who set up the Leyland Disabled Advice and Information Centre during the seventies and passed away in 2001 after a long illness.
This year, the awards scheme linked in with the council's My Place community pride campaign, which aims to encourage everyone in South Ribble to take pride in their local area, community and environment, either by attending local events, supporting the local economy, joining or supporting local community or voluntary groups or taking more responsibility for the way their neighbourhood looks and feels.
The award categories and winners were:
- Vaughan Seddon Trophy
This year's Vaughan Seddon award went to Jane Bell, who is committed to supporting young homeless people in South Ribble. Over the past ten years, Jane has given endless energy, creativity and enthusiasm to her role at Leyland based charity South Ribble Key, to help thousands of vulnerable young people. Jane has also played a pivotal role in advocating for services for this disadvantaged group. As well as her tireless work for South Ribble Key, Jane often opens her home to offer young homeless people accommodation and practical and emotional support as part of the SLEAP project.
- · Joe Schultz Award
The winner of the 2007 Joe Schultz award was Christine Massaro, the Scheme Manager of Bannister Brook House in Leyland. Christine currently helps to look after 42 residents, 12 of whom require specialist support. She works untiringly in her own time, and recently raised £5000 working with Age Concern. She also works with young people and has pioneered visits for young people to Bannister Brook House which has led to intergenerational work including an 'adopt a granny, aunt or uncle' project.
- · 16 yrs and under
For some time Sarah Heaton has volunteered her time week in and week out to work with young people with a disability at the Walton-le-Dale Youth Centre with Barnardo's support. She is hard working, reliable and always there for the junior group members, helping them to take part in all the activities. Her enthusiasm is never ending.
- · 17 to 30 yrs
Shona McLean works with pre-school children at the newly formed Friday morning toddler group 'Smarties'. The group had previously had funding and support from Homestart, but when this was lost, Shona took on the lead role to keep the group going. She goes early to set up each session and clears away afterwards, plus she spends her other time sourcing art materials and supplies for the group. Without her help 'Smarties' may well have ceased to exist and she has helped them to survive and prosper as a much needed facility within the community.
- · 60 yrs and over
Jane Bell, mentioned above, was also the winner of the 60 yrs and over group.
- Group Award
Kidz Klub was established in 2001 and was designed to serve children and young people in the Lostock Hall area. It caters for children from Yr 2 up to Yr 6 providing a range of games, activities and drama. The 'Klub' seeks to provide a safe environment in which young people from disadvantaged backgrounds can develop a sense of responsibility and worth that will enable them to play a more positive role in society. It's run by a group of some 25 volunteers and attendance has sometimes reached the 100 level. The volunteers also make weekly home visits to maintain contact with the children and to develop links with their families and offer support where necessary. The group is also involved in running local children's activities roadshows in Lostock Hall and Leylandover the summer holidays and in 2006 these were attended by over 90 children.
Councillor David Suthers, cabinet member with responsibility for leisure and cultural services, said:
"South Ribble has a tremendous sense of community spirit and that's largely thanks to people like our winners, who are making a fantastic positive contribution to quality of life for hundreds of local people. I commend them all for their efforts and hope others will follow their example so we may too award future generations of community heroes in years to come."
Last updated: 13 July 2007
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