A total of thirteen awards were given out at the very first Darton East Ward Alliance ‘Making a Difference’ Awards on Friday evening. (30th September).
The awards were given to individuals, groups and supporting businesses that have voluntarily had a major impact on the local area, giving their time freely and willingly to support good causes that benefit the whole of the Darton East Ward community.
Nick Hibberd, Member of the Darton East Ward Alliance and part of the judging panel and sub-committee coordinating the whole event, said: “Volunteering is a vital part of any thriving community which, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, account for almost 1% of whole of the UK’s economy. This equates to a staggering £20 billion in real financial terms.
“The same report goes on to show that around 1 in 3 people, or nearly 20 million people volunteered through groups, clubs, or organisations at least once during the last 12 months. It was these from our own local community that we felt was important to recognise and reward for ‘making a difference’,” he added.
The judging process started back in July when residents and workers from the local community were invited to nominate any volunteer groups or individuals for their efforts in making Darton East a better place to live. There were originally ten categories to be judged with nominations to be submitted in writing through the Darton East Ward Alliance offices in Darton or handed in to the Mapplewell & Staincross Village Hall, where the event was organised and hosted.
“We were pleasantly surprised at the number of applications that we received for these first ever awards as we know that people can be a little sceptical about anything untried and new, but with the success of the event this year, we are more than confident that we can build on this and actively encourage many more people to nominate some of the more diverse volunteer groups that may have not been represented on this occasion,” said Nick. “
The award ceremony opened with a video message of congratulations from the local MP, Dan Jarvis, who was unable to attend due to a last minute change to his own commitments. The Worshipful the Mayor of Barnsley, Sarah-Jane Tattersall, who was present, announced the winners and awarded the trophies and certificates. Local Councillor and Chair of the Darton East Ward Alliance, Steve Hunt, acted as compere for the whole of the event, supported by Rebecca Battye of the BMBC North Area Team and Nick Hibberd.
The following awards were presented
- GOOD NEIGHBOUR AWARD - Darton District Nursing
- YOUNG VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD - Darton Primary School Eco Council
- BUSINESS CONTIBUTION AWARD - David and Leah Lockwood
- ENVIRONMENTAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD - The Community Fridge
- OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO ARTS AND CULTURE AWARD - Bob Hawes, David Robinson and St John's On Stage
- COMMUNITY GROUP AWARD – Greenspace Group
- OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO YOUNG PEOPLE'S ACTIVITIES – Mrs Helen Altun
- VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD 1 – Mrs Teresa Wilcockson
- VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD 2 – Mr Gez Morrall
- COMMUNITY EVENT OF THE YEAR 1 – The Mapplewell & Staincross Village Hall Platinum Jubilee Celebration
- COMMUNITY EVENT OF THE YEAR 2 - FOMAS Beer Festival
- OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE COMMUNITY AWARD - Mapplewell & Staincross Village Hall
- SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD - Carl Snowden
Details of how and where to make your nominations for the DEWA Making a Difference Awards 2023 will be released nearer to the time.