Community Pride: Dedicated duo up for awards

Maureen O’Hare

Barbara Anderson

Updated in News

Two of the city's most dedicated volunteers who have given years of service to the York community have been recognised for their selfless work.

The pair have both been nominated for The Press's Community Pride awards as Volunteer of the Year.

Barbara Anderson, 59, has given dozens of young people a safe home and a stepping stone to a happy future, while Maureen O'Hare has helped make her corner of the city into a safe and welcoming community.

"Nanna Barbara", as she is known to her ten grandchildren, has volunteered with Safe and Sound Homes (SASH) for a decade offering her home as accommodation for young people facing homelessness. The charity's operations manager Adele Coupe has nominated her as 2014's Volunteer of the Year.

Adele said: "It's not always an easy ride working with young people, they are often care leavers or have lost their homes through a family breakdown, but Barbara gives a lot of emotional support and teaches them independence."

"When she hasn't got somebody staying long term she offers emergency accommodation. We can ring her up in an afternoon to take somebody that night, and she always says yes."

Barbara, who was named Community Pride Parent of the Year in 2012, said she was delighted to be put forward once again.

"I am very flattered, but it is a team effort between me and my husband Keith.

"It's been very rewarding. We have had ups and downs, but we would never give up."

Like Barbara, Maureen believes the voluntary work she does is no more than anyone does.

But Maureen, 73, has spent 18 years serving as either chairman or secretary of residents' associations around Walmgate and Navigation Road, and has been so devoted that she has attended meetings "come hail or snow", organised Christmas parties and social events, delivered leaflets and checked on repairs on countless occasions.

Mrs Pettitt said: "Maureen is the salt of the earth. There's always somebody in her home she is helping out.

"I like to see rewards go to those who deserve them, and people like Maureen are the real heart of York."

The Volunteer of the Year category is sponsored by Aviva, and is one of 13 categories in The Press's Community Pride awards, which recognise the unsung heroes of York who make the city a better place to live.

For more information, or to make a nomination, visit www.yorkpress.co.uk/pride.

Comments (1)

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9:39am Fri 21 Mar 14

Oyy you says...

Busy bodies......
Busy bodies...... Oyy you
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