TWO organisations who brought smiles and laughter into the lives of York’s flood victims have been nominated for the York & District Medal.

They are Paulos Circus, who gave a free show for almost 350 flood affected families and volunteers, and the Yorkshire Goldwings, who took an 87-year-old great-grandmother out for a surprise motorbike ride across the North Yorkshire countryside at the weekend.

Lainie Thornhill said she wrote to about 40 different organisations and attractions earlier this year to ask if they could provide a treat for people who had been flooded out of their homes when the Ouse and Foss rivers burst their banks on Boxing Day.

She said Paulos was the only one to step forward, with Kenny Darnell immediately offering a special free performance when the big top came to Clifton Moor last month.

She said hundreds of flood victims had had a wonderful time, which had brought smiles to their faces after having gone through a traumatic and challenging period.

"The children especially enjoyed themselves, " she said. "I think Kenny, his family and the performers of Paulos Circus deserve a medal for providing such a wonderful and fun evening."

Jacqui Scales said her mother Mavis Hildred, who was flooded out of her home in Huntington Road on Boxing Day, had had a fantastic time when her dream of riding on a Honda Goldwing motorbike came true on Sunday.

She said the treat by members of the Yorkshire Goldwings group had 'put a smile back on her face' after she suffered a traumatic time in the floods, losing many family memories and everything downstairs thrown in the skip and lost forever.

She said that when she contacted the Yorkshire Goldwings online, they had immediately said they would love to do it, and she felt a medal would be thoroughly deserved.

The medal scheme, organised by The Press and City of York Council, with support from York-based mutual healthcare provider, Benenden, is intended to provide recognition for the efforts of people, mostly volunteers, who stepped up to help out in the post-Christmas flooding.

People now have their final chance to nominate a flood hero by emailing with their name, address and contact details, plus the name and contact details (if available) of the person they are nominating, and explain the reasons for the nomination, or write to: York & District Medal, Newsdesk, The Press, 84-86 Walmgate, York YO1 9YN.