A GOOD Samaritan has been nominated for a York Community Pride Award for the second time.

Helen Rawling, of Melrosegate, co-ordinates Kitchen For Everyone York (KEY), an organisation that provides meals to homeless and vulnerable people in the city.

She has been nominated in the Volunteer of the Year category, which she was previously nominated for in 2017, and which is sponsored by Aviva.

When she found out about her nomination, Helen said: “It’s a bit of a shock, but it’s really lovely of them to nominate me.

“KEY is a group thing really. I might be the one that organises things, but it wouldn’t work without everyone else.”

The charity was started in 2015 to fill a gap in services by providing breakfast on a Sunday morning.

Since then, it has grown to provide more meals, with an outreach programme, and has seen an overwhelming demand for its services.

Helen first became involved with KEY in January 2016, when she felt the threat of homelessness herself during the heavy floods.

She said: “We felt we needed to give something back. None of us know what is around the corner.”

Helen’s daughter, Ellie, nine, also helps out, with Helen saying: “It gives her an insight into how privileged she is and she’s much better for it.”

In her nomination, fellow team member, Clare Sherwood, said: “Instead of wallowing in self pity, Helen threw herself into helping those less fortunate and has fast become the forefront of KEY and all that it stands for.

“It was because of my admiration that I recently joined the amazing team of volunteers and what incredible people they are.

"I’m sure the others will agree that Helen is the glue that holds us together and turns the cogs in an ever-expanding machine.”

As well as undertaking many roles at the charity, single mum Helen also has a full-time job and cares for her unwell father.

Clare said: “To win such a prestigious award would not only acknowledge Helen and the team’s hard work, but would help put the issue of homelessness on the map – after all, it could happen to any one of us.”

KEY can be found at the Spurriergate Centre. For more information see kitchenforeveryoneyork.org

The Community Pride Awards are run by The Press in partnership with the City of York Council. and the primary sponsor is York-based healthcare organisation Benenden Health.

All nominees must live in, or contribute to life in, the City of York Council area. Three finalists from each category will be invited to the awards ceremony at York Racecourse.

Entries can be posted to York Community Pride Awards, The Press, 84-86 Walmgate, York Y01 9YN. Or Submit nominations online at yorkpress.co.uk/communitypride by Friday, July 26. Nominations must include a supporting statement and should ideally include a photo, which we are unable to return.