A celebration of people who help make York such a special place to live is approaching its climax, as DAN BEAN reports.

THESE are just some of the people who have made a difference to their communities and touched the lives of others.

Scores of entries for the 2011 Community Pride Awards were sent in by grateful members of the public who wanted their unsung heroes to be recognised, and each of the entrants impressed judges with their stories of bravery, community improvement, and triumph over adversity.

After a long and difficult selection process, the names of the finalists in each of the 13 categories have been decided, ahead of a glittering award ceremony, which will take place in October.

Spirit of Youth

Army cadet Hayden Davies, 16, has been in foster care with Bryan and Amanda Kenealy for the last three years, and was nominated by Bryan for the medical assistance he gave a woman who had collapsed in the street.

Hayden has also dedicated much of his free time to helping social care professionals speak to young people about life in foster care, and has even spoken to prospective foster carers about his experiences.

Joel Lishman, 13, and John Docherty, 14, raised £3,500 for cancer research by cycling 170 miles across the country in three days, after Joel’s mother Joanna was diagnosed with the disease.

Paisley Laws, 17, was born with cerebral palsy, and has undergone numerous operations throughout her life, and was praised by judges for her determination and strength throughout her life, as she prepares to take her A-Levels at York College.

Primary School Project

Bradley’s Garden at Poppleton Ousebank School, which was designed by volunteers as a place of reflection in memory of 11-year-old Bradley Brough, who died during heart surgery last October.

The Class Pets Project at New Earswick Primary School was set up to teach children about the responsibilities of looking after an animal, and help them learn about budgeting, skills which will be useful in later life.`

A recipe book created by students at Hob Moor Oaks Primary School, which sold out within two weeks of its launch helped the children learn literacy, numeracy and improve their communication skills.


Judges said this was one of the most difficult categories to judge, as there were many excellent nominations, but the final three are Maggie Potter, Sally Gatus and June Whittaker.

Maggie is a volunteer at York Wheels, who was praised for her energy which puts her co-workers to shame, despite turning 71 this year.

Maggie is also a member of the Knit and Natter Group at Fairfax Court, who helped raise £31,000 for the Special Care Baby Unit at York Hospital.

Sally, from Dringhouses, has overcome cancer and started a gardening club at Dringhouses Primary School, where her children attend, to help build fond memories of her.

June was nominated for her work in the Bishopthorpe community, after she helped with the local playgroup for more than 20 years, and volunteered with the Brownies, Neighbourhood Watch and First Responder teams.


Brian Hughes, a barber from South Bank, has raised more than £13,000 for men’s cancer charities, by setting up the Taking The P race in York, now in its second year.

Paraplegic microlight pilot Dave Sykes, who flies with York Flying Club, inspired readers and judges with his round-the-world solo flight from York to Sydney, Australia.

Andrew Fair, from Huntington, has been involved in dozens of fundraising schemes for numerous charities over the years, and most recently walked the city walls to celebrate his 25th year at Sainsbury’s, and 100 years of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Service With A Smile

Organic day nursery Little Green Rascals was nominated for owner Vanessa Warn’s positivity, helpfulness, care and support offered to children and parents.

Kenneth Slee of Heworth Post Office, along with his staff, were nominated for their helpful and patient service for customers, especially the elderly.

Jenny and Neil Chadwick, of Access Travel in New Earswick, were praised for their support to people with difficulties who use their coach service.

Health Service Hero

Doreen Foster, a motor neurone disease specialist nurse, was nominated for her tireless work with a local charity as well as patients, despite suffering from cancer.

Steve Marr was nominated for his work with TayCare Medical Ltd, and helping children get used to specialist medical footwear.

Jaynie Pateraki, a sleep apnoea specialist at York Hospital, was nominated for her work with patients, and her dedication to fundraising for the ward.

Child Of The Year

Strong entries also flooded in for the Child Of The Year category, with judges commenting “we would love to include all the nominees”.

Naburn toddler Owen Targett overcame a potentially fatal liver disease with the help of a transplant from his grandfather, John. Seven-year-old Freddie Hyde, from Clifton, has undergone months of treatment for leukaemia, and has faced every injection and chemotherapy session with strength and bravery.

Hannah Jayne Martin, who was born weighing less than a bag of sugar, has fought illness since birth, and is now making a name for herself in the world of kickboxing at the age of eight.

Margaux Barker, aged five, is preparing to start her first year of school, after she underwent open heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary.

Rosalia Daly-Maxwell was born with a cancerous tumour in her chest, and had to undergo seven operations to remove it before she was three years old. Her parents said her strength and determination were inspiring to them, and she never failed to smile.

Sporting Hero

Sarah Watts is a PE teacher at Millthorpe School and professional umpire with England Netball, and was nominated by her netball team for her support, and efforts in taking them to a national championship earlier this year.

Squash ace Poppie Jaram, of Acomb, was nominated by her father, John, who adopted her with his wife, Jean, from China when she was a baby.

Ten-year-old Poppie is now competing in regional tournaments, and is ranked fifth in England’s under-11s.

Frank Stones has been devoted to regional cricket since 1957, and has dedicated over half a century to the HPH York Vale Cricket League (formerly the York & District Saturday Cricket League).

Community Project

York People First is a group which works with businesses and schools across the region to promote awareness of learning disabilities. Some of the group have been victims of bullying due to their own disabilities, and help schoolchildren understand more about how serious it can be.

Poppleton Junior Football Club, or Poppleton Tigers, have raised funds and co-ordinated grants to help create a £500,000 sports pavilion at Millfield Lane, Nether Poppleton. The project is currently enjoyed by more than 300 young members from the area.

Weigh Together is a scheme set up at the Bell Farm community centre, to help people with physical disabilities or learning difficulties take part in weight loss events on specially-tailored equipment. The group also bought the equipment themselves, after raising money through sponsored events.

Public Sector Hero

John Nicholson was nominated for his tireless work in the Navigation Road and Walmgate areas of York, keeping the estate clean and tidy, and winning the praise of the local resident’s association. John was a finalist in this category in 2009.

Trevor Palmer is a crossing patrol officer who works near St George’s School in Fishergate, and has just completed his second year in the role.

He was nominated by Coun David Scott, who called Trevor “a credit to the council”.

Kathrine Armstrong-Bisson, from Holgate, is an occupational therapist with City of York Council, and was nominated by Jennifer Holloway for her assistance when her husband Mark became disabled in 2010.

Parent of the Year

John Targett donated almost half his liver to save his 20-month-old grandson Owen, who had a potentially fatal disease, and also helped look after his granddaughter while her parents were visiting the hospital.

Simon and Lesley Hyde were nominated by Simon’s mother, Margaret, for the strength they showed when their seven-year-old son, Freddie, was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Jeff Wall was praised by his daughter, Rebecca, for keeping their family together despite years of adversity including illness, and the death of his son, Daniel.

Maxine Daly, of Clifton, was nominated by her daughter, Natalie, for her help and strength while Rosalia Daly-Maxwell underwent a string of operations to remove a tumour from her chest.

Teacher of the Year

PE teacher Sarah Watts, from Millthorpe School, was nominated for her support and dedication to her students, including the Year 11 students she coached to a national netball competition earlier this year.

Gareth Davies, also from Millthorpe School, was praised for his “cool, funny, inspirational” teaching methods.

Fiona Bennett was nominated for commitment and determination to the Year Six pupils at St Paul’s CE Primary School, including organising visits around the city and residential courses.

Person of the Year

Ben Weaver started the York branch of online recycling scheme Freecycle in 2005, a scheme which helps reduce the amount of usable items being sent to landfill. Ben has personally overseen almost 200,000 messages to help find homes for unwanted items.

Kate Lock has been nominated for her tireless work promoting sustainable and community activities around the city, and encouraging young people to learn together. Kate also created the Brassed On festival, and is a founder member of York Edible Schools.

Alan ‘Spen’ Allison has been a stalwart of York Amateur Rugby League since the late 1950s, and has dedicated his life to managing York teams and promoting the league. With Spen’s help, amateur teams from York have faced opponents from as far away as New Zealand and Australia.

York Press: The Press - Comment

Each of them is a hero to someone

EVERY year we reward the selfless actions of ordinary people that help make York a better place in The Press’s Community Pride Awards.

One of the hardest tasks facing the judges is selecting a shortlist and, as ever, they were touched by the volume of good deeds that came to their attention, saying everyone nominated was a worthy hero in their own right.

Today we finally reveal who will attend a glittering night out at the awards ceremony, where their stories will be heard.

People like Maggie Potter, a volunteer at York Wheels, who helped raise £31,000 for the Special Care Baby Unit at York Hospital.

And young people may often get a bad press, but how about Army cadet Hayden Davies in the Spirit Of Youth category, who was nominated by his foster dad for giving first aid to a woman who collapsed in the street?

But it’s not just acts of heroism that merit a place on the stage.

John Nicholson was nominated as Public Sector Hero by his local residents’ association for keeping the estate clean and tidy.

Then there are Kenneth Slee and his staff at Heworth Post Office for their helpful and patient service for customers, especially the elderly.

The list goes on, but every single one of the people who will be at the glittering awards ceremony in October is a hero to someone.

Even if it’s just for going the extra mile to help their neighbours.

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