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Unsung Heroes Awards Evening

The Community Foundation for Wakefield District held its second awards evening at Unity Hall Wakefield last Friday 8 June. An emotional and enthusiastic audience of over 200 applauded the short-listed candidates for their remarkable contribution to a multitude of activities being undertaken by voluntary group across Wakefield District.

Hosted by Wakefield’s Kate Hardcastle and current Yorkshire Business Woman of the year, those present were given a rare insight into the work being undertaken by the 10 short-listed nominees for the Main Awards.  This was preceded, for the first time, by the Tim Henman Award for young people aged 12-18 who were similarly making a major contribution in providing fundraising and support for those in need.  In a surprise announcement, Tim Henman announced that he was unable to select a single winner from those shortlisted, so all three received an award to the delight of the audience.  The three winners were:

  • Chloe Ellam (for her work with Stride Theatre)
  • Mackenzie Millington (from Airedale Academy)
  • Evelyn Slater (from Ackworth School)

In the absence of Tim Henman who was unable to attend due to filming commitments in London, Anton Maree Headmaster of Ackworth School, presented the three young people with their awards.

This was followed by the main awards of which there were five:

  • Chris Hall – for his work with Wakefield Trinity Physical Disability Team (sponsored by BID Wakefield)
  • Erna Steele – for her work with the Homeless Pontefract Support Group (sponsored by Penny Appeal)
  • Tom Long & Josie Hemingway - for their work with the Horbury Senior Citizens Support Group (sponsored by Wakefield Council)
  • Phil Taylor – for his work with Wakefield & Pontefract Guide Dogs for the Blind (sponsored by Jolliffe Cork)
  • Sheila Wainwright – for her work in raising funding for the appointment of Admiral Nurses to support those in the district suffering from dementia (sponsored by Chadwick Lawrence)

 Of over 500 votes cast, the final, public award, by a significant majority went to:

  • Wayne Cunningham – for his work with the Spinal Injuries Unity at Pinderfields Hospital (sponsored by Yorkshire Telecom/Biscuit)

Chair of the Community Foundation David Dinmore welcomed a number of key guests including the Mayor of Wakefield Councillor Stuart Heptinstall and Consort Councillor Olivia Rowley, Sir Rodney Walker (President of the Community Foundation) and Lady Walker, Mark Creagh (MP for Wakefield) and Adeem Younis (Chair of the penny Appeal).  

Concluding the evening Chair of the Foundation David Dinmore thanked everyone for their attendance and in particular all the short-listed nominees who were making a very real difference to the lives of very many people.  The Foundation was extremely grateful for the support of the numerous sponsors, raffle prize donors and others without whom the event could not have taken place.   

Finally, David encouraged everyone to make a note in their diaries about the date for next year’s event which will take place on Friday 7 June 2019.

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