unsung heroes

Unsung Heroes Awards 2021

Please cast your vote for the Peoples’ Choice Award!

We are delighted that the Unsung Heroes Awards, return this autumn as a live event. This special evening of celebration is set to take place at Wakefield Cathedral, on Friday 1st October.

This will be the fifth year the Community Foundation honour the outstanding contributions made by volunteers from across the Wakefield District. They represent a hidden army that, put simply, changes people’s lives on a daily basis within their local communities. These are the people who go that extra mile by running/organising activities or supporting older people and families to make their lives that bit better.

Following our call for nominations earlier in the year, we were delighted to have a record number of nominees, who came from right across the district and from a huge variety of different areas of activity. The panel then had the unenviable task of picking eleven winners. All of the winning nominees are invited to the awards, which are hosted by TV personality Harry Gration and celebrate the individual achievements of the nominees through a series of short films.

But before the awards take place, we would like you to participate in the Peoples’ Choice Award sponsored by the Wakefield Express, and vote for your overall winner here.

Challenge 25

Dear Supporter

Join in Challenge 25 and help stop fuel poverty!

In the Wakefield District there are hundreds of people still living in fuel poverty. People who spend every hour in bed just to keep warm and families that have to choose between eating and heating their homes.

Each year the Fuel Poverty campaign – Give the Gift of Warmth – raises money to help provide winter fuel grants to individuals and families struggling to pay their fuel bills. The campaign raises money through a mixture of donations, pledges, sponsorship and this year Challenge 25!

We need 25 teams to raise as many multiples of £25 as possible (the average cost of a winter fuel grant) between 1st to the 25th November and you can fundraise in any way you fancy.

The challenge is up to you…run, walk, bake, raffle, coffee morning, quiz, let your imagination run wild!

We are appealing to colleagues, friends and families to get on board with Challenge 25, so we can help even more people in our communities that are struggling.

What’s more, if you donate online between 12noon on 30th November to 12noon on 7 December 2021, your donation will be doubled as part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge. Please visit thebiggive.org.uk to find out more about this initiative.

Think creatively, think innovatively and most importantly think fun!

You can do whatever you want as long as it is safe and legal!

The challenge will conclude with an awards ceremony in the New Year (date to be arranged) to celebrate the success of the teams taking part with prizes for:

  • The team which raises the most money
  • The team which comes up with the most innovative fundraising idea
  • The best overall team member for outstanding performance (one person to be nominated by each team and voted for on the night)

This is a great team building exercise with a bit of friendly rivalry on the side! All this whilst raising vital funds for fuel poverty.

To register your team place, please complete the form below or for further information please contact theresa.barrett@wakefieldcf.org.uk

Thank you.

  • (if applicable)

“Gave me a warm feeling seeing his face light up”

This is Mark from Step Up at Wakefield Council. He collected a number of donations to give to a client and then sent us these kind words:
“I would just like to say a huge thank you to you and your team for the generous donation to my client. He was delighted!! I hadn’t told him about the microwave so that was a lovely surprise and he looked thrilled!

Its so heart warming that we can utilise a service like yours and the clothing bank for just those basic necessities to help someone get back on the track.

I’m sure I will no doubt call upon you again but really just wanted to pass on my thanks again. Gave me a warm feeling seeing his face light up!”

The team at the Community Give Box were delighted to receive this thanks as they are so proud to be able to use the preloved items so generously donated by our supporters, to such good use.

Welcome our new Trustee, Claire Sutherley!

We are delighted to announce that Claire Sutherley is the newest recruit to join the Board of Trustees. Claire, a determined fundraiser, will be a tremendous support to the charity as she has a wealth of business experience after running a successful family security business for 25 years. Claire now helps others to achieve their goals as SME Business Growth Manager at Wakefield Council.

Claire said, “I feel honoured to be the latest addition to the Community Foundation team and am looking forward to playing an active role in future support for those who need it the most within our district.”

David Dinmore, Chairman of Trustees for the charity said, “The Community Foundation Wakefield District continues its efforts to strengthen and diversify the membership of its Board of Trustees. I am thrilled that Claire Sutherley will be adding her experience and expertise to that of the current Board members. I welcome her wholeheartedly, as the Foundation expands and enhances its work to meet the needs of those suffering hardship in Wakefield and District, especially in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic.”

Helping to set up home!

The team at the Community Give Box gave Katy Hanmer from WDH a trolley full of items for a young woman who fled domestic violence with just a bag of clothes and nothing else. WDH have provided a flat and we have provided a range of items to make the flat a home!

Craig Shepherd appointed as new CEO

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Craig Shepherd as our new Chief Executive. Craig will leave his current position as CEO for Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation in August. During his time at Wakefield Trinity, Craig has helped the charity to sustain its reach and impact over the longer term and also collected the Brand Yorkshire Business Awards Charity of the Year Award. More recently, they received a nomination for Betfred Super League Foundation of the Year.

Craig said, “I’m delighted to be appointed as the new CEO of the Community Foundation Wakefield District, a region I’ve become deeply passionate about over the last eight years as a resident and four years supporting the communities of the entire district, in my previous role. I’ve big shoes to fill, Murray Edwards has been a terrific leader during the time I’ve known him in post, but I’m confident the exceptional team we have, whether volunteers, staff or Board of Trustees, will continue that work and hopefully build upon it. We are climbing out of a tough pandemic, there’s work to do and I can’t wait to get started!”

Craig will also continue as Chair of the ‘We Are Wakefield’ Business Network.

Murray has been involved in the Community Foundation since the beginning. Firstly, as a Trustee, when he was Executive Director of the Theatre Royal Wakefield, and then for the last 5 years as Foundation Director. Murray is retiring in the autumn and his swan song will be the prestigious Unsung Heroes Awards on 1 October.

David Dinmore, our Chairman of Trustees said, “Craig will bring valuable experience in the charity sector to the Community Foundation at a pivotal time in its development. The pandemic has placed new and heavy demands on the Foundation’s work to support those in need in Wakefield District. Whilst we are proud of what we have achieved so far, we anticipate a requirement to enhance our activities in the aftermath of Covid-19 and Craig’s talents and track record will allow us to continue the outstanding work that Murray has done for us until now.”



Thank you Treasure Hunt Teams

Thank you to the Treasure Hunt teams at Yorkshire Sculpture Park for raising money for fuel poverty. Thank you to all our sponsors: Wakefield Council, WDH, Route One Infrastructure, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Sanders Partnership Wakefield, Clifford Lax and Sharlston, West Bretton and Sitlington Parish Councils!

Thank you also to The Community Choir Wakefield for their lovely singing and to Andy Plues for taking photographs.

So far the Give the Gift of Warmth Campaign, which includes the Treasure Hunt, has raised in excess of £21,000 for people in the Wakefield District facing fuel poverty.

Thank you everyone, we are so grateful for your support. The money raised will help provide Emergency Winter Fuel Grants to over 800 households this winter.


Thurston Group Charity of the Year Adoption

We are delighted to announce that the Thurston Group have chosen the Community Foundation as their Charity of the Year.

Since formation in 1970 over 50 years ago, Wakefield-based Thurston Group has continually evolved its operation and is now one of the longest-standing and highest performing modular and portable building manufacturers in the UK.

A spokesperson from Thurston Group said, “We’ve chosen the Community Foundation, based in Wakefield, as our charity of the year. Which will see our employees raising funds throughout the year through a variety of events and fundraisers. While everyone has struggled over the last year, charities and community groups have been hit the hardest.

With the restrictions some have found it difficult to raise money and get people motivated to help so we’re keen to raise as much as possible for our charity of the year and get our staff involved in lots of activities throughout the year.”

We are really looking forward to meeting and working with the team at Thurston Group and are excited about the year ahead – watch this space!

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week

It is Volunteers’ Week and we want to say a very big thank you to all our volunteers for making a huge difference in helping people in need! Sandra, from The Community Give Box gave us her reasons why she volunteers:
I volunteer to give something more than financially, to the local community. I enjoy the recycling aspect of forwarding someone else’s unwanted goods to people who are really in need of them. Some people come into the shop to chat and share their thoughts, good or bad. It is really nice when they leave in a much better mood than when they came in. It makes you realise how lucky you are to have a home and family support, when so many people do not have them.
If you have a few hours to spare to volunteer, please contact murray.edwards@wakefieldcf.org.uk. Thank you.

Treasure Hunt, Thursday 8th July

As part of the Give the Gift of Warmth campaign, we have partnered with Yorkshire Sculpture Park to offer friends/colleagues a treasure hunt in the beautiful grounds of the park. 

In our communities there are many people still living in fuel poverty. People who spend every hour in bed just to keep warm or families who have to choose between eating and heating. 

Entry is £25 and will provide an emergency winter fuel grant to help a family in need. 

The Treasure Hunt is approximately 5K and you can choose a time between 10am and 4pm to set-off. On your return there will be refreshments waiting for you.  If you find the treasure you will be entered into a draw to win a prize and there is also a prize for the team/person who completes the route the fastest.  

This event was originally planned for the cold month of February but due to the pandemic it has been postponed on a number of occasions. Although now going ahead in the warm month of July, it is still really vital that we provide as many winter fuel grants as possible. 

Entry: Entry is just £25 per adult and £5 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please enter here.

Contact: For further information please contact theresa.barrett@wakefieldcf.org.uk