Community Champions Winners Announced for South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire

A teenager from Tinsley, two men who set up a men’s mental health group in Chesterfield and a young mum from Sharrow have been named as some of the winners of the Community Champions Awards, which were organised by BBC Radio Sheffield and South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation.

Adil Mohammed, who has just turned 18, from Tinsley in Sheffield won the Young Champion Award. Adil has campaigned on community issues in Tinsley for several years and recently led a campaign to save Tinsley youth centre.  He has also organised litter picks and helped neighbours to clear snow during the winter months.

Adil was delighted to win his award: “It’s quite surreal, I wasn’t expecting it. But I’m just really happy.”  Adil explained why he decided to get involved in helping his community, “It was just the lack of representation that young people had. I was looking around the community and no one wanted to step up so I took it upon myself to step up and go out and represent young people and people that aren’t well represented in Tinsley. I’d like to say thank you to the people of Tinsley for supporting me all the way through!”

The Outstanding Champion Award went to friends Fraser Longford and Jason Cotton who last year set up the group Men Talk in Chesterfield. The group encourages men in the area to talk about their mental health and meetings have helped hundreds of men who had previously been considering suicide after experiencing it in their own lives.

Picking up his award last night Fraser Longford said: “It is emotional because it’s quite personal. You shouldn’t really be celebrating it because I’ve lost a really close personal friend but at the same time we’re saving other people, giving people a chance to speak.  So this is really for my mates Paul, Jamie and Dean.”

Jason Cotton added:  “I’m absolutely elated. It’s so humbling the amount of talent and the amount of heroes that are in this room tonight.”

Sahird Ishard from Sharrow in Sheffield won the Neighbourhood and Environmental Champion Award. She set up Mum’s United to tackle anti-social behaviour, knife crime and drug problems in her community.

Speaking at the awards ceremony Sahird said: “It’s really humbling and I’m just shocked that people have recognised the work we do.  It’s not just me there’s a team behind us. We need to recognise as a community that there is a problem and we need to face it head on and unified together.”

BBC Radio Sheffield revealed the winners of the first ever Community Champions Awards last night (Thursday 3 October) at a glittering awards ceremony at Sheffield Cathedral. The ceremony was hosted by BBC Radio Sheffield presenters Toby Foster and Paulette Edwards.

Over 300 people and organisations from across South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire were nominated for an award. From these nominations, 24 finalists were chosen for eight different awards. All the finalists attended last night’s awards ceremony alongside BBC Radio Sheffield presenters and VIP guests including the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, H.M. Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire and the Lord Mayor of Sheffield – Tony Downing.

Entertainment on the evening included a performance from singer/songwriter Greg Russell, who presents the folk programme New Traditions on BBC Radio Sheffield; and Sile Sibanda, who recently won the station’s This Is Me competition, performed a poem that she had written specifically for the Community Awards.

The Community Champions Awards were launched earlier this year to shine a light on the good work being done across South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire. BBC Radio Sheffield listeners were asked to nominate people who have made a difference to people’s lives across the region.

The winners in each category were:

Young Champion Award – Adil Mohammed from Tinsley in Sheffield

Business Champion – Drone Valley Brewery in Dronfield

Neighbourhood and Environmental Champion – Sahira Irshad from Sharrow in Sheffield

Community Group Champion – Edlington Community Organisation from Doncaster

Health, Wellbeing and Fitness Champion – De Hood Boxing centre in the Manor area of Sheffield

Creative Community Champion – Rachel Horne from Doncaster

Team Champion Award – KickBack Recovery founded by Mick Hartley

Outstanding Champion Award – Frazer Longford and Jason Cotton who started the group Men Talk in Chesterfield.

BBC Radio Sheffield’s Toby Foster commented: “The Community Champions Awards evening has been a celebration of some amazing unsung heroes across our region. We know there are some remarkable and inspiring people doing fantastic work in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire and it’s brilliant to be able to recognise and reward some of these people this evening. Keep up the good work!”

Katrina Bunker, Editor of BBC Radio Sheffield, said: “It was a wonderful evening in Sheffield celebrating some of our region’s amazing community champions.   Shining a light on some of the positive work going on to make our local communities better is an important part of what we do at BBC Radio Sheffield. We should all feel proud that so many people around us are doing such great and important work to help local people.”

Ruth Willis, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation, said: “We were delighted to work in partnership with BBC Radio Sheffield on the Community Champions Awards 2019.  Over 300 people came together in Sheffield Cathedral to celebrate all that is good in our communities across South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire.”

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