Sports star Jessica Ennis-Hill CBE set to attend Sheffield awards night

Jessica Ennis-Hill.
Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Athletics champion Jessica Ennis-Hill CBE is to host an awards night that celebrates the tireless community work done by Sheffield’s dedicated band of unsung volunteers.

The former Olympic champion will hand out the accolades at the Sheffield Make A Difference Awards being held to celebrate 90 years of Voluntary Action Sheffield.

The ceremony will shine a light on the city’s community groups, charities and voluntary organisations and recognise their efforts to make our neighbourhoods better places to work, live and play.

Maddy Desforges, chief executive of VAS, said: “We want to celebrate the amazing breadth and diversity of voluntary and community work happening in our city.

“Too often, we in the sector are almost apologetic that, despite our best efforts, we can’t do everything, for everybody all of the time.

“The reality is that every day, and often with very little resources, people across the city achieve amazing things making a real difference to people’s lives.

“Our awards event in November is an opportunity to share and celebrate this extraordinary work and we’re really excited that Jessica Ennis-Hill has agreed to present our winners with their awards.”

Sheffield has more than 3,300 voluntary and community groups, most of which are very small with less than £10, 000 income yet they are estimated to contribute about £810 million to the local economy in terms of gross value added - similar to the £840 million contributed by the two universities.

Anyone wishing to be part of the awards needs to complete a short application form.

Organisations can apply directly to showcase their own work and members of the public are also encouraged to nominate a local charity or community group that they feel deserves recognition.

Nominations can be made for the awards on the VAS website at or hardcopy application forms can be requested by calling 0114 253 6600.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday, September 30.

The awards will be given out at a glittering 1920s-themed event held in November in the city centre.

The ceremony will be sponsored by HLW Keeble Hawson, South Yorkshire Community Foundation and South Yorkshire Housing Association.

Details about the venue and date are yet to be confirmed.