Your community champions have been honoured at a glittering ceremony at Doncaster Racecourse.
Earlier this year we asked you to nominate the people who make you proud to live and work in Doncaster - and the winners of the Doncaster Pride Awards have now been revealed.
Hundreds of people packed into the Conduit Suite to hear inspirational stories of people from all walks of life and all ages going the extra mile for their community.
Hosted by Sam Ogrizovic, the awards are run by South Yorkshire Newspapers, which includes the Doncaster Free Press, South Yorkshire Times and Epworth Bells, and aim to recognise exceptional people in Doncaster that have done something really special or given something back to their local community.
South Yorkshire Newspapers group editor, Phil Bramley, who gave a welcome speech, said: “Readers tell us on a regular basis how proud they are of Doncaster and how individuals in the town have made a real difference so we are delighted to be able to celebrate this and give these people a well deserved pat on the back.”
Haroldine Lockwood, events manager, added: “There are many reasons to be proud of Doncaster, but the main one is the incredible people who live and work here to make it such a fantastic community.”
The award winners were:
- Special achievement in the community - sponsored by St Leger Homes - Annie Farrand
The 72-year-old has worked tirelessly as a trustee of Moorends Miners Welfare and Community Development Centre for 15 years. This includes in recent years when she has been battling breast cancer and lymphoma.
- Sporting hero - sponsored by Castle Park, Doncaster Knights - Martin Simpson
A charismatic and enthusiastic fitness instructor, the classes he runs at Adwick Leisure Centre are always popular with customers.
- Award for bravery - sponsored by Atherton Godfrey - Sergeant Paul Sheridan
The Doncaster policeman helped to lead a group of more than 230 people to safety during the 2014 Nepalese blizzard disaster.
- Posthumous community contribution award - Denise Dunn
Before losing her fight to cancer last year, Denise started the Firefly Cancer Awareness charity which is a collection of minibuses that take Doncaster cancer sufferers to and from hospitals in Sheffield for free. Her husband Chewy picked up the award in her honour.
- Carer of the year - sponsored by Total Finance - The Thorne Family Support Group
The group has been helping young people and children with learning difficulties for 33 years. It began when a few mothers of children with learning disabilities realised there was nowhere they could go for support or social activities their children could attend. Over the years they formed a youth club that currently has 36 members and takes part in a range of activities, such as swimming and football.
- Public sector worker of the year - sponsored by Club Doncaster Foundation - Kay Marelli
Kay spent 28 years with the council, working with eight civic mayors to organise important public events, such as the annual Remembrance Parade and Armed Forces Day. She also received a British Army Commendation for her extraordinary commitment.
- Educational person of the year - sponsored by Doncaster College - Andrew Sprakes
The passionate headteacher of XP School, a free school in Doncaster, has a proven track-record of delivering value-driven education. He also picked up the headteacher of the year award earlier in the year from Whole Education.
- Posthumous teacher of the year award - Lewis Siddall
Lewis died aged just 24 this summer after an alleged altercation at a Doncaster bar. The Skellow man was a highly respected PE teacher at Sprotbrough Copley Junior School and charity fundraiser.
- Inspirational young person - sponsored by Compass Fostering - Abigail Cook and Mae Fox
Against all the odds Batten’s disease sufferer Abigail turned 10 this year. The condition causes the youngster to lose her sight and mobility so her family has put everything into raising money to help tick things off her bucket list including trips to Florida and Lapland.
Mae, aged six, was born with spastic quadraplegic cerebral palsy which left her unable to walk. Her parents, Matt and Amy, raised over £80,000 to pay for a life changing operation in America last year which enabled Mae to take her first steps. She now enjoys swimming three times a week.
- Mayors special award - sponsored by Doncaster Refurnish - Sally Chamberlain
Sally is practice manager at Clouds Community Counselling Service, which provides a vital counselling service to those in need. All clients are treated with respect, warmth and courtesy.
- Love where you live award - sponsored by XP School - David Brazer
David founded Citadel Associates, a not for profit social enterprise to support the most marginalised people in society into training and employment. More recently he has also founded Ignition Community Garage and Training Centre which uses the process of teaching mechanic skills to help with confidence, skills and work experience.
- Overall winner - sponsored by Doncaster Refurnish - Sally Chamberlain from Clouds Community Counselling Services
Next week’s Doncaster Free Press, which comes out on October 29, will also feature a special awards supplement.