Community honours the Pride of Rossington

Pride of Rossington awards
Pride of Rossington awards

They may only be young - but two Doncaster youngsters are today the pride of their community.

And now Harry Nicholson, aged seven, and 16-year-old Danny King have been honoured as the first ever winners of the newly-established Pride of Rossington Awards.

Both the youngsters were handed prizes at a celebratory night at Rossington Memorial Hall, on McConnell Crescent.

They were joined by another unsung community hero on the winners stage - as long standing community volunteer Doreen Rhodes picked up the senior award after being nominated by over 50 people.

He may only be aged seven, but Harry has impressed those around him, and was named as the winner of the award for children aged up to 11 who have done more than expected of them.

Nominated by Pastor Eric Simpson, of Rossington Baptist Church, he has a reputation for being willing to help those around him.

Rossington Parish Council chairman Ali Harper said: "He has shown amazing character and unusual initiative for someone so young. He is always willing to help, get involved, learn something new and help others. He has done gymnastics since he was three, he watches out for his little sister. Pastor Eric thinks he will grow up to be a fine young man."

Danny emerged as an outstanding member of the community to win the award for young people aged 12 and 25 who have done something outstanding for their community.

He is only 16, but is already a young leader of the third Rossington Scouts.

He has also held down a job as a newspaper delivery boy for two years, where his bosses describe him as one in a million and always going above and beyond his duties.

Ms Harper added: "This young person also helps out as a volunteer at the Holmescarr Centre as well as being a waiter at their private functions. He is a member of the Doncaster Youth Council and a member of St Michael's Youth Group."

Over 25s winner Doreen was nominated by a total of 53 people for her work in the former mining village.

She has been an active volunteer with the Good Neighbours charity and the Rossington Memorial Hall charity who turns out 50 weeks a year.

Before Doncaster civic mayor George Derx handed her a bouquet of flowers and a trophy, Ms Harper added: "Doreen is the queen of raffles, table top sales and any kind of fundraising. She organises trips for older and more vulnerable people in the community, running a raffle and bingo on the coach which funds the next trip."

In the last two years, she has supported an outreach group that supports adults with varying disabilities, donating games and gifts.

Doreen had tough competition on the night, beating three other nominees to the award, with all receiving a trophy.

Mark Porter, a teacher at St Michael's School in the village was among those nominated.

Mr Porter has been a teacher at the school for 25 years, and fits in running both the school and church choirs in his spare time, as well as the school orchestra.

On top of that he is an active member of the Salvation Army, working with children on Monday evenings; he leads the marching orchestra at the Rossington May Day Parade; and he organises year six pupils to lead the memorial service at Rossington War Memorial on November 11 each year, with cornet players playing the Last Post and children reading poems to honour Rossington veterans and war dead.

Former Tornedale Infants School crossing patrol lady Lilian Clayton also picked up an award for being nominated.

The 79-year-old used to combine her work on the crossing patrol with doing voluntary work inside the school.

Ms Harper said: "Since 'retiring' she still goes into school every day to help the staff and children doing tasks such as photocopying, laminating, sorting and stapling documents, helping in the library and so much more. Lillian is an invaluable asset to the life of the school, her knowledge of school life is extensive. Staff and children really value her contribution and would be lost without her. In fact, she is a part of the fabric of the school."

A third nomination from one of the village's schools went to Louise Chappell - principal of Grange Lane Infant School.

Since arriving at the school in 2014, parents say she has worked tirelessly for the children and families in the community.

She brought in the Magic Breakfast breakfast club, then extended its start to 7.30am.

She has since introduced an after-school club in response to the needs of working parents.

Two years ago she took the school through the Leading Parent Partnership Award, meaning parents are now consulted more, and last year, she worked towards the construction of a new nursery for children as young as two.

"It's Louise that has made the school the great place it is today," said Ms Harper.

Awards set to return

Organisers are setting their eyes on running another Pride of Rossington next year.

They are already taking nominations, with September 25 penciled in as the awards night. Nominations can be made to the clerk of Rossington Parish Council.

Parish Council chairman parish council thought this year's nominations were an inspiration.

She said: "They are an inspiring bunch, and I think they all had a great night.

"They show Rossington has a lot to be proud of, and that is what has made us realise we need to do it again."