Freeman Bobbie takes sheep to prestigious Doncaster ceremony

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A tireless voluntary worker who has helped thousands of Doncaster students took a sheep with her to a prestigious Freedom of the Borough ceremony.

Bobbie Roberts, 75, the chairman of Doncaster Deaf Trust and a long serving former magistrate, had the honour bestowed on her at the Mansion House after members of Doncaster Council gave the award the green light.

And to mark the event, Bobbie, who has helped thousands of students in a career spanning forty years, took along a sheep for the occasion - a nod to the fact that traditionally freemen of the town have been allowed to drive their flocks through the town centre!

Mrs Roberts, who was awarded an MBE in 2005, has said she was ‘thrilled’ at the accolade.

She said: “I am bowled over, thrilled and humbled. It’s a great honour.

“I would like to thanks the communities I work with and organisations like the deaf trust and Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust.”

The honour is the latest in a long line of achievements in a lengthy career which has helped make Mrs Roberts one the town’s most familiar faces.

Mrs Roberts - whose real name is Roberta - is a nurse by profession and served as a magistrate in Doncaster for 34 years. She collected her MBE from The Queen ten years ago for her services to justice.

She has also previously been awarded a Lifetime Achievement honour by the Doncaster Free Press.

Mrs Roberts has devoted her life to helping others, particularly young people and those who deserve a chance in life.

Her love for caring and compassion came early in life when at the age of 15, she spent a year looking after her five sisters and brothers after her mother contracted TB while the family were stationed in Hong Kong where her father had been posted as an RAF squadron leader.

She trained at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge and qualified as a nurse in 1960 and worked across the globe before relocating to Doncaster in 1966. She was appointed to the bench of Doncaster magistrates in 1974.

Away from the legal profession, Mrs Roberts started working for Doncaster Deaf Trust, as fundraiser and governor before becoming chairman.