Described as the ‘backbone’ of the Doncaster Pubwatch scheme chairwoman Sharon Fiddler is passionate about ensuring residents and visitors can enjoy a safe night out in the town.
Sharon who also owns two Doncaster pubs, the White Swan and the Woolpack, has been the Chair of Doncaster Pubwatch for the last seven years and her commitment and dedication to the role has resulted in the National Pubwatch Award of Merit win.
Speaking about the prestigious award win Sharon, who has been involved in the Pubwatch scheme for nine years in total said: “It’s wonderful we’ve just held our monthly Pubwatch meeting and everyone was delighted with the award. We are a very close team and all work together, a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes and it is through the hard work of everybody and support of our partners including South Yorkshire Police and Doncaster Council that help makes us so successful.”
Sharon praised the work of Doncaster Street Pastors, the relaunch of the Best Bar None scheme and the Safe Havan initiative in helping to ensure Doncaster is a safe night out.
She added: “We have lots of initiatives to ensure we make Doncaster a safe and good night our for everyone.
“Doncaster is a vibrant night out and I think there is something to offer every age group across the board. There are venues to suit all different music styles, lots of good food-led pubs, good chain pubs, good music venues and we will continue to work hard to ensure Doncaster continues to be a safe night out and anyone who comes to town for a night out can enjoy it.”
Sharon was nominated for the award by Peter Jackson, the National Pubwatch Yorkshire Regional Representative, who described Sharon as the backbone of her local scheme, managing to bring together all nine separate schemes in the Doncaster area by forming a regional group with a standard information sharing agreement.
Award winning Sharon was specifically praised for her commitment to work with other partners to address the issue of violent crime, after Doncaster was identified by the Home Office in the early 2000’s as a violent crime hotspot.
As part of Sharon’s work to drive down crime she championed a multi-agency approach with the setting up of a Safe Space initiative; the relaunch of Best Bar None and support for the local Street Pastors.
Doncaster Street Pastors patrol the streets of Doncaster every Saturday night offering practical support, caring, listening and helping the people of Doncaster. The team of volunteers also patrol on the Sunday night of Bank Holidays, and on other ‘special’ occasions as well as at Doncaster races.
Sharon added: “The Street Pastors are amazing and we couldn't do it without them. We are taking them all out for lunch this week as a tank you.”
Stephen Butler, the Doncaster Town Centre Pubwatch Coordinator said: “Sharon ensures that Doncaster Town Centre Pubwatch operates to National Pubwatch good practice advice. As an ex-Police Sergeant with Yorkshire Police I can say that her relationship with the police is second to none and she and her members are keen to assist wherever possible”.
Rod Morrison, the Doncaster Street Pastors Coordinator said: “From the time she took over as Chair of Doncaster Pubwatch, Sharon Fiddler has been a staunch supporter of Doncaster Street Pastors. She has ensured that the Doncaster Street Pastor Initiative has been an equal partner with Doncaster Pubwatch, and has always publicly expressed her support for our work.
“Under her chairmanship of Pubwatch and with the strong support of Steve Butler as Pubwatch Coordinator, we have always had a voice at Pubwatch meetings and a slot on the agenda. Sharon was instrumental in persuading Doncaster Pubwatch to finance the leasing of the Street Pastor radios for a number of years.
“In partnership with the Council’s Public Health team, I have worked with Sharon for some time now in trying to develop a Safe Haven in the town centre for the night-time economy. It has shown me her desire to work for a safer town centre, to enable people to enjoy coming in to town during the night time and to make it the most enjoyable experience possible for them. This is something that Sharon continually strives for, and not just through the Safe Haven initiative, but also through her passion for making sure that Doncaster Pubwatch reflects that desire”.
Her nomination was supported by Andrew Steele, the police licensing officer and Richard Mirfin the town centre Sergeant who both highlighted the effectiveness of Doncaster Pubwatch and the role that Sharon plays.