Today we reveal the three nominees shortlisted for Services To Charity in the Examiner Community Awards. The winner will be announced at the awards next Thursday at the John Smith’s Stadium, hosted by ITN newsreader Nina Hossain who comes from Huddersfield.
Coming next week ... we reveal who has won the Achievement Award.
One 17 Architects and Interior Designers are delighted to sponsor this year’s Huddersfield Examiner Services to Charity Community Award.
Since the launch of the One 17 Charitable Trust in 2010 we have certainly had our eyes opened to things that are happening in our local community.
We have met some amazing people who help to make Huddersfield a better place to live and it has been a pleasure and a privilege to support their work. Whether it’s organising uplifting community events, supporting others in need or encouraging young people, every contribution improves the lives of people in our town.
Over the years we have seen a number of the groups that we support win Huddersfield Examiner Community Awards and have witnessed first hand just what a massive boost this gives to those involved.
It therefore gives us great pleasure to sponsor this award and ensure that the celebration of all that is great in Kirklees continues.
When tragedy struck in Tracy Gregory’s life it inspired her to become an outstanding volunteer for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Tracy lost her partner Mick Cottam in a motorbike accident on the A64 near York on September 21, 2010.
At his funeral they asked for donations for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and £1,200 was donated.
But 45-year-old Tracy wanted to do more ... and since then she has raised £50,000 and also attended 265 awareness events between 2014 and 2016 – plus lots more this year.
She is UK sales manager for fire extinguisher firm T G Products.
She was nominated by Jenny Jones from the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, who said: “Tracy is an outstanding volunteer who warms the heart of everyone she meets. The Yorkshire Air Ambulance was a charity very close to Mick’s heart but with much sadness Mick is not around today to see the amazing work Tracy has done. I know he will be looking down with admiration and love for everything Tracy has given back and to all those she has helped since.
“Tracy works an exceptionally busy and demanding full-time job and still somehow finds the time to volunteer without fail every week whether this be attending talks about the charity or helping at events. Throughout the summer Tracy quite often volunteers all weekend, all day to help out if needed. She is a true superstar and a lady who should be admired. Everywhere Tracy goes she engages with the people of Yorkshire, she tells her story, makes friends and builds the much needed awareness for the charity.”
In 2014 Tracy attended 74 events, in 2015 82 and last year a staggering 109.
On top of volunteering at events in the community and work, Tracy also organises her own charity events helping to raise further funds and awareness. She has raised more than £50,000 alone by organising charity dinners and summer galas.
Jenny added: “Tracy’s help and efforts are invaluable. She has been a major factor in helping to build the awareness of the YAA and helping to achieve the £12,000 which is needed every day to continue to save lives across Yorkshire. I have never met anyone who is so dedicated to a cause, who captures the heart of everyone she meets and works tirelessly to support the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
“Tracy has helped change the lives of so many others in need and for this she should be immensely proud. The work she has done for the YAA is outstanding, she is an amazing women and goes above and beyond in every way to help the people of Yorkshire. We cannot thank her enough.”
When people in Marsden need help they turn to Sadie Cooper.
For when her grandma Lorraine Clayton was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago it inspired her to fundraise for Macmillan by holding a ladies night in the village. Lorraine is now in remission and Sadie was amazed by the incredible support she got so she planned more events and managed to raise £6,000 alone and another £5,000 as part of the Marsden Pre School Playgroup fundraising team.
Sadie has planned a number of different events from ladies nights to family discos and even an Easter Egg Hunt.
So far she has raised funds for Macmillan, the charity Forces Support and the Forget Me Not children’s hospice.
She was told about Marsden 18-month-old Thomas Wood who suffers from epilepsy and desperately needed some equipment but didn’t have funding.
The equipment would alert his parents Tara and Stephen if had a seizure at night so they could give him emergency medication.
Sadie planned and held another ladies night which raised just over £3,000. This not only paid for Thomas’ equipment but also left funds over which are being donated to Dravet Syndrome which Thomas has been diagnosed with – this is a rare genetic brain condition.
She also organised a charity calendar for Macmillan where she invited local mums and children to take part using local people such as photographers and hair stylists in order to pull it all together. The calendar was then sponsored by local businesses to fund printing and sold in local shops.
Sadie was nominated by Jade Robinson, who said: “Sadie is becoming well known around the village for her fundraising and every event she does receives a lot of support with people returning to each event and businesses helping out whether it be selling tickets or donating funds.
“As soon as one event is over Sadie has started planning the next.”
She is already planning for another ladies night to be held in May to raise money for the baby loss charity Saying Goodbye.
“Not only does she give to charities but she gives back to the community by helping local people and also giving them things to attend.”
Sadie is 27 and works at Argos on Victoria Lane in Huddersfield town centre.
Janet Swallow and Jean Temple
A family tragedy inspired two women to dedicate themselves to helping the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Janet Swallow’s son, Graham Chaplin, was critically injured in a motorbike accident on May 25, 2007, and was flown direct to hospital by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA).
Graham died that evening despite the best efforts of surgeons who operated on him
Since then Janet, of Honley, and her mum, Jean Semple, have done all they can give others the chance of life in such traumatic situations by fundraising for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
They were nominated by Janet’s husband Peter Swallow, who is Graham’s stepfather.
He said: “The Yorkshire Air Ambulance had given Graham the best possible chance of getting him to hospital for urgent treatment. As we all know, the YAA is a charity-funded service so it’s due to the public generosity from donations. My wife and I started fundraising so other people could be given the same chance that Graham had.”
Janet’s first fundraising event was a 13,000ft skydive with the army’s Red Devils parachute team which raised more than £1,700 for Huddersfield Town’s Keep It Up campaign for the YAA. Once Janet’s fundraising tally reached £7,500 she decided she wanted to raise the money directly for the YAA. Both Janet and Peter are now official YAA volunteers.
Janet then turned her hand to making crafts, selling them at craft fairs to raise money for the YAA. At first she made £50 a day but now makes up to £400 with items selling from between £1 and £15.
She’s been helped by her mum, Jean, who is 82, makes all the soft toys and also helps out at the stalls.
Janet was also a volunteer at Castle Hill School for children with severe and complex special needs for six years and would make and donate crafts to help the children.
Peter said: “Jan and her mum devote an unbelievable amount of hours to sewing and knitting and then attending many events to sell their crafts. Jan will be 60 on May 31 and has never celebrated her birthday since losing Graham. All her time is taken up in the back bedroom at home that has become her sewing room and many nights it’s been late before she packs away. A truly dedicated mother and daughter team that through their loss are putting others first. Jan has always told me that doing what she does helps her to cope with the loss.”