There’s a feel-good atmosphere around Huddersfield at the moment and I hope it lasts.

You don’t need to be a football fan to know that Huddersfield Town’s promotion to the Premier League will be good for Huddersfield as a town.

It’s up to us to make it happen – to lobby our council to grasp any opportunities that come our way, to support local when we shop, to champion local when we talk and to sell this town whenever we leave it.

I think it’s time to start talking ourselves up.

Yes, there will always be flaws but we actually live, work and play in an amazing area - and it’s time to shout about it.

Dean Hoyle gets a kiss from a fan during the promotion parade in Huddersfield
Dean Hoyle gets a kiss from a fan during the promotion parade in Huddersfield

Yes, our town can now boast a Premier League club and well done to all on and off the pitch who contributed to its success.

This week I was asked by my news editor to write about why Huddersfield is a Premier League town and one area I looked at was its people.

I name checked a few high profile folk, but actually there are many people who should have got a mention – and you may even be one of them.

I’m starting with the volunteers and charity workers. We live and work in a community with a good heart.

There are charities doing amazing work – the bigger ones such as Kirkwood Hospice and the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice care for our loved ones when it’s most needed.

I hope to never experience their work first hand for they offer care to people at the end of their lives. But I know people whose loved ones have been cared for in one of our local hospices and they speak of how amazing the place and the people who work there are.

Thank you also to the people at the Welcome Centre and Methodist Mission for being there for people who experience tough times.

Society needs to show it cares about people who are not as fortunate or stumble on hard times. One day we may need them, we just never know.

A donation here and there from us all can mean so much to someone wanting to feed their family or help the homeless.

There are the smaller organisations that care for us too.

Joanne Douglas, reporter for the Huddersfield Examiner
Joanne Douglas, reporter for the Huddersfield Examiner

I take my little boy to a group called Melody Makers. It’s a play and music session and it’s run by people giving their time to help us, from the lady who runs the music session to the people who make tea and toast and the girl who runs the art room. And to all who clear up after we’ve gone, thank you.

Thanks also to the people who run sports clubs or youth activities.

I’m involved in a sports club myself and I know how hard it can be. Without volunteers most of our sports clubs wouldn’t exist, yet they are invaluable in getting and keeping people active. And it’s in society’s interest we’re all fit, active and healthy.

Thank you also to the people in our towns and villages who dedicate their spare time to running community events.

I live in the Colne Valley and I’m thinking of the Moonraking Festival, the Cuckoo Festival, Meltham Memories 1940s weekend and so on. There will be examples in every town and village and they depend on us to turn up – rain or shine – and make the events a success. Thank you to the volunteers for bringing vibrancy to our villages.

Does Huddersfield Town's promotion switch Premier League power back to the North?

I’m also going to thank a group of people who, I think, rarely are thanked. Our politicians.

By the end of this week we may seem a divided community once again.

We may or may not like the outcome of the snap general election but the people whose names are on the ballot paper all have one thing in common – they have a sense of public duty and they hope we’ll trust them to represent us.

I’m not going to say who I’ll vote for, for I think all parties need to believe they’ll get a fair hearing from a local journalist, but I’m thankful that others are willing to sacrifice their lives and spare time to represent me. Let’s give them a few moments of our time and vote on Thursday.

Having spent time with the our previous MPs in Westminster and speaking to them for stories I’m thankful they have worked with us to forge a good relationship. I hope whoever is elected will have the same attitude.

Huddersfield Town fan Sir Patrick Stewart
Huddersfield Town fan Sir Patrick Stewart

Thanks also to our local councillors. I was the local government reporter for a few years and there really are some good and effective people serving on our council. I never saw them take joy in cutting budgets, closing services and making job losses.

Maybe one day I’d consider a stint on the council myself, but for now I’m happy and thankful that others are giving their time to do it.

Thank you also to our emergency service workers – I do have experience of the fire service. I lost all material possessions in a flat fire but got out unharmed.

I saw first hand the fire service at work and they were amazing. I’ve never needed the police personally, and my only experience of hospital was of its maternity services, but I see true value in both everyday as a journalist.

Thank you also to the groups of people trying to protect our local services.

Clearly the most obvious are the groups battling to save our Accident and Emergency department. It’s only when you look at health service documents that you’ll appreciate the utter jargon they have to cut through to understand what on earth is going on.

All of these people and more give their time, either voluntary or via their jobs, to make our town the place it is and I’m thankful to them all.

There will likely be many unsung heroes I’ve overlooked. But if you know of one, say ‘thank you’ to them when you next see them.

It may mean the world to them.