Today we reveal the three nominees in the running for the Services to Charity gong at the Examiner Community Awards.
The winner will be revealed on the awards night at the John Smith’s Stadium on June 3.
Aspley-based Pennine Retail Windows is proud to support the Examiner Community Awards and the Services to Charity Award in 2015.
The business understands these are difficult financial times and therefore the charity work that this year’s nominees do is even more essential for their individual causes.
Here are the three nominees:
Matt and Sarah Poole
Clayton West couple Matt and Sarah Poole were overjoyed when they welcomed their beautiful daughter, Rowan Macie, into the world in May 2011.
But within a year their lives had been completely turned upside down.
For just before Rowan’s first birthday she was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a genetic life-limiting condition.
Matt and Sarah then ploughed every ounce of energy into ensuring Rowan’s final months were unforgettable, filled with exciting new experiences yet always safe and secure in the arms of her adoring parents. They went on UK short breaks, took Rowan to the London 2012 Olympics, made the most of the great outdoors and made everyday activities something to smile about.
Their hearts were broken when Rowan passed away in November 2012 aged just18 months.
In situations like this, family and friends are often desperate to help but feel clueless to know what to do. Matt and Sarah gently guided them in the right direction by forming Team Rowan and setting a target to raise money and awareness of The SMA Trust charity which is working worldwide to fund medical research for a cure and methods to halt or alleviate the disease.
SMA is a devastating terminal genetic disease that causes weakness and wasting of the muscles in babies and children. It is a leading genetic killer of infants and toddlers under the age of two. There is currently no cure.
Since then Team Rowan – made up of friends, family and people just wanting to help – has organised countless fundraisers to help reach and pass Matt and Sarah’s target of £10,000. They have since raised well over £50,000.
Matt said: “The team has grown massively. It began with Sarah, me and family members but has now escalated to include loads of dedicated fundraisers.”
The couple now have another daughter, 15-month-old Ember.
The main one is a yearly 17-mile Onesie Walk from Shepley to Dovestone Reservoir where there is a tree planted in Rowan’s memory. This year’s walk is on Sunday, May 24.
Team Rowan is very active on Facebook, Twitter and has its own website and internet page so there’s plenty of opportunity for others to join the team.
Steve and Bev Gough
Tragedy has inspired Brighouse couple Steve and Bev Gough to do all they can to make our roads safer.
Their 19-year-old daughter, Naomi, died in a smash on Burdock Way near Halifax town centre in January 2007.
Since then they have done much work in raising awareness of dangerous driving and set up a 63-mile walk that takes place each year from Halifax to Blackpool in Naomi’s memory. Naomi had been to Blackpool on the day she died and the next walk sets off on August 5.
Steve became treasurer of Support and Care After Road Death and Injury (SCARD for short) and both he and Bev work tirelessly with the charity to help support all those affected by road death and incidents. The couple – who have a son, Shane, and daughter, Rochelle – have raised around £30,000 for the charity through the walk and other fundraisers and Steve said Bev gave brilliant support to parents who have suffered similar tragedies.
The charity’s founder, Carole Whittingham, lost her own son, Steven, aged just 27 who was killed when a teenage drink driver drove at high speed on the wrong side of the road and hit his vehicle. Carole and Steve carry out informative workshops in schools in Brighouse and the surrounding area.
He gives them an in-depth and emotive presentation that aims to educate the drivers of tomorrow about the dangers on our roads. All their time is given voluntarily and they continue to support SCARD to raise both awareness and much needed funds for the charity.
Naomi was a former Brighouse High School pupil and a pupil at a school where SCARD gave a presentation said: “SCARD touched me so much I ended up crying. This has been a life changing experience. Thank you so much.”
In a moving tribute on the SCARD website, Steve and Bev say of their daughter: “Naomi brought so much love, laughter and happiness into the lives of all who were lucky enough to meet her.”
SCARD’s aims are to provide emotional and practical support through a telephone helpline, support groups, meetings and personal support systems
Its national helpline operates 365 days a year from 9am to 9pm including all Bank Holidays.
The charity can arrange a personally planned support system including sourcing counselling, arranging contact with other bereaved people who have been through similar experiences, and also to have email contact for those that don’t feel ready to speak.
Bob Armitage is a person that can do and will do anything to help the community or charities – and has been doing that all his life.
In 1951 he joined cubs when he was eight and worked his way through the scouting movement to becoming a Queens scout when he was 15 and then a scout leader at the 9th Crosland Hill.
After leaving school at the age of 15 Bob joined the Huddersfield Youth Council when he was 16 and became a leader at the Crosland Hill Methodist Association Youth Club (MAYC) when he was 17. By the time he was 20 the club had 120 members.
The following year Bob when he was just 18 he became MAYC chairman in Huddersfield and continued to volunteer within this sector for many years.
In 1969 at the age of 26 Bob joined the Lions Club international movement by becoming a member of Huddersfield Lions and has now been in Lions for over 45 years. During this time Bob has held the presidency of the Huddersfield club three times, but has been an active member in all that the Huddersfield club does.
Bob, 71, a retired specialist textile engineer, is heavily involved in all aspects of the club and has been part of the club’s activity working group for 40 years and has held several other posts such as treasurer and press officer.
In 1999 Bob was part of the group which helped Kirkwood Hospice to stage the extremely successful Millennium appeal, culminating in the Millennium Madness Weekend. It involved hundreds of children across Huddersfield and drew pix representing their vision of the Millennium which were strung from the Jubilee Tower at Castle Hill.
in the same year Bob became a member of the Lions District Cabinet for the Lions clubs in Yorkshire and North Derbyshire and has remained a member of this group for 15 years.
Outside of the Lions movement Bob is activate as a member and administrator of the Methodist circuit. He is also an active member of the Honley Village partnership.
Retirement has meant that Bob can dedicate his time to the service of others and alongside his wife Jane can be seen at many events locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Yet he also makes time for his three daughters and seven grandchildren.
Huddersfield Lions have started an appeal to help street children in Kenya. Bob is at the forefront of the appeal and visited the project last year and has also been prominent in the club’s Diamond Appeal to raise £35,000 to refurbish the kitchen at Kirkwood Hospice. The Lions in Huddersfield will mark their 60th anniversary next April.
Bob said: “I was brought up as a Christian and wanted to put my Christianity into action. I felt I could do that with the Lions and it all went on from there. It’s all about getting involved with people and I wanted to help as many as I can.”
Bob was nominated by Andrew Thornes from the Lions, who said: “Whatever Bob undertakes he always gives 100% and often thinks about helping others before himself. We have a motto in Lions We Serve. Bob can certainly say that he serves.”
Coming tomorrow: Young Personality nominees