Calderdale residents named winner and runner up at award ceremony

Calderdale resident Dawn Hancock has won Together Housing Groups’ ‘Volunteer of the Year’ 2021 award for her outstanding effort in times of Covid.

Sunday, 10th October 2021, 12:00 pm
Dawn Hancock (left) and Kirstie Smith.

During the ceremony held via Microsoft Teams, Together Housing Chief Executive, Steve Close announced Dawn as the winner and awarded her a certificate and £1000. T

he money will be donated to the Noah’s Ark Centre, the charity she volunteers at, to help support their food related programme.

A committed volunteer she has spent over 16 months supporting people’s mental and emotional wellbeing and co-ordinating the food support service established in March 2020. At the peak of covid she was volunteering for 20 hours a week whilst continuing to work at Together Housing and keeping up with her other commitments.

Housing Support Officer for Together Housing Group and winner of the award, Dawn Hancock said: “Since March 2020 we have made and distributed over 15,000 frozen ready meals. The food support is an integral part of our service delivery. It has enabled us to open doors to new clients and we’ve helped countless to become debt free, taught them how to manage their money and tenancies as well as support them with employment.”

Andrew Sykes the Money Advice Service Manager at Noah’s Ark said, “It is not an over exaggeration to state that Dawn Hancock has been nothing other than inspirational in the last sixteen months. Her commitment, flexible and truly adaptable attitude has meant that countless families and individuals were helped. Dawn helped us, in the immediate time of crisis, to create a food hub and working alongside other Halifax charities in a truly collaborative way bridged an essential need to provide food and other basic items to vulnerable people.”

Calderdale resident Kirstie Smith was runner up for her commendable effort at the awards and was awarded her a certificate and £500 at the ceremony.

The money will be donated to the Kings Cross Park Rugby Club, the charity she volunteers at, to help fund new training equipment so that children can develop further skills and their confidence.

A committed volunteer, during the pandemic she increased the time she volunteers at the charity to ensure children didn’t become isolated and remained engaged with other members. She helped ensure the games could go ahead, virtually and when possible in person. 160 children attend the Kings Cross Park Rugby Club in Halifax and the Club works to reduce anti-social behaviour and has given children a positive outlet; somewhere to go in their spare time.

The ‘Volunteer of the Year’ awards are open to all Together Housing Group staff and celebrate the great social value work staff are contributing to and leading in, within the communities they live in. Organised by Newground Together, part of Together Housing Group, these awards are part of Together Housing’s Social Value Strategy which recognise the fantastic contribution made by employees to improve the quality of life in the communities in which they live and work.