Club Doncaster Foundation celebrated those who have made an incredible impact on communities across the city at their annual Heart of Doncaster awards.
More than 150 people from across the city were in attendance for the glamorous ceremony on Friday, October 27, including special guests Mayor Ros Jones, Dame Rosie Winterton and councillor Rachael Blake, plus partners from Team Doncaster, Doncaster College, Yorkshire Sport Foundation, and nominees for the nine awards.
Foundation CEO John Davis opened the evening by reflecting on the last year and the impact of the projects delivered to the community and people across the city.
Fit Forces participant Baz Cooper then told his inspirational story and praised the group aimed at military veterans for saving his life.
He said: “Fit Forces helped me engage with life again, without any judgement.
“It introduced me to programmes like Fit Rovers, it gave me routine and structure. It put me in touch with people who got me a new home, a new life and a new job. And more importantly, a new me.
“Fit Forces saved my life.”
This year’s awards night was sponsored by Choose Kindness in association with Team Doncaster. Cllr Blake spoke about the movement, which celebrates and champions kindness across the city and encouraging everyone to take the Choose Kindness pledge.
Winners on the night were as follows:
- Inclusion & Fairness Award (sponsored by Team Doncaster) - James Cota
- Young Participant of the Year (sponsored by NGS Travel) - Henok Girma
- Fit Rovers Participant of the Year (sponsored by Doncaster Rovers FC) - Gill Clegg
- Active School of the Year (sponsored by Yorkshire Sport Foundation) - Norton Primary School Juniors
- Youth Social Action Award (sponsored by KAT Communications) - Aaron Hayes, Liam Fakhredin and Reuben Bennett
- Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by PFG) - Tom Grinstead
- CDSC Student of the Year (sponsored by Doncaster College) - Matty Thompson
- Darren Warner Volunteer of the Year (sponsored by Fourteen Admirals) - Andy Martin
- Eric Randerson Special Recognition Award (sponsored by Prime Event Hire) - Carol Haith
CEO Davis said: “We are incredibly grateful to our headline sponsors, Team Doncaster and the Choose Kindness movement for supporting the evening.
“Thanks also to Cllr Rachael Blake for talking to guests about the movement and how people can get involved and Baz Cooper for joining me on the stage and telling his incredible story about what our Fit Forces project has done for him.
“To our award finalists and winners, many congratulations. Without your efforts, motivation and community spirit, none of this would be possible.
“Finally, I would like to thank all of our award sponsors, patrons and table guests for their continued support.”
Eric Randerson Special Recognition award winner Carol Haith was honoured for her incredible commitment and dedication to the Fit Rovers Families project and support for the Foundation.
She said: “The Heart of Doncaster awards evening was amazing and to have won an award too, I was blown away.
“I don’t volunteer for the recognition. I volunteer because I love it. I love the Foundation and I love supporting people on the different projects that are delivered by the incredible team here.
“I feel honoured to have received the Special Recognition award. I keep looking at it and thinking to myself, I won that.
“I’m over the moon.”
If you wish to support the Foundation further, through donations or fundraising, please click HERE
Want to learn more about the Choose Kindness movement? Visit yourlifedoncaster.co.uk/choose-kindness to find out how to make a pledge and gain more information.