Pride of Ashfield to be honoured by Nottinghamshire County Council

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The chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council will be hosting a special event to say ‘thank you’ to some of the county’s unsung heroes this Saturday, 22 September.

Coun Carol Pepper will welcome 69 members of the public to this year’s Community Celebration event at County Hall, West Bridgford.

The guests have all been nominated by councillors or council officers.

Everyone who has been invited make a positive difference in their local community in a variety of ways and includes volunteers, fundraisers and people who support the disabled, older people, children and victims of crime - all in their own time for no reward.

Amongst the guests nominated from Ashfield is Jane Brown from Jacksdale.

Jane has become an inspiration to fellow stroke survivors since suffering a stroke herself two years ago, which initially left her with speech difficulties.

However, she has overcome her own problems and now works as a volunteer for the Stroke Association throughout the Ashfield area, organising activities, fundraising and supporting stroke survivors and their families.

In the last few months, Jane has been giving other volunteers and healthcare professionals a unique perspective on techniques and approaches for working with people with communication difficulties. Through this work, Jane is ensuring that her own experiences are having benefit other stroke survivors.

Sharron Quinn from Kirkby-in-Ashfield has worked with scores of unemployed people in Ashfield and Mansfield in her role as a volunteer at the Kirkby-in-Ashfield and Mansfield Work Clubs.

Sharron began helping out as a volunteer after originally going to the club more than a year ago after being made redundant. Since then Sharron has fond work but was laid off for a second time in February.

Despite this double personal setback, Sharron has continued to volunteer at the Kirkby-in-Ashfield work club and more recently at the new club in Mansfield.

Sharron helps work club members compile CVs, carry out job searches and learn interview techniques - sharing her own experience as a job seeker. Many of the people Sharron has supported have gone on into employment.

Like Sharron, Martin Fisher from Hucknall is also a volunteer at his local work club.

Martin has been supporting the Hucknall Work Club since its launch in October 2011, helping work club members to compile CVs, carry out job searches and learn interview techniques.

Martin originally joined the club as a volunteer to support a research project he was doing as part of Degree Course. He has subsequently qualified with a First Class Honours Degree and is now in employment. Despite this, he has stayed on at the work club, using the flexible hours of his job to continue volunteering.

Further information on all work clubs throughout Nottinghamshire is available at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/workclubs

Pam Terry of Hucknall helped set up the Special Friends Club for people with learning difficulties ten years ago.

Working with young people with a range of disabilities, including autism, ADHD and Aspergers Syndrome, the aim of the club is to give participants valuable social skills which encourage them to live independently, whilst also providing some respite for their parents or carers.

The group currently attracts 14 people from all over the county, providing activities such as trips to the cinema, bowling and seaside. Two members who joined the group as teenagers still attend, even though they are now in their 30s.

Councillor Carol Pepper, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council said, “Every community in Nottinghamshire has many fantastic people making an outstanding contribution to the life and wellbeing of the places where they live. Drawn from different backgrounds and walks of life, what binds these people together is their willingness to put the needs of others first.

“I am thrilled to be hosting the Community Celebration event which is intended to say a huge ‘thank you’ to these exemplary people and gives them some of the recognition they deserve for helping to make Nottinghamshire a great place to live.”

The Community Celebration event takes place at County Hall, West Bridgford, Nottingham on Saturday 22 September. The event includes a garden party, entertainment and a tour of County Hall.