Our unsung heroes

Green Fingers Award winner Morris Unsworth
Green Fingers Award winner Morris Unsworth

UNSUNG community heroes were saluted at Helena Homes’ annual Making A Difference Awards.

Now in their ninth year, the awards recognised the outstanding work of individuals and community groups who consistently go the extra mile to support and develop their neighbourhoods.

The gongs were dished out in a glitzy awards bash at Haydock’s Thistle Hotel earlier this month.

Among the winners was Morris Unsworth, of Thatto Heath, who picked up the Green Fingers Award for his tireless two-year mission to transform part of the Australia estate into a sustainable allotment and community garden.

Despite being retired, Morris completed all the building work himself, including making benches for fellow residents to relax on.

Sandra Morris, of Haydock, collected the Reaching Out Award for her work in organising events including summer play schemes and lunch clubs and Gina Bridge, of Eccleston, won the Helping Hand Award for her selfless work at the Trapwood sheltered housing scheme.

Gina regularly gives up her time to attend training to improve her skills and always puts the needs of others before her own.

The winners of the Bright Young Star and Respect Your Neighbourhood Awards both hailed from Parr.

Kayleigh Shaw collected the first award for being such a positive role model to young parents and Dominic Hodnett won the second for promoting discipline and healthy living via his boxing club.

The Together We Can gong was awarded to Westfield Tenants and Residents Association for their dedication to developing a community garden to grow flowers and vegetables.

Rob Young, the chief executive of Helena Partnerships, said: “Community spirit and the contributions of volunteers matter more now than they ever have before and the Making A Difference Awards are real evidence of what can be achieved when communities pull together.

“It’s an honour to work alongside such inspirational people and we’ll continue to support tenants and residents to improve and develop their neighbourhoods in every way we can.”