A WOMAN from Athersley – who has delivered homemade meals to vulnerable people across the borough during lockdown – has been hailed a ‘community hero’ ahead of this year’s Proud of Barnsley awards.

Nickie McDougall, of Greenfield Gardens in Athersley North, has been cooking an array of classic hot dinners including cottage pies and roast dinners and delivering them to people’s doors after hearing appeals on Facebook.

Nickie, who owns local cleaning store Klean-Nix, posted on her page what she is cooking that day and then people are able to reach out, or nominate others to receive her cooked meals free of charge.

Nickie told the Chronicle: “I wanted to help out in anyway I could, so I decided to make extra helpings of my evening tea and deliver them to people in takeaway boxes.

“On my Facebook page, people post nominations if they know of others who need support with food.

“I’m already cooking anyway, so it made sense to make extra servings to help my community in their time of need.”

Nickie has been touched by the online support she has received, and is determined to continue her deliveries.

She said: “The reaction has been absolutely fantastic from people.

“I’ve delivered food to lots of people and their reactions have been so touching."

“It’s just being a friend more than anything.

“I want to thank everyone who has got in touch with me, and I’ll continue to do it as long as people need me.

“I buy the ingredients, but it’s not about the money.

“It’s about making sure we all do our best to help one another.”

Nickie’s act of kindness has bagged her a nomination in the Community Hero category at this year’s Proud of Barnsley awards.

“I’m in complete shock to be nominated,” Nickie said.

“I honestly don’t think anything I’ve done is remarkable or worth anything like this. I just wanted to do what I could to support others.

“I can’t thank people enough for nominating me. It’s completely unexpected and very overwhelming.”