A BARNSLEY man who has been delivering food parcels and alleviating loneliness among elderly residents during lockdown has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award.

John Markey, 49, of Ardsley, was unable to work at the start of lockdown due to restrictions put in place by the government, so he decided to spend his time wisely helping out those across the borough who need it most.

He said: “Right from the beginning of Covid I was delivering food parcels to residents across Barnsley who hadn’t yet received their government food parcels.

“I’d say that I racked up around 1,500 miles during lockdown delivering the food parcels to people but it was all worth it.

“I just wanted to keep myself busy because I was unable to work, but I also wanted to help other people out who were in a worse position than I am.”

John also helped elderly residents across the borough by speaking to them on a regular basis in a bid to combat loneliness among them.

“My parents are almost 80 so I understand what it’s like for the elderly and the struggles that they’re going through,” he added.

“I’ve been round to quite a few people to speak to them and just to offer them some alternative ways of getting help – informing them of other things they can do is something I’ve been doing since lockdown.

“Since everything died down we haven’t had as many people needing the parcels but we’re still going once a week or so to help those who need it – there are things planned for the future so if I get the opportunity to help I will do.”

Upon hearing of his nomination in the Community Hero category, John added: “I’m shocked to be honest, it wasn’t what I was expecting and it’s definitely not why I’ve been doing it, but it’s certainly very humbling.”