AN Athersley charity which provides a drop-in service aimed to help people re-establish control over their lives has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award for its remote support during lockdown.

Romero Communities, on Laithes Lane, was forced to close its doors during the coronavirus pandemic, but instead took its services online and through the phone.

The group, which was founded eight years ago, supported residents across the borough remotely from their homes offering immediate support and guidance over the phone.

Caroline Parker, from the centre, has said the remote support was well received although the team are keen to return back to work to help people face-to-face.

“We made the move to remote support before the lockdown to ensure everyone’s safety.

“It was important to us that the support was still there for those who needed it so we kept out phone lines open and worked from home.

“It was a worrying and scary time for us all – and we wanted to make sure we were an ear to listen.

“We’re a small team, but we try to be experts on as much as possible. We always talk things through with the people who call and come up with the best solution.”

Earlier in the year, the charity were awarded a £200,000 grant to continue to support people in Athersley.

“The grant has meant we have some exciting things on the horizon with plans to expand when things become a bit more stable.

“Talking to people on a personal level is something we love so we’re very excited to return back to the centre.

“Things will look slightly different as we ensure that everything is as safe as possible, but hopefully it’ll still be the same welcoming atmosphere.”

The team’s effort have landed them a nomination in this year’s Proud of Barnsley award in the Charity of the Year category.

“We’re completely overwhelmed by this and utterly thrilled.

“We’re usually far too busy to stop and think about awards and accolades, but this has motivated us even more to keep going.

“It’s something that we hope the local community can be proud of and we can’t thank them enough for their support.”