A WOMAN who runs a Bolton-upon-Dearne church which helps those facing crisis has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award.

 

Claire Ashby, 37, has been running House of Grace voluntarily for the last ten years, often working until the early hours of the morning to ensure that no one goes without the help they need – but her work doesn’t just stop there.

 

She also cares for her husband who has aggressive multiple sclerosis and looks after her four-year-old twins – though Claire, as a Christian, feels this is something she should be doing.

 

She said: “We’re both a church and a charity and our main aim to help alleviate the the poverty and suffering in our area.

 

“We help people who are facing crisis – if people lose things in a house fire we’d try and help with replacing any household items that they may need.

 

“We also provide families with school uniforms and winter clothing if they need the help.

 

“This month we’ve created a total of 50 bags of hope which contain food hampers and essentials, as well as delivering children some bundles of Christmas toys.”

 

Claire admits that working at the church does see her staying awake until late to ensure that everyone gets the help they need, but she hopes the work she does makes the community a better place to be.

 

“I’ve got to admit this year has been really exhausting – it’s been so busy with everything to do with Covid,” she added.

 

“I work late into the night once I’ve got the kids to bed and my husband sorted – sometimes I’m still working at one or two in the morning but it’s all worth it.”

 

Upon hearing of her nomination in the Community Hero category, Claire added: “You’ve just got to love our community, the nomination has made me really happy.

 

“I feel quite shocked but it’s nice that people are seeing what we’re doing.

 

“We don’t do this for recognition but it is nice – it’s gives us a lift.”