THE time has come to reveal our shortlist for the Proud of Barnsley Awards.

Nominations have been coming in thick-and-fast for the past year, from community groups to local heroes.

We have loved reading about everyone who has gone above and beyond for what they do and our team has had a tough job narrowing down all our nominations to reveal our finalists.

So, without further ado, here are are those finalists for the Proud of Barnsley Awards 2021...

Hospital Hero

Leanne Battley:

A NURSE on Barnsley Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, Leanne has spent the pandemic caring for the borough’s most vulnerable patients.

She has highlighted the physical and mental demands the pandemic has had on NHS workers.

Ward 17:

STAFF working on Ward 17 – the coronavirus ward – have been praised for their hard work and resilience.

The team has helped to save countless lives and staff worked on their days off to provide care to the patients.

Leah Darby:

LEAH is one of eight midwives who work on Ruby Group at Barnsley Hospital and has been praised for her lifesaving work providing pre and post natal care to expectant mothers.

She has been praised for helping to create a close bond between the patient and midwife during the pregnancy process.

Children’s Champion

Rebecca Paddock:

HEADTEACHER of Worsbrough Common Primary School, Rebecca had been in her post for less than a year when the pandemic hit.

Undeterred, she organised breakfast to be sent to pupils via Amazon, and created small gifts to help cheer up pupils who were stuck indoors during lockdown.

Adam Wiggan:

ADAM is a bus driver who took youngsters to Greenacre School every day throughout the pandemic.

He also donned a variety of costumes to cheer up the students.

He said: “I absolutely love my job and the kids I see every single day.”

Mel Hedley:

MEL was nominated for her work as a special needs and disability co-ordinator at Cherry Dale Primary School.

She works with students with special needs and disabilities and visited students’ homes to make sure they, and their families, were coping well during the lockdown.

Charity of the Year

Henry’s Hope:

THE charity provides support for grieving parents from across the borough, and was created by Bethany and Andy Pocock following the death of their son, Henry.

The couple work with grieving families and help provide hand and feet casts as keepsakes also working with local libraries to make books about baby loss more accessible.

Barnsley Samaritans:

BARNSLEY Samaritans have worked to ensure residents are supported with their mental health throughout the pandemic.

At its height, the charity was receiving calls every six seconds from people in need.

Before the pandemic, the charity had worked with local sports teams to raise awareness of men’s mental health.


PETER Robertshaw created H.O.P.E – Helping Others Positively Engage – to help others after he suffered abuse as a youngster.

The community group became a charity in February 2020 and was forced to take its services online during the pandemic.

Young Superstar

Jack Fenton:

TEENAGER Jack risked his own life to save a drowning child whist on holiday in Skegness.

The Kirk Balk student ran into the sea to save the child who was struggling while out swimming in the choppy sea.

The Coastguard revealed that without Jack’s quick-thinking actions, the child would have drowned.

Evan Lunn:

EVAN took on the Great North Run after his dad, Darren died from Covid-19 last year.

The 13-year-old who also has autism, raised £1,135 for the NHS and ran past places such as Barnsley FC that reminded him of his dad.

Darren, 52, died after suffering a cardiac arrest while in Barnsley Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

Annie Jones:

SIX-year-old Annie raised more than £1,200 for her best friend after he was diagnosed with a rare malignant brain tumour.

She donated her long hair to the Little Princess Trust and raised £1,265 for the hospital looking after her friend.

Community Hero

Paul Goose:

BUGLER Paul played The Last Post every evening for nine months in memory of the victims of the coronavirus pandemic.

Through his efforts, Paul also raised £10,000 for Barnsley Hospital.

Abbey Khan:

ALAM’s Lounge owner Abbey helped to support his local community by delivering more than 2,500 meals to front-line workers and care homes during the lockdown.

Even though the restaurant could not open its doors throughout the pandemic, Abbey sent out the meals free-of-charge to those who were working on the front-line.

Joanne Birch and Ashley Laughton:

THE mother-daughter duo helped to feed hundreds of Dodworth residents by delivering food parcels.

From October 2020 to April this year, the pair delivered the packages to Dodworth, Gilroyd, and the surrounding areas.

Sporting Achievement

Bethany England:

FOOTBALLER Bethany is Barnsley’s first Champion’s League finalist.

The 27-year-old has been capped ten times for England since 2019 and has won player of the year alongside the women’s Super League and League Cup with Chelsea.

Ian Sagar:

HOYLAND Common man, 39-year-old Ian Sagar, brought back bronze for Team GB after beating Spain – making him a two-time Paralympic medalist.

Sagar had missed out on a medal in London 2012 but managed a bronze four years later in Rio.

Sue Bailey:

SUE Bailey won a Paralympic bronze medal in the table tennis doubles competition.

Sue, 48, from Dodworth, has been competing in the table tennis Paralympic event since 2000 though her medal this year is her first.

Green Moor Cricket Club:

THE small village cricket club’s promotion to the Championship has been likened to Leicester City winning the Premier League.

Green Moor were promoted from Division One into the Championship last week with a game to spare, and the village – whose population is around 200 – have risen above South Yorkshire neighbours Rotherham Town.

Community Group

Low Valley Flood Group:

THE group is formed of residents who have been blighted by floods and have supported people with flood defences since their inception in 2007.

The community group spent last year campaigning with councillors for flood defences across the borough and have continued to fundraise for repairs and sandbags.

Barnsley Superstars:

THE town-wide scheme creates and delivers face coverings to residents.

The initiative began at the start of lockdown last year and raised more than £3,000 for Barnsley Hospital Charity throughout the pandemic.

Penistone Round Table:

PENISTONE Round Table is formed of men aged under 45 and helped to keep men active and social throughout the pandemic.

The group members spent the pandemic delivering essentials to people in need and picking up waste.

School of the Year

Laithes Primary School:

STAFF at the school, on Laithes Lane, Athersley, delivered free school meals to more than 170 pupils throughout lockdown.

The meals were hand-cooked and ensured that no pupil went hungry.

Meadstead Primary School:

THE school works with special needs pupils, and ensured that all students had internet access during the lockdowns.

Staff also co-ordinated a daily check-in to make sure that the children were able to see their friends.

Their efforts ensured that 65 per cent of SEND children could attend the school during lockdown.

Hoyland Common Primary School:

DAILY updates were created by staff for pupils who were forced to self-isolate during lockdown.

The updates included encouraging videos, tasks and daily updates which helped boost morale.

Triumph Over Adversity

Daniel and Stacey Fleetwood:

THE parents of 14-year-old Lucas Fleetwood who went to bed healthy but ‘never woke up’ have created a memorial garden in his memory.

The Darton Academy pupil died of unknown causes after his first day back following the summer holidays.

His parents raised more than £11,000 to create the garden, and a space for grieving parents to visit and remember their children.

Rob and Kylie Osbourn:

ROB and Kylie have been campaigning for a change to the law to recognise stillbirth at an earlier stage after their twins died 17 weeks into the pregnancy.

The pair want changes to be made after the deaths of their children were legally classed as a miscarriage and not a still birth.

Kelvin Binns:

YOUNGSTER Kelvin has beaten cancer not once – but twice.

The 12 year old was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when he was just 18 months old, and was later diagnosed with leukaemia just five year’s later.

But he hasn’t let the illnesses dull his spirit and has faced every treatment with a smile.

Exceptional Achievement

The team at Stairfoot Subway:

THE staff at the sandwich shop delivered hundreds of food parcels and fed rough sleepers through the pandemic.

They have also donated food to local care homes and provided free meals to the armed forces and emergency services.

Dennis Baker:

DENNIS saved the life of 72-year-old David Croggon who went into cardiac arrest in the interchange.

Dennis gave mouth-to-mouth to the pensioner and helped to restart David’s heart before an ambulance arrived.

Staff at Jubilee House:

THE care home staff have been praised after they isolated away from their friends and families to help keep the residents safe from the virus.

They spent weeks away from their loved ones during the first lockdown and even slept in offices and tents in order to safely care for the vulnerable residents.

Carer of the Year

Jodie Morgan and Tom Wood:

PARENTS to seriously ill youngster, Louie George Wood have raised more than £100,000 to fund his treatment.

Louie was born prematurely at just 23 weeks and suffers from a range of health issues.

His parents have fundraised tirelessly for years in order to fund vital surgery that could allow him to walk, and to be able to make home adaptations.

Laura Stephenson:

AN ARMY of Barnsley residents helped raise money for four-year-old Oliver Stephenson to receive vital treatment.

Oliver was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma in January 2020 and £230,000 was needed to for lifesaving treatment in New York which would give him a much higher survival rate.

Low Laithes Care Home:

STAFF at the home gained firsthand experience of end of life care when they fulfilled a dying woman’s last wish to return ‘home’ in her final moments.

Ella Reid, 36, wanted to return to the home after contracting Covid-19 at Barnsley Hospital. She lived with learning disabilities and autism and had been a resident at the home since 2013.

Charity Fundraiser

Dawn Cusworth:

DAWN raised more than £19,000 for Bluebell Wood in memory of her daughter who died just days before her tenth birthday.

Her daughter, Mia, spent her final days at the hospice after being diagnosed with the rare illness – hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis – in 2018.

Matthew Newton:

AVID ice hockey fan Matthew has helped to raise more than £100,000 for the Children’s Hospital Charity in the hope he can help sick children.

He has created charity ice hockey matches after being inspired following a visit to the charity with his children.

Paul Hallas:

PAUL didn’t let a heart attack slow him down and has completed a half-marathon to raise £700 for the charity that helped him recover.

At just 34, he suffered a spontaneous coronary artery dissection which left him wondering if he would ever play sport again.

Volunteer of the Year

Sue Micklethwaite:

CHAIRMAN of the Royston Watch Crime and Prevention Group, Sue has delivered care packages to residents in need throughout the pandemic.

Not only does she help to tackle crime in her area, she has also set up an initiative to provide clothing to Afghan refugees.

Pat Padgett:

A VOLUNTEER in the St Helen’s ward for more than half a decade, Pat has led the Girl Guides and has hosted church events – all in the name of her local community.

Not just that, but Pat chaired the community group, Athersley Cares, and acted as the Barnsley Commissioner for the Girl Guides.

The family of Hope Pickersgill:

THE family of six-month-old Hope have thrown their efforts into fundraising for the hospitals that have helped treat the tot following open heart surgery.

From sponsored walks to skydives, they hope to raise enough money to keep Leeds Congenital Heart Unit open for other families in need.

Love Where You Live

Carlton Marsh Wildlife Group:

THE wildlife lovers have turned a desolate stretch of land into a thriving nature reserve.

Cliff Gorman and Keith Bannister began the group in 1976 and have cleaned the water and introduced wildlife back to the area over the past four decades.

Chris Fox:

DEDICATED Cudworth resident Chris formed a community group to help bring his local community together.

Chair of the Cudworth Businesses and Community Together group, Chris has organised fairs, bunny trails, walking maps and helped raise money to install Christmas lights along Barnsley Road.

Sarah Dewey:

WHILE most would spend their retirement relaxing, Sarah has dedicated her time to picking up litter throughout Smithies.

The 62-year-old became one of the first members of the Barnsley Main Heritage Group, which began in 2016.

During the lockdown, Sarah set up the Dearne Valley Country Park Group and has helped to inspire more than 40 volunteers to transform their local area.

Charity Fundraising Team

Allie Hunton and David Armitage:

THE volunteering duo have helped to distribute more than £70,000 worth of donations to staff and patients at Barnsley Hospital during the pandemic.

They delivered 3,800 sets of scrubs, 4,000 hand creams, 2,400 lounge wear sets, 17,300 drinks and snacks, 700 lip balms and 69 tablets.

Barnsley Live:

A GROUP of musicians didn’t let being unable to play live music stop them from raising money for charity.

Artists usually involved in the Barnsley Live event virtually got together to create a charity single to raise funds for Barnsley Hospital.

Eastfield Athletic:

THE football team helped to raise more than £3,000 in memory of founder Mykal Porter who died aged 24.

The team have fundraised each year for local causes that help promote mental health across the borough.