A BARNSLEY man has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award in the Exceptional Achievement category following his effort towards volunteering and youth service.

Ian Ball, 64, from Goldthorpe, set up the Dearne Kids’ Activity Group in a bid to help, coach and mentor young people.

Ian said that he currently has between 20 and 25 kids attend the sessions at Thurnscoe and between ten and 15 at Bolton-upon-Dearne, with the hope to encourage more over the coming months.

The group received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2007 a ‘tremendous’ boost for the volunteers who helped it grow.

The awards were founded to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee to recognise and reward outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community, improve the quality of life and opportunity for others.

“I wanted to start volunteering when the pits closed, it gave me something to focus on and obviously being able to help kids and families is always worth it,” he said.

The person who nominated Ian for an award this year, said he has always gone ‘above and beyond’ for his youngsters despite his own struggles in his home life and health.

They also said he hosts regular fundraisers to keep the cost of camps and trips down for the families in the Dearne and to pay for room and building costs, making him worthy of a nomination.

When asked how he felt about being put forward for a nomination, he added: “Being nominated has definitely come as a surprise, but it’s great to have been acknowledged.

“If I was to win anything, it’d be a reflection of all the volunteers as a whole, not just me.

“Every one of us deserves to be recognised it’s a team effort.”