AN ‘absolute diamond’ of a volunteer has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award by a local councillor.
Coun Kevin Osborne has put forward Lorna Wilkinson for the accolade for her passion for improving Darfield, the community in which she lives.
Lorna set up a pop-up shop, the New to You school shop, two years ago to help local parents by appealing for donations of school uniform and then selling them on for ten or 20 pence,
“I did it for the first time two years ago and then did it again last year. I received hundreds of donations – it was hard work and manic at times as all the items needed sorting and this was all done in my conservatory but it was really worthwhile,” said Lorna.
“We held a family event in the community centre to sell the items and it was a really fun day, The children loved it and the parents enjoyed coming along and buying the items that they wanted for their kids.
“Money raised went to help a local boy Daniel Green who has a terminal illness.”
Mum-of-two Lorna, 36, then continued to organise local events including a Christmas parade in 2021 to a Christmas grotto in 2022 with Easter and Halloween celebrations also held.
Despite health problems and studying for a degree, Lorna devotes many hours to supporting her community in lots of different ways.
She organises games nights and tea and toast mornings in the community centre and has recently taken over the youth club too.
“It’s not just about putting a few board games out it’s about community and bringing old school playing back. I want to make it special for everyone.”
Coun Osborne said: “Lorna started setting up local events in the community, volunteering hours of her own time, supported by her husband and two children and extended family.
“This saw the creation of ‘Darfield Community Events’: Over the past couple of years her organisation has organised: Easter cook and eat sessions, school shop and summer fair, Scarecrow Festival, Halloween parade and walk, Christmas parade and walkabouts, games nights, school holiday activities and film club.
“Lorna also volunteers as a Darfield Ward alliance community representative and helps out with all activity. She is also a key member of Darfield Community Centre Committee. And she is studying a degree.
“Wherever Lorna gets her energy from I want some. She is nothing but a community hero, one of those people who puts so much effort into helping others that she never has time to realise how brilliant she is herself.
“She is one of life’s ‘good ‘uns’. Totally deserving of recognition. I once asked her why she does it. Her reply was: “Because it’s the right thing to do”. That makes her a winner in my book but it’s about time Barnsley realised what an absolute diamond we have here in Darfield.”
Lorna said: “I don’t have many helpers so my family gets roped into everything. My dad was even Santa – he took some persuading but I think he enjoyed it.
“My partner Blake, my children who are six and 16, my sister, brother-in-law, nieces all get involved. I have a real passion to make a difference and I know that I can do it so that’s what motivates me.”