Community heroes scoop award honours

Betty Paxman at WDH awards
Betty Paxman at WDH awards

A CARING neighbour who has spent years helping others has been recognised for her dedication.

Betty Paxman, 72, of Park Estate, South Kirkby, scooped the Best Neighbour prize at the Love Where You Live Awards.

The awards honour individuals and groups from across the Wakefield district who have made a difference in their neighbourhoods.

Mrs Paxman has always had a passion for community projects and organised a junior gardening club for children on the Park Estate, Convent Avenue and Burntwood Estate.

She hosts a number of events throughout the year, including family fun days, litter picks, Hallowe’en parties, pantomime visits and Easter celebrations.

She said: “It’s brilliant to get the award. I have put a lot of work into the community over the years. I just thought I could make a difference.”

Also honoured at the awards, which were held at Merefield House, Castleford, last Monday, was South Kirkby Community Association - which won the community group category.

The not-for-profit organisation is run to help the people in the town.

It holds weekly kids clubs, drop-in sessions to offer housing and benefit advice, gardening, annual fun days, events to promote healthy eating, and courses in basic English and maths to help people get back into employment.

Megan Bates, 11, and Harry Jenkinson, 13, both of Park Estate, South Kirkby, were also recognised for their achievements in the community, which included taking part in recent fundraisers.

The awards were organised by Wakefield Council, Wakefield District Police and Wakefield and District Housing (WDH).

Now the winners will compete to take titles for the district.

Voting can be done on the Love Where You Live website or at any WDH Service Access Point, Wakefield Council’s public offices, and police helpdesks.

Voting closes on Monday, November 26, and the grand final will be held at Cedar Court Hotel in Wakefield in December.

WDH chief executive Kevin Dodd said: “The awards recognise the hard work of the many community heroes across our district to make local neighbourhoods a better place for everyone.

“By voting for your community heroes, residents can help to ensure that these often unsung heroes get the recognition they deserve.”

Coun Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for the environment and communities, said: “This is your chance to thank those people in the community who have made a real difference to their local area.”

Superintendent Pat Casserly, of Wakefield District Police, said: “We are delighted to be involved with the awards and have been engaged from the outset to attract nominations and undertake the difficult task of judging.

Visit to vote.