Selfless mother wins top award

JoanneClarke,centre,withTV's Arlene Phillips and Magic FM radio DJ Neil Fox
JoanneClarke,centre,withTV's Arlene Phillips and Magic FM radio DJ Neil Fox

A MULTI-tasking mum from Dinnington has been crowned a regional family hero for her dedication to the community.

Joanne Clarke juggles running the Salvation Army in Dinnington, family life with her husband Les and children, organising a youth club and taking food parcels to struggling families.

The 40-year-old has now been acknowleged for her tireless work after she was named Family Hero for Yorkshire and Humber, in this year’s 4Children and Take a Break Family Heroes Awards.

“I was amazed, just shocked that somebody had thought to nominate me.”

“I just do what I do, you just get on with things don’t you,” said Joanne of Falcon Way.

Every week, Joanne and husband Les take care of the day to day running of the Salvation Army, which includes running various youth clubs and services for youngsters from the local area, for up to 40 children at a time, and giving out food parcels every Saturday.

Joanne said: “I have been going to the Salvation Army since I was five.”

“Me and my husband Les look after the day to day running of it - the children work and youth work.”

Joanne does all this while looking after her twins Zac and Danielle, who were born prematurely. As a result Zac, who attends Anston Hillcrest Primary, has dyspraxia and Anston Park pupil Danielle, has hearing difficulties.

She also looks after her sister fulltime who suffers from learning difficulties. Julie was not expected to live long, walk or talk but with the help and support of Joanne, she can now walk and has limited speech.

Joanne was nominated for the award by her friend Linda. who lives in Folkstone, who noticed it in Take A Break magazine.

Joanne said: “I was so shocked to find out I’d been nominated. She has been to stay with us a few times was amazed at what we do.”

“She said it (the award) was for all the extra work as well as looking after the kids and my sister.”

The awards, given at a glittering ceremony in London, were launched to find Britain’s greatest heroes who go the extra mile to make life better for others.

Anne Longfield, chief executive of 4Children, said: “Joanne is one of those incredible people who just never sits down.”

“She is a family hero because she steps forward to help when others are hesitant.”

“All of us can find opportunities to help others in our communities – just like Joanne.”