Heroes in the Gainsborough community recognised with awards

Young Person of the Year winner Archie Smith with head of marketing at Acis, Claire Woodward
Young Person of the Year winner Archie Smith with head of marketing at Acis, Claire Woodward

Volunteers at Lincolnshire schools have been recognised with awards for their work in the community.

The annual Our Heroes awards, run by social housing provider Acis, celebrates people in and around the communities in Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Following scores of entries and a lengthy judging process, the awards were handed out at a ceremony in Gainsborough in October.

The awards celebrate great gardens, good neighbours, fantastic young people and people doing their best to enhance communities.

Archie Smith from Gainsborough scooped the Young Person of the Year award for his work around the community, helping vulnerable people with various errands.

Archie said: “I’m very happy. I was a little embarrassed but I’m happy.”

And Maria Neall from Blyton won the Positive Change award, a new category this year, for her relentless work in helping to transform the playground at Blyton cum Laughton Church of England School.

On winning the award, she said: “I’m so shocked but very happy. I’m surprised because the other two nominees were very good with what they’ve put into their community.”

Claire Woodward, head of marketing at Acis, said: “We had so many fantastic entries this year and it was really hard to whittle the nominations down to just 12, never mind pick winners from them.

“It’s great to see so many people doing so much to make their communities a better place. At the ceremony, we heard so many stories of people going the extra mile for others – being wonderful neighbours to each other, helping out, transforming schools, being there for people.

“They really are our heroes.”

And the Wonderful Neighbour of the Year award went to Don Pyle, who volunteers at St Mary’s Primary Academy in Welton.

Originally volunteering to listen to some of the children read, he now regularly spends his time renovating and breathing new life into outside areas to help the children learn and play.

He said: “I’m so surprised. To even be nominated let alone win it; it’s come completely out of the blue.

“I just do what I like to do and help the kids where I can.

“I just like the school to look nice and welcoming to people.

“I could do with twice the time though! By the time I’ve read with the children and done the gardening and other odd jobs, the day’s over.”