Unsung heroes hailed community champions

COMMUNITY GROUP OF THE YEAR -- members of the Street Pastors team, (from left) Elaine Boardman (left), Graham Conway and Josh Boardman, receive their award from Ashfield District Council chairman, Coun May Barsby (Lab).

COMMUNITY GROUP OF THE YEAR -- members of the Street Pastors team, (from left) Elaine Boardman (left), Graham Conway and Josh Boardman, receive their award from Ashfield District Council chairman, Coun May Barsby (Lab).

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COMMUNITY champions of Hucknall have been honoured at the prestigious Ashfield Civic Awards.

The annual event, run by Ashfield District Council, recognises unsung heroes in categories that include citizen of the year and sportsperson of the year.

Sally Wyatt ADC awards

Sally Wyatt ADC awards

Two prizes were handed out for Hucknall at a special presentation ceremony at Mansfield’s Portland Training College, hosted by Ashfield Council’s chairman, Coun May Barsby (Lab).

Honoured as citizen of the year for the town was Sally Wyatt in recognition of more than 40 years of volunteering.

The accolade for community group of the year went to the Street Pastors team — a group of Christian volunteers who patrol the town on Friday nights to help ease drink-fuelled tensions.

All the winners were presented with ‘community champion’ shields.

Sally (63), of Astral Grove, has lived in the town since 1969. She is involved in the Nightstop charity for homeless people and Hucknall Partnership Group, and is chairman of the Reach Out Residents group.

She has been married to George for 43 years and was nominated for the accolade by Coun John Wilmott (Lab), Hucknall’s deputy leader of Ashfield Council.

“I haven’t really asked for this and I haven’t gone looking for it,” said Sally. “Everything I have done is because I care about Hucknall passionately.”

The Street Pastors have made a big impact since launching in Hucknall. In February, they saved the life of a drunken 15-year-old boy who was found face down and unconscious near the Tesco superstore, off Ashgate Road.

Their work involves talking to revellers in Hucknall town centre, listening to problems and pointing heavy drinkers towards support-services .