After a summer of searching for Yorkshire’s most inspiring volunteers with our 100 Smiles Campaign, we’re over the moon to announce that we have our 100 Happy Makers!
The one thing our 100 Smiles winners have in common is that they all go out of their way to make others smile and we think it’s about time that they were celebrated. So, we’re throwing them a party.
We are so proud of the response that the 100 Smiles Campaign has received since we first asked for nominations. It has been such a pleasure organising this event for our nominees. Here is the full list of nominees and their brilliant stories, as told by their nominators.
Abigail Thompson: Reverend Abi is the heart of her Rotherham community. She is much more than your everyday vicar, she dedicates every minute of every day to supporting others and putting their needs first. Abi has been a massive ambassador for women, women in the church and for interfaith.
Alison Heeley: Alison helps in the galley at her local sailing club unpaid most weekends, cooking and serving food for the young sailors and competitors. She uses her own time to go and get the food from local shops and spends whole days running open training and competitions. Alison, a teacher, was nominated by her children who are keen sailors.
Andrew Littlewood (CHART Kirklees): Andrew has never missed a session, putting 18 hours a week into his placement and has been a fantastic volunteer. Every staff member from the service manager downwards have only ever used the superlative “fantastic” to describe the impact Andrew has had on engaging clients into the CHART service.
Andy Philips (Jane Tomlinson Appeal): Andy is an absolute joy to have on events and contributes to a wonderful experience for our fundraisers which makes them feel really valued and special. He is an incredibly committed volunteer and genuinely supports our cause.
Anne Harrison (Jerry Green Dogs): There is not an element of volunteering Anne does not get mucked in with, she is our go to dog walker, receptionist, fundraiser, event organiser, craft maker, craft seller, poo picker upper and all round absolute super star.
Anne Hart (Oxspring Primary School): Mrs Hart is a wonderful lady, always smiling – she’s one of life’s truly beautiful people. Has more jobs than most and never, ever complains about any of them. She needs a gold medal just for standing in the middle of Sheffield Road.
Barrie Stokes (York City Community): ‘Tosh’ brings enthusiasm, knowledge, passion and drive to the two sessions that he volunteers with. He has the phenomenal ability to not only share stories of his own to those that come to our weekly dementia friendly coffee mornings, but to listen to others with intent and care.
Ben Kerr (North Yorkshire Horizons): Ben has a warm and welcoming demeanour,
he is open, honest and with a great laugh and a huge smile. Ben brings lived experience, hope and aspiration to others, many of whom initially attend the project full of fear and anxiety.
Brenda Redfern (Leeds Community Foundation): Brenda is always very cheerful and genuinely interested in other people and is especially good with new people. She is able to explain things in a simple way and takes care to make sure people understand what’s happening.
Brigid James-Murray (Ground Work): Brigid always comes in with a happy smile, is easy going, and very approachable. Some of the young people she works with have had a hard life but she never seems beaten or deflated -she is eternally optimistic and upbeat.
Brodstock Music Festival: Brodstock is a family music festival organised by volunteers which brings joy to so many in Yorkshire. Last year, they donated £15,000 from ticket sales to an adult hospice and many thousands more to grassroots sport organisations.
And Curran, David Rathmell, Gareth Taylor, James Ogden, Jean Richardson, Martin Smith, Neil Davidson, Neil Sheard, Ryan Loach, Sarah Taylor.
Caroline Taylor: Caroline is the kind of person every community needs. She is willing to put the hours and effort in to make her small part of the world a more enjoyable place for people to live. Whilst people really enjoy the events, I don’t think a lot of people realise how much work goes into them. Caroline really deserves to get a proper thank you for years spent making other people happy.
Danielle Wilkin (Prison Advice): Danielle is always happy and has a smile on her face which reflects on the service users she supports. She goes above and beyond for service users and for other staff and volunteers always attending social events making everyone laugh!
Dave Townrow (Bluebell Wood Hospice): Dave has a great sense of humour and interacts brilliantly with members of the public. He always has a smile and a witty comment to put people at ease. He is very approachable and easy to talk to and his enthusiasm is infectious.
David Belk (Food Cycle): David realised that many of the people who attended Food Cycle’s meals couldn’t cook, so he set up a cooking course for them, which he ran very successfully, tailoring it to the needs of the individuals. It made a major difference to their lives.
David Kelly (Leeds Children Centre): Dave has a sharp wit and great sense of humour, which makes people laugh. Perhaps he should have been a stand-up comedian. Instead he chose to volunteer his time to work with marginalised young people who face major challenges in their life without family support.
Ellie Mae Batty (TADS Barnsley): Ellie is now a dedicated volunteer at our Centre and is helping other young people with anxiety by setting a positive example for them, teaching them that they can change their negative thoughts.
Emily Forbes (St Martin’s Church): Mrs Forbes is well liked, loved and respected by the Community Kitchen guests and volunteers.
EnRich: EnRich celebrates the memory of Barnsley Music and Performing Arts teacher Richard Tolson. The trustees aim to support any and all specialisms in creative and performing arts in the Barnsley area.
Josie Whitely,Kevin Tolson, Rachel Bostwick, Sarah Tolson, Tim Speight
Gill Mercer (The Market Place): Gill is a very warm and welcoming volunteer, she always has time for young people, staff, parents and carers. She always takes time to talk to everyone, and often praises other people’s strengths to help build their confidence.
Greg Stephenson (York Pride): Greg has excellent speaker skills and chairs meetings in a fair, calm, friendly and informal style. He creates the meetings as a safe space for the individuals who are a great variety of genders, ages, sexualities, socio economic backgrounds, etc. I cannot praise him enough.
Grimm & Co: Grimm & Co use volunteers to inspire children to write about the weird and the wonderful – they help troubled children improve their literacy, their confidence and to truly let their imagination run wild.
Represented tonight by:
Dave Greasily, Oliver Booth
Huddersfield Lions Club: Huddersfield Lions is a Charitable Trust which works to support people and organisations in the Huddersfield area. It is known for running brilliant youth campaigns and for its tireless work in local communities.
Huddersfield Live: Huddersfield Live is a not-for-profit organisation which helps develop and support events in the Huddersfield area. It raises awareness for programmes which benefit local residents and works to create an inclusive and fun city.
Represented tonight by:
Alison Mitchell, Andrew Taylor, Mandy Talor, Oli Smith, Patsy Theater, Poppy Stählen, Sam Watt, Time Gledhill
Irene Houson (St George’s Crypt): Irene has such a lovely way about her, she is quiet and has a very calming aura which our service users (who lead very chaotic lives) appreciate when coming into the building.
Jack Lockwood (Hoylandswaine Junior Cricket Club): Jack volunteers with his sister because they are passionate about cricket and about Hoylandswaine Junior Cricket Club and they want to encourage as many young people to get involved as possible.
Jack Woodhams (Fathers Support Group): Jack is just a fun-loving guy who spreads happiness wherever he goes. He puts other people first and strives to include others and make them feel welcome. He is so supportive and caring.
Jaqueline Vickers (Jerry Green Dogs): We are so proud of Jaqueline’s achievements and her willingness to go the extra mile over her comfort zone, simply to help and support the dogs in our care get that new start in life. She is a credit to her amazing family!
Jason White (Leeds South and East Food Bank): Jason seems like a shy person, but he is bubbly and likes to have a joke with people and to make them feel comfortable.
Javaria Bazmi: Javaria is first to get stuck in and is incredibly bold in challenging stereotypes by bringing fun and laughter and a real human side to policing. After all the troubles faced in our town, Javaria has done more to build bridges with the fragmented communities than most policing work that has been done in the last two years.
Karen Baker: Karen has a wonderful way of connecting with all children, and is able to find a way to make even the most troubled child feel good about themselves.
Leanne Squires (Ground Work): Leanne has only been a community engagement volunteer in Leeds for a few weeks but has made a big difference in the community. She is constantly volunteering herself for projects and loves to get involved.
Lucy Lockwood (Hoylandswaine Junior Cricket Club): Lucy volunteers with her brother because they are passionate about cricket and about Hoylandswaine Junior Cricket Club and they want to encourage as many young people to get involved as possible.
Lucy Price: Lucy cares unconditionally for all her clients at Avalon, providing fabulous opportunities and experiences. She’s goes beyond what is described in a job description! She’s a fabulous mother and a wonderful friend.
Made in Clayton West: Made in Clayton West is a brilliant community group which unites the different social activities in the small village of Clayton West. It is great with existing groups and hugely supportive to those starting out.
Mandy Taylor (Honorary Happy Maker): We asked Mandy to help us choose our 5 exemplary nominations, but it wouldn’t be right for us to ignore the wonderful things she does for charity herself. Despite suffering recurring illnesses, Mandy regularly raises money for Huddersfield Town Foundation as well as supporting a variety of local charities, including Huddersfield Live and Brodstock Festival.
Matthew Fenton: You only have to meet Matthew to see how genuine he really is. He deserves this but wouldn’t think he does he just does it because he’s lovely and not for any fuss. He’s amazing.
Michael Hargreaves (TCV): Michael makes everyone feel great and all the volunteers always go home at the end of a session with a really big smile on their face because of him. He is so proud of all the work that the group do and makes everyone else feel proud too.
Michelle Sheard (CGS): Michelle finds it difficult to accept praise and will often say she did not do anything special. I think it would be nice for her to get extra confirmation that this is not true and she is making a huge difference and that leap of faith she took into a new profession was the right one. She is hugely appreciated within our organisations and I would love for her commitment and passion to be recognised.
Molly Johnson (St George’s Crypt): Molly is an amazing human being showing kindness, compassion and patience to all those whom she serves. Molly has arthritis in both her hands and struggles with her health, however she turns up every Tuesday and is one of our most consistent and committed volunteers.
More in Common (Batley and Spen): More in Common is a branch of the Jo Cox foundation which is local to Batley and Spen. They dedicate their time to spreading Jo’s message of positivity and togetherness while also raising money for the foundation.
Clare Mulling,, Dave Keeton, Fakhara Rehman, Gordon Leadbetter, Jean Leadeater, Käatija Lunat, Kim, Leadbetter, Mandy Keeton, Sam Vickers, Theresa Redmond
Natalie Sidhu (Prison Advice): Natalie goes above and beyond what is expected of her. She is kind, thoughtful, adapts herself well to given situations and sometime works long hours in the support she provides to people who are leaving custody.
Nazia Khan (Rotherham United): Females in general have many barriers to engaging in sport, BME females even more so. I really feel that what Nazia does for us to help her local community and BME women is outstanding! Every community needs a Nazia!
Nichola Greenwood (Jane Tomlinson Appeal): As well as volunteering at a phenomenal number of events over the last few years, Nichola also ran the York 10K to support the Appeal in memory of her cousin in August. She is incredibly committed and we are really grateful to have her support.
Nicholas Jago (Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity): Nick always brings good mood into our office, is very chatty and loves talking about movies! We have fresh reviews of new films directly from our Nick!
Nicola Holgate (Guides): Nicola is a true inspiration for people within Yorkshire. She is a dedicated compassionate and extremely valued volunteer for GirlGuiding. She puts smiles on girls faces week in week out and helps maintain support the volunteers when needed.
Nicola Garbutt: Nicola is amazing. I’ve never met her in person but she has helped me and advised me with so much in the last two years. She never asks for anything back and puts her grandchildren and children at the top of everything.
Paul Ivison (North Yorkshire Horizons): Paul has a volunteering career which has spanned 4 decades even whilst working in high pressured and commercial roles he has always found time to get involved and support others. Paul is a great example of someone that acts selflessly for others. He has faced life challenges and fought back and continues to fight for himself and for others.
Paul Morton (Tempus Novo): Paul is a compassionate man who delivers outcomes in an area of work most others (nationally) struggle. To move just one ex-offender into sustainable employment takes a range of skills and I have seen Paul do this for many now. This literally gives a new life to those he works with and gives hope to the next generation coming through.
Peter Archer (The Market Place): Peter has struggled with anxiety and difficulties communicating in groups but pushes himself out of his comfort zone to make a contribution to developing services at The Market Place.
Peter Nelson (Ratnasambhava Kadampa Buddhist Centre): Peter is a very patient man whom always helps the Centre with a smile on his face, even when things are going wrong and not necessarily according to plan!
Peter Pease (Leeds and Moortown): Peter has a dry sense of humour which he turns to lighten up the day. He lifts people’s spirits and is always helping others. His warm attitude whilst working with others sets the tone for the day.
Phil Rider (CHART Kirklees): Phil is like a breath of fresh air, he always has new ideas for engaging clients and for new activities to do in our groups. If we need places for visits or for extracurricular activities he always contributes and goes over and above to find things to do and places to go.
Ralph Keene (Buzz Sheffield): I don’t know the details of half the voluntary work Ralph does. I just know that if everyone gave 1% of what Ralph gives to the world (sounds cheesy but it’s so true!) the world would be a happier, healthier, more loving, positive place! Huge, huge respect for this legend.
Rebecca Davies (Thurgoland School): The school children have always loved Rebecca, past and present. I don’t know all the stories over the year’s but have been told of some of them, including once when we had really bad gales and she slept overnight at the school to keep an eye on it. She walks pupils home in the village if parents happen to be late for some reason.
Sandra Copnall (Breast Cancer Haven): Volunteers like Sandra are few and far between and we are so lucky to have her support. Sandra is not only incredibly loyal to Breast Cancer Haven, but is such an asset to our visitors too.
Sara’s Flowers and Tea: Sara’s Flowers and Tea is at the centre of many charitable efforts run by its founder, Sara Headey. Over the years, Sara has regularly brought food to the homeless, allowed customers to buy food and coffees for homeless in advance, and opened a community kitchen which cooks budget meals at extremely low prices.
Scott Cranmer: Scott will take on the most ludicrous of challenges to make money for his chosen charity, with the utmost dedication and always with a smile.
Sharon Kemp: Sharon has made an incredible influence on my life and the lives of so many. I cannot begin to tell you how many others she makes smile.
Shaun Bamford (Bluebell Wood Hospice): Shaun is a wonderful person who gives up his time and uses his love of cycling to raise money for charities and we already have plans to work with Shaun and Tony again.
Steve Taylor (Simon on the Streets): Steve makes dozens of people smile every Tuesday when he brings hot coffee and hands out fresh sandwiches to people sleeping rough and without homes. People return time and time again just to see Steve, he is one of the most genuine and cheerful people you will ever meet.
Suzanne McDonald (Jane Tomlinson Appeal): Suzanne made the whole team smile and really stepped up at a time when we were short of staff. She worked incredibly hard to understand our admin processes and also made a smashing cup of tea!
Tobias Garbutt (The Principle Trust): Toby’s entire family are just incredible and so positive and strong. Toby is leading in his mother’s footsteps and he deserves this recognition.
Tony Firth (Bluebell Wood Hospice): Tony is a wonderful person, giving up his time and along with Shaun, uses their love of cycling to raise money for charities.
Tony Tate (Fostering): I could go on and on about all the things Tony has done with and for these children and often now the social workers ask for us specifically because they know we go far and above what is expected of us and I can do that because of the support that he gives. He really does deserve a medal.
Tracie Gledhill (Hounds First): There is nobody quite like Tracie. When you hear people say, ‘beautiful inside and out’ then that phrase sums Tracie up. She rarely complains although her life is far from easy.
The Welcome Centre: The Welcome Centre, Huddersfield offers practical support, including food, toiletries, bedding, household items to individuals and families in crisis.
Tina Skeldon,, Liz Styan, Richard Hey, Barry Jaggar
Wendy Doyle (Leeds South and East Food Bank): Wendy makes everyone smile within the main office and warehouse, she is always herself and makes others feel comfortable. Wendy is the back bone of Leeds South and East Foodbank and keeps everyone going. We would be lost without her