Friday, 4 March 2011

Volunteers honoured at Leeds Year of Volunteering awards event

Max Roclawski (left) receiving his volunteering across the generations award

Volunteers from best volunteering group award winners Armley Helping Hands

Volunteers who made a big impression in Leeds during 2010 for their unpaid work to help others have been recognised at an event in the city.

Leeds City Council and Voluntary Action Leeds introduced the volunteering awards scheme as part of the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering, to recognise and celebrate the massive contribution that volunteers make to the city.

The event at Leeds Civic Hall, brought together winning individuals and groups, who were all nominated for giving their time and energy for free to help charitable organisations, improve the lives of vulnerable people and put something back into the community.

Throughout last year, Leeds residents were encouraged to nominate worthy volunteers in 15 different categories. The winners were selected from over 100 nominations by a judging panel, and were invited to celebrate their achievements by the council’s executive member with responsibility for the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering, Councillor Lucinda Yeadon.

Councillor Yeadon said:
“It was an absolute pleasure to be at this event, which was a fantastic celebration of the achievements of some of our volunteers over the past year.

“We have an army of unsung heroes, who give their time and skills for free to help vulnerable people and support communities in Leeds, but their efforts often go unnoticed.

“Throughout last year we celebrated the contribution that volunteers make to our city, and this awards scheme has been the icing on the cake in recognising some of their outstanding achievements. It is wonderful that people felt strongly enough about what these people do to take the time out to nominate them, and I’m delighted that so many of them were able to join us to receive their awards.

“Volunteering is really important and has the potential to engage every citizen, neighbourhood and community whilst also building skills, confidence and independence in each individual that takes part. This is why we have pledged to continue to support volunteering through the 2011 European Year of Volunteering.”

Focus on winners
The volunteering across generations award was to recognise those who share their valuable skills and experiences with people of other generations, who may benefit from their know-how.

The winner, Max Roclawski, has been described as “very humble about his contributions”. Since his retirement in 2001 from the police force, he has shared his experience in woodworking and technical skills for the benefit of other volunteers and staff at Hollybush Conservation Centre. His volunteering has provided him with opportunities to learn many other skills such as hedge laying and dry stone walling, which in turn he has taught other volunteers on training days and out on conservation task days.

A particular strength is his vast knowledge of health and safety and tools maintenance, which he has been very willing to share. He has designed and delivered free tool training courses to the volunteers at the centre, as well as to young people on the NVQ 1 and 2 courses at Hollybush.

Max has also volunteered at fundraising events at Hollybush with a stall demonstrating traditional woodcraft, and he inspires many visitors young and old with his creative designs for bird tables.

Volunteers and staff at Hollybush have described Max as someone you feel you can turn to with a technical problem, and knows that if he says he will be there or will do something it will always be done and done well.

The people who nominated Max were keen to express their thanks saying that he is an inspiration and a rock to them all at Hollybush

Best volunteering group – Armley Helping Hands
Armley Helping Hands is a registered charity, which provides facilities for the advancement of education, recreation and leisure-time activities for older people living in the Armley and Wortley district of Leeds. The aim of the organisation is to develop social welfare and improve the lives of older people, reducing social isolation and promoting independent living.

A vital part of the charity’s development and ability to provide a high level of support and care to our older people over the last fifteen years, is the outstanding commitment from their 21 volunteers. Many of these have served over 10 years voluntary service within the organisation.

Dawn Newsome, a member of staff has said: “Personally I cannot identify one single person within the volunteer team who shows outstanding service, as each individual brings their own personal quality and skills to the organisation.”

This volunteer team provides a minimum of 170 hours per week, each volunteer on average five hours per day. Many of the volunteers partake in activities and service on average two to three times per week.

The full list of winners is as follows:
Volunteering for health and wellbeing - Lynne Smart
Volunteering in every neighbourhood - Yvonne Crowther
Volunteering across the generations - Max Roclawski
Volunteering in literacy and learning - Sally Blyth
Volunteering for leisure, sports, arts and culture - Becky Ford
Volunteering and environment, parks and wildlife - Jim O’Neil
Volunteering for a safer Leeds - Nowells Together Residents Group
Children and young people’s volunteering - Andy Atkinson
Inclusive volunteering - Madeleine McGarrie
Transformational award - Leeds Student Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
Best volunteering group award - Armley Helping Hands
Inspirational award - Margaret Clayton
Commitment award - Kwasi Adoo
Newcomer award - Thomas Mower
Corporate award for individuals - Alister Bould (Pinsent Masons)
Corporate award for groups - Leeds Legal
Philanthropy award - Jimi Heselden


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Essential resurfacing work of the A65 Leeds Road, Rawdon

Essential resurfacing work is to take place on the A65 Leeds Road, Rawdon, between Monday 7 March and Wednesday 30 March. The work, which will replace the worn out carriageway, will be restricted to between 09:30 and 15:30 from Monday to Friday to minimise disruption as much as possible. However, as this is a main road into Leeds and will affect people travelling to and from the airport, delays are expected. Motorists are advised to find an alternative route wherever possible. Leeds City Council apologises for any inconvenience.

Power to save on energy available on loan from Leeds libraries

A simple device which is free to borrow is thought to have saved well in excess of £8,000 for residents of Leeds over the past year… while also doing its bit towards saving the planet.

Energy monitors, which clip around the household electricity supply, pinpoint energy-guzzling gadgets by highlighting how much electricity they use.

Since they were made available to borrow from libraries in Leeds a year ago, householders who acted on their information and switched off appliances and gadgets not in use should have saved a total of £8,775 on their electricity bills.

This is calculated using a national formula for the typical household.

Energy bills have been rising rapidly and householders are having to be increasingly careful with their cash in the current financial situation, so the monitors can provide some welcome savings in power costs.

Councillor Tom Murray, executive member for environmental services, Leeds City Council, said:
“We can’t do much about increasing electricity prices, but we can help people trim a little from their bills by making sure they use energy wisely.

“Energy monitors allow us to see the amount we’re using and how much it’s costing us. People are often surprised at how much power appliances soak up when on standby, for instance, or when a charger is left idle but still connected after use.

“By making changes that save money, we’re also benefiting the environment by ultimately reducing the city’s carbon emissions. I’d highly recommend borrowing an energy monitor.”

Since the introduction of the monitors into 28 libraries, hundreds of people have taken advantage of the three week loan period to find out how much items such as kettles, toasters, games consoles and chargers cost to run.

The devices also demonstrate how much energy and money the gadgets waste when left on unnecessarily or in standby mode.

Figures from the Energy Saving Trust show that UK households now spend up to 8% of their electricity bill by leaving appliances on standby, a figure which, if viewed nationally, is equivalent to the annual output from two-and-a-half large power stations.

Energy monitors are available to borrow from the following Leeds libraries:
Armley, Bramley, Central, Chapeltown, Compton Road , Seacroft, Chapel Allerton, Crossgates, Halton, Oakwood, Garforth, Kippax, Rothwell, Guiseley, Otley, Yeadon, Headingley, Holt Park, Horsforth, Pudsey, Farsley, Hunslet, Middleton, Beeston, Dewsbury Road, Moor Allerton, Wetherby, Morley Library’s at home service, mobile libraries.

They can also be reserved for collection through the rest of the city’s libraries.

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335


Leeds Rhinos to help tackle bullying in city’s schools

Players and coaches from Leeds Rhinos will teach over 100 children about fun games to play at school next week as part of a city-wide anti-bullying campaign.

Children, teachers, coaches and Rhinos players Ryan Bailey and Brad Singleton will gather at Headingley Stadium on Tuesday (8 March) to take part in the training which will see children learn about activities to take part in during break and lunch times.

**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********
Media are invited to Headingley Stadium on Tuesday 8 March at 1pm for a 1.15pm start. Certificates and awards will be presented to children taking part in the anti-bullying training by Leeds Rhinos players Ryan Bailey and Brad Singleton. Please email or call 0113 3951577 to confirm attendance.
**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********

As bullying can take place during these periods, the training is designed to reduce the opportunity for it to happen. The children, which include anti-bullying ambassadors who already work in their schools to reduce bullying, will become qualified ‘positive play leaders’ and be able to pass their new knowledge to friends and classmates at school.

With over 100 children taking part in the training, their new skills will be passed to more than 4,000 children in primary schools across Leeds in the coming months.

The training, which has been developed by Education Leeds and the Leeds Rugby Foundation, is part of the Power of Me programme, an anti-bullying initiative developed to teach children and young people how they can tackle and prevent bullying.

Once the training has been completed, the Rhinos players will present national Diana Anti-Bullying Award certificates to the children taking part in the anti-bullying ambassadors programme. The Diana Award is presented to individuals and groups of children and young people who have tackled bullying in their communities and schools.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:
“The Power of Me campaign and our anti-bullying ambassadors have helped reduce the number of incidents of bullying and made children and young people feel safer in school. This latest work with the Leeds Rhinos will continue this progress and help make our schools even safer places to be.

“I would like to congratulate the ambassadors who will receive the Diana Anti-Bullying Award. They have made significant changes in their schools including updating their anti-bullying policy and delivering anti-bullying assemblies. They are doing excellent work and deserve this recognition for their efforts.”

Nigel Richardson, director of children’s services, said:
“We are committed to tackling bullying whenever and however possible. As break and lunch times give children and young people more freedom than during lessons, there are more opportunities for bullying to take place. Thanks to the work with the Leeds Rugby Foundation, thousands of primary school children will learn how to play safely together which will help reduce the number of incidents across the city.”

Nigel O’Flaherty Johnston, community development manager at the Leeds Rugby Foundation, said:
“We at the Leeds Rugby Foundation are delighted to be able to support the Power of Me campaign and help change the lives of children who are affected by bullying. Respect for others is an important part of the game of rugby league and our players are great role models for the children involved in this anti bullying campaign.”

Each positive play leader will receive a training booklet which will include instructions on how to play all the games and the ambassadors will also receive rewards stickers to encourage and reward their participation.


For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577