Salford pays tribute to pandemic heroes

Outstanding Salford residents, volunteers, and public servants who have helped Salford through the COVID-19 pandemic were recognised at the Spirit of Salford Community Awards 2021.

The winners were announced at a special virtual awards ceremony (Thursday 4 March).

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “These awards are about paying tribute to the people who have made a difference in Salford during the extraordinary challenges of the last year.

“The awards are an important date in the Salford calendar so we can showcase inspirational people working and living in our communities.

“All our winners and finalists exemplify the remarkable Spirit of Salford and I am deeply grateful for everything they have done for the city.”

Winners of the awards were:

Chosen by a public vote:

Citizen of the year: Gemma Fish

Gemma is the driving force behind Walkden and Little Hulton Step Into Action, which has made a tremendous difference to the community during the pandemic, helping people with shopping, collecting medicines and dog walking. Gemma has founded a charity shop and community hub to sell clothing, furniture and toys at reasonable prices. The income from these activities is used to provide food parcels, hot meals, and welfare packs to vulnerable people.

Community group of the year: Salford Loaves and Fishes

Salford Loaves and Fishes is a charity that does tremendous work to help vulnerable people and reduce rough sleeping in Salford. The charity warmly welcomes anyone needing their support and offers food, showering and washing facilities, clothes, support and advice.

Public servant of the year: Anthony Lord

Anthony is a dedicated and passionate youth worker who works for Salford City Council. Anthony works tirelessly to ensure vulnerable children are looked after and safe. Throughout the pandemic he has arranged food parcels and arts and crafts activities to be delivered to families in Salford.

Chosen by the judges

Spirit of Salford Special Recognition Award: the Mask Project

During the early stages of the pandemic, when personal protective equipment (PPE) was in short supply, volunteers at the Mask Project worked tirelessly to provide masks for five hospitals across the north west including Salford Royal. By the end of the project, the team had manufactured over 30,000 visors, providing vital assistance to the NHS.

Young person of the year: Beth Pilling and Westley Myerscough

Beth Pilling is balancing the final year of her adult nursing degree with being a mum to her young daughter. Throughout the pandemic, Beth has worked on the Respiratory wards at Bolton General Hospital, looking after very poorly COVID patients.

Westley Myerscough has shown grit and resilience to overcome significant challenges. Westley has overcome a period when he was not in education, employment or training after he left school and – having excelled in a virtual course – has recently been successful in applying for a job with the Crown Prosecution Service.

Volunteer of the year: Alfrieda Kindon and Steve Finbow

Alfrieda Kindon exemplifies the spirit of Salford and has dedicated over 40 years of her life to voluntary services for the diverse communities of Salford. A pioneer and visionary, she created a new community rugby league club in 1980, turning derelict premises in the Peel Green into a valued community facility.
During the pandemic, Steve Finbow has been an inspiring and energetic volunteer, providing help and support to vulnerable Salford residents. Steve has been heavily involved in making welfare calls to residents and has been a volunteer co-ordinator for local food poverty charity That Bread and Butter Thing.

Good neighbour of the year: Sue Hinder and Lynn Cullimore / Gilda Glee Club

Sue is a caring and supportive neighbour who always looks out for the people that live near her. Over the years, she has organised lots of events and activities in her neighbourhood and has been especially supportive of children and young people.

Lynn Cullimore helps to organise the Gilda Glee Club, a network of over 100 households in three connecting streets in Eccles where neighbours simply look out for each other. The group organises annual street parties where people come together to celebrate living in the streets.

Best health achievement: GMCR Runners

GMCR runners is a local, free community running group in Salford. They offer a vibrant community to those looking to make friends and be more active, with over 900 committed members. The group has adapted to the COVID-19 crisis by setting online challenges for members and have delivered food parcels to vulnerable residents during the lockdown periods.

Best environmental improvement: Salford Litter Heroes

Salford Litter Heroes are a group of committed volunteers who undertake frequent litter picks in the city, going out in all weather conditions to look after the environment, protect wildlife and make Salford a better place for everyone.

Best community safety project: Taxis Transfers

Taxis transfers is a local taxi firm that has played a remarkable role in Salford’s efforts to tackle the pandemic, providing a transport service to patients requiring a COVID-19 test and members of the COVID-19 home assessment nurses, and delivering meals to NHS staff.

The awards were organised by Salford City Council, with sponsorship support from, Ladybird Private Day Nursery, TalkTalk, Salix Homes, Salford Royal Hospital, SCC Group, The Landing, the University of Salford and Social 7.

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Date published
Friday 5 March 2021

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