The district’s Unsung Heroes are recognised

FINALISTS: Amanda Marchant, second left, Joanne Speight, Melv Mills, Lee Chopping and Isaac OConnor. ALL PICTURES: AMY CHARLES.
FINALISTS: Amanda Marchant, second left, Joanne Speight, Melv Mills, Lee Chopping and Isaac OConnor. ALL PICTURES: AMY CHARLES.

The Unsung Heroes of Wakefield have got their due recognition.

The finalists were honoured at Wakefield Community Foundation’s inaugural awards at Unity Hall.

AWARD: Public vote winner Sarah Padden, of Cafe 19.

AWARD: Public vote winner Sarah Padden, of Cafe 19.

The judging panel whittled down 200 nominees to 13 finalists. Five were selected on the awards night and one was chosen by the public.

Following a public vote, a clear favourite emerged in Sarah Padden, who opens Café 19 in Wakefield on a regular basis to the homeless.

John Major, the foundation’s administrator, said: “More than 1,000 votes were received in a matter of a few days. The panel on the night felt that all the shortlisted nominees were winners in their own right but awarded trophies to Sharon Firth, Kaz Williams, Steve Greatorex, Issac O’Connor and Ted Helliwell.”

Sharon Firth has spent the past 26 years creating awareness of autism and supporting more than 100 families. Kaz Williams, of Children of Normanton Support Team, has helped children from all backgrounds.

GROUP: Some of the Unsung Heroes finalists at Unity Works.

GROUP: Some of the Unsung Heroes finalists at Unity Works.

Stephen Greatorex has for many years empowered less able people to take part in sport. He has coached people who have gone on to be paralympians. The youngest winner was Issac O’Connor, from Rycroft Youth Club. While Ted Helliwell still volunteers at Second Chance Headway in Wakefield at the age of 84.

SPORTS MENTOR: Steve Greatorex, right.

SPORTS MENTOR: Steve Greatorex, right.