Yorkshire Water celebrates heroes with a series of gifts and donations

Since the start of UK lockdown Yorkshire Water has donated £2000 to charities and celebrated 23 of the county’s community heroes.

The Big Thank You campaign was launched by Yorkshire Water on April 24. Each week the company asked customers to nominate people they feel have gone above and beyond during the Covid19 pandemic, with a group of community heroes being celebrated every Thursday.

NHS workers, volunteers, care workers, community support workers and neighbours that have brought smiles to their local community have all been recognised. Each community hero received thank you hampers from Yorkshire Water and charities were chosen for additional donations.

Sheryll Dixon runs Penistone Knitting Group and received a £250 donation from Yorkshire Water in the form of knitting materials and resources. The knitting group has almost 200 members in Yorkshire and has been making mask extenders for frontline NHS and care home staff.

Of the donation, Sheryll said: “It was a lovely surprise to find out I had won the Community Hero Award. The wool that Yorkshire Water has bought for the group has come as a lovely boost and will keep us going through this pandemic. I am truly thankful for everyone who has helped us make over 3,000 mask extenders for the frontline staff. "

Another community hero, Charlotte Armitage from Sheffield, was nominated because she has been teaching driveway dance classes every morning for her neighbours to enjoy. Dance class participants range from 6 months to 93-years-old, and in Charlotte’s nomination the workouts were described as ‘improving mental health, strength and balance’ of those taking part. Charlotte chose for the additional monetary donation to go to Doncaster Community Arts.

Of the donation and thank you hamper, Charlotte said: “Winning the Community Heroes was very exciting - for my community as much as for me! We have all had so much attention from our friends and families as a result which has been so uplifting. It has totally overwhelmed me! Thank you, Yorkshire Water.

“I chose Doncaster Community Arts for my donation, as I totally believe in the participatory artwork they do. They have a wonderfully inclusive ethos and truly care about the people they work with. Their projects and approach enriches lives and makes such a positive difference.”

Of the Big Thank You campaign, customer experience director at Yorkshire Water, Zoe Burns-Shore said: “We have received some amazing nominations over the last eight weeks. It has been a really difficult time for a lot of people, but seeing communities come together and get through it by making each other smile has been amazing.

“We hope we have played our part in bringing smiles to the people and heroes of Yorkshire through this campaign too.”

Over the course of eight weeks, Yorkshire Water donated to eight organisations and charities, including Barnsley Hospice, MacMillan, Overgate Hospice and Halifax Sea Scouts, and sent thank you hampers to 23 inspirational individuals.