Dedication is a word which gets thrown around a lot at awards ceremonies such as these, but it could not be more fitting when applied to the winner of the prestigious Individual Award.
In fact, nature lover Ros Hancock is so committed to her cause that she was unable to receive the honour in person as she was carrying out research in the rainforest of Madagascar. The Friends of Porter Valley founder has been taking part in Great Swim fundraising events across the UK for the past four years.
Friends of Porter Valley was founded in 1994 and since then Ros has worked hard to build up the charity to serve the people of Sheffield.
To date she has raised £4,000 towards restoration projects and is the biggest single contributor to the funds to restore Shepherd Wheel. She has also pledged her commitment to the restoration of Forge Dam and can be regularly found clearing up litter and hacking back scrubland.
Ros inspires a new generation of environmentalists and is always keen to pass on her expert knowledge to conservation volunteers. As she was out of the country for the Sheffield College ceremony, her friends Flora Owens and Margaret Marsh collected the award, sponsored by First, on her behalf.
Margaret said: “She’s on a nature trek, going into the rainforest getting bitten by mosquitos and researching lemurs. She works incredibly hard. She has swum across the UK in different waters.
“Her reaction will be amazing, it’s a great way to cap things off as it was probably her last swim this year. She will be thrilled to bits. We can’t wait to give it to her.”
A spokesman for First said: “As part of all our efforts to introduce continuous environmental improvement, First congratulates all those who have taken part in the 2012 Awards.
Receiving his second special commendation of the night was Mark Woodward, of Stannington’s Green Directions.