OPINION: Civic Awards can inspire Sheffield’s next heroes

Sheffield City Council Civic Awards 2015'The unsung heroes gather on the stiarcase in the Town Hall
Sheffield City Council Civic Awards 2015'The unsung heroes gather on the stiarcase in the Town Hall
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Remember the date: December 10, 2015.

Today is a momentous day in the history of our city, because it marks the first time that the true heroes of Sheffield have been recognised for the contributions they have made to making this a far better place to live.

Just imagine how many vulnerable people, often young girls, might have been put at risk if they did not have the Street Pastors on hand when on nights out in the city centre.

The pastors go out of their way to take care of such people, check on their health, get them a taxi and keep them safe.

The woman who set up this scheme in Sheffield is just one of the 22 people being honoured in Sheffield’s first ever Civic Awards.

Another very worthy winner is a woman who has fostered more than 250 children.

The positive impact she has made on the lives of so many young people is almost impossible to quantify.

Or what about John Burkhill, the ‘Madman with the Pram’ whose tireless fundraising for cancer charity Macmillan prompted thousands of people to set up a petition to get him a star on Sheffield’s Walk of Fame outside Sheffield Town Hall?

In fact, that petition proves not only that the people of Sheffield truly care about helping each other, but that they want to make sure we all applaud and recognise those who have gone beyond all expectations to help others.

So we have dedicated The Star today to those people who have been recognised for their amazing work, and we have a double page feature on pages 8-9.

Every day, The Star’s pages are filled with tales of wrongdoing, criminality and people who have generally let down this great city through their actions.

That’s why it’s all the more important to champion the people who have gone out of their way to truly make a difference to their community.

I know I speak for everyone in Sheffield when I say: thank you, truly, to those 22 shining examples of Sheffielders.

We can only hope that their tales of compassion and hard work inspire even more people to make a difference in their community.

Let’s all redouble our efforts to improve our city - and hopefully on this date next year, we’ll be publishing an even longer list of heroes right here on our pages.

Sheffield: are you up for the challenge?