Sheffield NHS celebrates its ‘Community Friends’

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NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is celebrating the community sprit shown by the people of Sheffield this past winter, as part of their ‘Community Friends’ initiative.

The scheme is all about recognising and celebrating the many people who go above and beyond the call of duty and who make sure their friends, neighbours and community is looked after.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of older people spend much of the winter alone and lonely, and the cold weather can have a serious impact on their health.

One such community friend is Roy Shakeshaft (pictured) of Norton Lees, who was nominated by his wife, Karen for his continued efforts to keep their street clear of snow and ice during very bad weather.

Roy’s dedication to keeping people safe means he is out gritting the road, which is used by school buses and local delivery vans, and the steep junction, as soon as the snow or ice hits. Roy also helps to dig out vehicles from the snow, and his efforts are very much appreciated by the drivers who sound their horns out of gratitude

Mr Shakeshaft, said: “I was very surprised to be nominated for the Community Friends award as clearing the snow from the road is now part of my routine in the winter months. The roads near our home are steep and drivers often get stuck or end up skidding down the hill, so putting grit down is a sensible precaution and hopefully will prevent accidents.

“I feel if everyone does their bit to help others in their local area then it builds up community spirit and the neighbourhood benefits.”

Dr Zak McMurray, local GP and CCG Medical Director said: “We are delighted by the fantastic spirit shown by Mr Shakeshaft and the other Community Friends that have been nominated through this scheme and we would like to congratulate them all and thank them for giving their time so generously to their communities. It’s important to understand that these generous and entirely voluntary actions play a vital role in keeping people safe and well, and out of hospital during what is an extremely busy and dangerous time of year.

“The CCG has been running the Community Friends initiative for a couple of years now to recognise and celebrate the wonderful spirit that is alive and well in Sheffield. It is a tremendous example of how being supportive in your neighbourhood can make a huge difference.”

There is still time to nominate your ‘Community Friend’ by visiting www.sheffieldccg.nhs.uk.