A trailblazing young woman whose fundraising work has benefited the young, the elderly and the disadvantaged has been recognised with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.
Ruby Smith has been given the award at the tender age of just 26.
She has a long list of achievements in giving to other people.
Miss Smith’s outstanding work with the South Yorkshire Housing Association (SYHA) in implementing the Age Better in Sheffield programme was recognised in the nomination.
The programme, which is backed by £6 million in lottery funding, aims to reduce social isolation in the city.
Miss Smith, of Delf Street, Heeley, also started a ‘crackers and company’ event at South Anston which puts on a lunch for homeless and lonely people at Christmas and Easter time.
The event is in its fourth year, and 2016’s Christmas was the biggest one yet.
She said: “Last year, about 93 people came for Christmas dinner.
“A lot of people there are lonely and isolated. A lot of people have lost partners.”
She said seeing the South Anston Methodist Church hall filled with volunteers on Christmas Eve, wrapping gifts and peeling vegetables for some needy people filled her with ‘with joy and pride’.
The modest young woman said of the honour, “I’m flicking between pride and embarrassment really.
“I feel a bit guilty for taking the glory for something that’s a team effort.”
She thanked partner Niall O’Reilly for his inspiration and energy and sister Bluebell for her support and dedication.
Volunteers, she said, make the events possible and her colleagues at SYHA had been supportive.
Miss Smith began volunteering for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) at 16.
It quickly became her life’s purpose and she now has an honourary fellowship with the organisation.
In 2013, she was named UNICEF Fundraiser of the Year, and Miss Smith said that was one of her greatest achievements.
Miss Smith is the chair of the Sheffield Alzheimer’s Society fundraising group.
Her drive to help others goes right back to her formative years and she was a member of the Dinnington Comprehensive School mentoring team, supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
John Beresford, MBE
A former footballer who used his profile in a significant anti-racism campaign has had his work recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Sheffield-born John Beresford, who had a six-year stint at Newcastle United, and made appearances at a handful of other clubs, has been an inspirational role model in using his profile for the greater good.
His nomination called Mr Beresford, 50, a ‘pioneer in anti-racism work’, adding: “Mr Beresford was the first white footballer to get involved in the Show Racism the Red Card campaign, working with schools and colleges to address racism in society and sport.”
He was part of the organisation’s first school visit in 1996, and Mr Beresford has been ‘instrumental’ in its growth to now work with more than 50,000 young people every year.
“His commitment to educate goes beyond the classroom as having seen the power professional footballers hold as role models,” the nomination said.
“He played a leading role in spreading positive messages throughout the professional game and is recognised as being pivotal in increasing the number of professional footballers who now dedicate their time to tackling racism and other forms of discrimination, particularly by going into schools.”
Proud Mr Beresford played down the honur saying there were people that deserved the famous three-letter suffix far more than him.
He added he was ‘chuffed and delighted’ to be recognised.
“There are much more worthy people,” the Ridgeway Moor Farm Court resident said.
Mr Beresford was speaking on the phone from Portugal, where he was preparing to tee off in the Sir Bobby Robson Celebrity Golf Classic.
“You do what you can, and you can only give so much time,” Mr Beresford said.
He couldn’t keep the secret quiet earlier this week, when discussing honours with Sheffield football legend David Hirst and said he was ‘working his way up the list’ when the pair were discussing Alan Shearer’s Commander of the British Empire honours.
Mr Beresford also played for Manchester City, Barnsley, Portsmouth, Southampton and Birmingham City.
Dorothy Haw, MBE
A tireless volunteer who has dedicated more than 15,000 volunteering hours to Sheffield’s elderly and most vulnerable residents has had her efforts rewarded in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.
Thirty-six years ago, Dorothy Haw became involved with a luncheon club after recognising the need to address increasing levels of social isolation among older people in her community.
The club gives members a chance to form strong friendship bonds, reducing loneliness among members.
Her involvement ‘snowballed’, from picking up and delivering the lunches to running the club and she took over in 1970.
Mrs Haw, 82, still plays a vital role in attracting new members to the group which meets at the Michael Church United Reformed at Lowedges.
According to her nomination, Mrs Haw has a profound awareness of issues affecting this age group.
She has been a real tower of support around issues such as bereavement, dementia, degenerative and terminal illness and sensory loss.
The nomination said Mrs Haw was an inspirational role model for volunteers and an ambassador for community-based work with older people.
She was still shocked when she spoke of the award on Thursday but said she was thrilled. “I don’t do it for that,” she said.
“But it’s nice to think that somebody who does volunteer work gets recognised.”
She has lost count of the hours she has put into the service.
“I can’t tell you how long I have been doing it,” Mrs Haw said.
She gave credit to late husband Vernon, who passed away in 2007.
“If he hadn’t have joined Rotary, I wouldn’t have been there,” Mrs Haw said.
“That’s how it all evolved with my volunteering.”
Teresa Smith, BEM
A Sheffield woman credited with turning around the fortunes of the city’s Sea Cadets Corps has been recognised with a British Empire Medal for her outstanding services to the organisation.
Since becoming chair of the Unit of Trustees in 2013, Teresa Smith has led the unit to a strong position, with more than 130 members and volunteers.
The Fossdale Road, Carter Knowle resident has assembled a capable team of trustees to oversee the unit.
Mrs Smith, 51, raised funds which allowed for the purchase of the new site in Rutland Road and a major re-equipping of the unit.
Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Sheffield Council and many of the city’s schools have come on board to support the unit, thanks to Mrs Smith’s networking.
Interest in the unit has been shown by 15 local charities.
Mrs Smith’s involvement with the Sheffield corps began as a parent in 2012.
She became chair of the Parents and Supporters’ Association soon after starting volunteering with the corps.
Mrs Smith said she was ‘stunned and delighted’ at receiving the news.
“It was a lovely surprise,” she said.
Sheffield's honours list
John Beresford - Services to education
Christopher Darmon - Services to young people
Clare Davies - Services to policing
Sital Dhillon - Services to higher education
Dorothy Haw - Services to the community
Gillian Hillier - Services to education
Jacqueline Scott - Services to children and the community
Ruby Smith - Services to charitable fundraising and young and elderly people
Teresa Smith - Service to the Sea Cadet Corp
Anthony Stacey - Services to housing
Martin Windle - Services to football and the community