Two city fighters of different kinds are latest winners of Pride in Sheffield awards

A former boxer who joined with other fighters to open their own gym and a dedicated volunteer litter picker are the latest winners of The Moor Pride in Sheffield Community Champion Awards.

Friday, 16th November 2018, 6:48 pm
Updated Friday, 16th November 2018, 7:04 pm
Rob Riley.

Riley's Boxing and Fitness Centre was set up by former fighter Robert Riley, together with son Richard and police officer Gary Longmore.

The committed team spent three months, gutting the site behind The Ball Inn, on Upwell Street, Grimesthorpe before it opened its doors in June.

Rob Riley.

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Now, five months later it is welcoming members from different nationalities and uniting a community.

Robert said: 'It's getting busier all the time and it's probably still going to be another six months before we get our feet firmly on the floor.

'We have Slovakians, Polish, Latvians, British '“ it's unbelievable the mix of people we have and how the community has welcomed us.

'But it's like anything else they need to trust us before word spreads but it's going really well.'

Riley's Boxing and Fitness Centre.

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WGary, Robert and Richard took on the centre in March after buying some weights from the former owners. Three months on and the gym was open to all - and that is the key message of the venue.

The team, assisted by secretary Rachel Flint, want everyone and anyone to use the centre and unite communities across the city and help reduce crime.

The sixth winner is Iren Wadsworth, who is a dedicated volunteer with the Sheffield Litter Pickers group.

Rob Riley.

When The Star contacted Iren to let her know about the award she was, of course, out cleaning up the streets.

The group set up a Facebook group in January in an attempt to unite committed volunteers from across the city.

Its work has already been recognised with Julie Gay reeiving £250 in honour of its extraordinary work.

Iren Wadsworth, pictured with Khurram Shahzad and Grant Boyle, representing The Moor. Picture: Steve Ellis

Iren said: 'It's going great. We have done seven picks in Gleadless Valley alone in the last month and they were all well attended.

'Sheffield Litter Pickers is growing all the time and we're really pleased with how it's going. We desperately need more hi-viz jackets and pickers so the money will help with that.'

Champions are being picked from across the city.

Winners are being highlighted in The Star and on a special display on The Moor, where thousands will see their story.

The campaign is being run alongside Aberdeen Standard Investment, which owns the revamped shopping street and is giving each champion £250 to put towards their cause, plus gifts from the development's shops and attractions.

The first community champion to be recognised was Tessa Lupton, of Fox Hill in the Brightside and Hillsborough constituency, who was nominated for her campaign to get new play equipment installed at Wolfe Road Park, which has been targeted by vandals.

Iren Wadsworth, pictured with Khurram Shahzad, representing The Moor. Picture: Steve Ellis.

Then Liz Godfrey, of Endcliffe in Sheffield Central, was revealed as the second winner.

She was picked for her role as a co-ordinator of the local Heritage Open Days, an annual programme that has rapidly grown in popularity since she took the helm with fellow volunteers.

The third champion was Richard Hay, development manager of the Double Six Youth Club in Woodseats, in Sheffield Heeley.

He was nominated for his work leading an organisation that, locally at least, stands virtually alone - a place where young people aged eight to 19 can gather, socialise and enjoy activities from cooking to sports, arts and crafts.

Graham Bell, a Royal Navy D-Day veteran from Handsworth, was fourth in line.

He fundraises tirelessly for charities around the city, and visits schools to talk to pupils about his experiences in World War Two. 

Iren Wadsworth, of The Moor Pride in Sheffield Award. Picture: Steve Ellis
Pride in Sheffield.