They go about their daily lives with little recognition of the valuable contribution they each make to their community.
But now the first 22 unsung heroes have been recognised for their dedication and hard work at Sheffield’s first Civic Awards.
Recipients range from a woman who set up the city’s Street Pastors scheme, to dedicated charity fundrasiers and a woman who has fostered more than 250 children.
Also recognised was John Burkhill, who is known as the ‘Mad man with the Pram’ for his daily walks with a customised pram, wearing a flourescent green wig, to collect cash for Macmillan.
The awards were set up after thousands of people backed a petition for the 75-year-old to get a star on the Walk of Fame outside Sheffield Town Hall.
Nominations were invited from the public during the summer and the council received a huge number from across the city.
Tricia Watts, aged 55, of Norfolk Park, was recognised for her dedication to the Sheffield Street Pastors scheme, which she set up and has co-ordinated since 2009.
The scheme was launched in Burngreave and patrols have now been extended into the city centre.
Tricia, a part-time teacher at Bradfield and Dungworth Primary School, said: “It is a great privilege, especially when you see what the other people collecting awards have done, which is a lot more than me.
“I’ve never received anything like this. It is very much a team effort. I set it up but there are a lot of other people involved and I have some great team members, so it is an award for us all.”
Also honoured for her work with the homeless and vulnerable was Bobbie Walker, of Fulwood.
She co-ordinates the evening Soup Run in Sheffield from September to March, visits clients during the day and has also joined the Street Pastors.
Ron Wiltshire, aged 63, of Wincobank, who has collected more than £100,000 for the British Legion was also awarded.
He used to take two weeks off from his job as a railway ticket officer to travel up and down on the train to London selling poppies, poppy badges and bracelets to passengers.
He began collecting money for the Royal British Legion after he suffered a heart attack in 2005, and after retiring this year he continues to sell poppy badges on eBay - raising £10,000 this year.
Ron said: “I am very humbled. I didn’t expect anything like this.
“I don’t collect to get anything back. I am trying to give something back. I am thankful to whoever nominated me – I have no idea who it was. I am pleased that it is the first time the awards have been held and I’ve been chosen to receive one.”
Broomhall 84-year-old Irene Hancock, who has fostered an incredible 256 children, was also honoured, as was ex Premier League referee Uriah Rennie, aged 53 and of Stannington.
The family of Ted Jenkins, of Heeley, received an award on his behalf after the 72-year-old died of cancer in August after nominations closed. He was recognised for his work with youth clubs and at Herdings Community Centre.
Two additional nominations have been added to the list of recipients – Dr Charles Heatley of Birley Health Centre for his leadership during the Ebola outbreak in Africa, where he placed his life at serious risk for others, and Specials Chief Inspector Peter Bagshaw for his 46 years of service as a volunteer police officer with South Yorkshire Police.
Coun Talib Hussain, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, said: “The recipients work hard for others – often without any thanks or acknowledgement, but because they care about other people.
“The awards ceremony is just a small token to say thank you for their contribution to the city over many years.”
The full list of recipient
Peter Bagshaw - for 46 years of service as a volunteer police officer with South Yorkshire Police
Kevin Bradley – 25 years serving homeless and vulnerable people, including at St Wilfred’s Centre
Storm Burgess – charity fundraiser for animal charities
John Burkhill – charity fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support for 28 years
Daniel Evans – helped to put city on international theatre map
Glenda Giblin – play activities volunteer in Burngreave
Pete Giblin - play activities volunteer in Burngreave
Alan Hancock – working with young people to champion integration and community cohesion
Irene Hancock – fostered more than 250 children over 20 years
Joan Harding – community worker around Beighton for 40 years
Dr Charles Heatley - for his leadership during the Ebola outbreak in Africa, where he placed his life at serious risk for others
Diane Johnson – play activities volunteer in Burngreave
Ted Jenkins – youth worker at Herdings Community Centre
Nelson Kaggwa – community worker for more than 25 years and organizer of UK Kidz
Yanina Koszalinski - play activities volunteer in Burngreave and Manor Estate
Rev Bruce Lloyd – work with young and elderly people for 35 years and at St Wilfred’s Centre
Uriah Rennie – contributions to inclusive sport and many projects in Sheffield for more than 20 years
Robert Strafford – active with various projects for young people over the last 14 years
Bobbie Walker – working with the homeless for 27 years and more recently with Street Pastors
Tricia Watts – set up Sheffield Street Pastors since 2009
Ron Wiltshire – charity fundraiser for the Royal British Legion
Adam Yusuf – community worker particularly with the Somali community for 20 years