As the ‘Beast from the East’ was cutting a sway throughout the country, the consequential disruption and resulting local traffic chaos did not deter both dedicated Rotarians and Awards recipients from attending Oakland’s Hall for Hyde Rotary Club’s annual ‘Community Awards ceremony’

Hyde Rotary Club members this year selected three members of the community who give up their time, energy and expertise to guide and support people from within the local community.

Nominated this Year was Harvey Beeley who runs the Helping Hand Charity Shop in the centre of Hyde. The outlet not only raises money through selling on second hand clothes and bric-à-brac that helps support local Methodist Churches, it also offers training opportunities for those seeking a career in retail. Harvey said, “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of all the volunteer staff at The Helping Hand and what a time to receive it, as this year marks our 5th anniversary.”

The second nomination went to Christina Howard who accepted the award on behalf of her group of volunteer ‘Sandwich Angels’ in Newton. The group make sandwiches for soup kitchens and various outlets throughout the Tameside area that support the homeless. Christina speaking on behalf of the helpers at Sandwich Angels said, “We get together every week at St Mary’s Church Hall in Newton, to make a variety of sandwiches for the homeless. On accepting this award on behalf of the ‘Sandwich Angels’, I must say that Hyde Rotary members should also consider themselves as ‘Earth Angels’ – not only have they recognised us for the volunteer work we do, but they have also presented £200.00 worth of tinned meats to the group that will be put to good use next week.”

The third nomination went to Sonia Healey the ‘Community Champion’ from Tesco, in Hattersley.

Sonia organises parties for the elderly and spends most of her spare time supporting local and national charities. Sonia said, “At Tesco, we support the Rotary Clubs in Tameside and I feel very honoured to pick up this reward this evening.

Following the presentations, Hyde Rotary President, Alan Oldham said, “The annual ‘Community Awards’ are for those people who make a positive difference by helping others. As you can see, these are real people, men and women of all ages and backgrounds who have demonstrated their commitment and skills to offer support to the needy. Year on year, it’s a pleasure to recognise the work people like Harvey, Christina and Sonia do and we’re privileged to welcome them to our club for this very special night. As the clubs current President, it gave me great pleasure to present them with their awards tonight.”