The Lord Mayor of Bradford presented awards to the winners of the first ‘Ilkley and District Community Star Awards.’ The awards scheme was established to mark the achievements of individual volunteers and groups making a difference to the lives of people in Burley-in-Wharfedale, Menston, Addingham and Ilkley.
The awards were organised by Ilkley and District Council for voluntary service in conjunction with Bradford Council’s Keighley Area Committee. The residents of Wharfedale were asked to nominate hard-working volunteers from the community based on five categories, including awards for: Making Communities Safer, Being a Good Neighbour, Improving the Environment, Encouraging Sporting Activity and Community Involvement.
Our students scooped the Community Involvement award, which recognised their dedication and hard work serving the community. The students work as volunteers, regularly serving customers at the Oasis Café Project in Ilkley.
The Community Involvement award was broken down into three age group categories, including: under 12s, 18 and under, and 19- 30. Our students were delighted when they discovered they had won the 19 - 30 category!
These remarkable students include 21 year old Emma. Despite being told by doctors over four years ago she would not regain her speech or walk again following a tragic car accident which left her brain damaged; Emma has amazed doctors by defying all odds. She has regained her speech and is able to walk again. She has since worked at the Oasis Café in Ilkley.
Proud Tutor Margaret Poole is delighted at Emma’s progress. Margaret said: “Not only has she amazed the medical profession with her determination to regain her speech and walk again, she’s an asset to the project. Emma’s well liked by the customers and has gained all kitchen and service of food skills. Last June she was put in for the Skills for Working Life qualification, which she achieved and is now out there in the big wide world looking for employment.”
Margaret, summed up the pride felt by everyone in the community, she said: “All students on the project have their own problems and disabilities, but they’ve worked so hard to overcome them. Their dedication in serving the community is commendable! I am so proud of them! The people in Ilkely always comment on what a fantastic job they do, and the welcoming atmosphere always present in the café. We have many regular customers returning week after week to sample the experience again.” Margaret added: “The students love working here too!”