Vote for your volunteers to win prizes

Batley Town Hall, market place
Batley Town Hall, market place

Unsung community heroes will get the chance to shine at a new civic event championing dedicated volunteers.

The Mayor of Kirklees, Coun Paul Kane, has announced the Valentine’s Day-timed Love Thy Volunteer prize-giving bash at Batley Town Hall on Saturday, February 13.

The event is designed to acknowledge the generous work of volunteers who do not necessarily receive pay for the time they put towards their cause – and the Mayor wants you to vote for your local star.

He said: “I think it’s really important given that I’ve been all over the authority and seen so many tremendous volunteers. What’s making me extremely hopeful of the future is the fact that lots of these services having to be cut are now being taken on by ‘Friends Of’ people and they are doing some absolutely fantastic work. I wanted to pay them back.

“I think it’s a little bit of an honour for Batley to hold it. I was a bit concerned that there had not been a civic reception there for a while.”

But the event will celebrate the work of volunteers from across North Kirklees and nominations are welcome from all relevant areas.

It is being organised in partnership with the Batley Business Association (BBA) and Labour MP Jo Cox has also pledged her support.

BBA chairman Andrew Marsden said: “What we’re keen to do is to celebrate the grassroots volunteers as opposed to the more high profile volunteers – people who have been quietly saving hedgehogs for 20 years or coaching their junior hockey team or Akelas.”

Coun Kane added: “I’m hoping that it’s successful because there’re some lovely people out there.”

He will give out prizes for volunteer of the year, the best event he has attended and an prize for a Friends Of group.

Other categories are to be finalised, so if you know somebody who has worked tirelessly for a cause within your community, send a nomination along with an explanation to the Mayor’s Office.

Email or send a letter to The Mayor’s Office, Town Hall, Ramsden Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2TA. Entries should be in by Sunday, January 17.