ENVIRONMENT AWARDS: The community stars

Sheffield Telegraph Enviroment Awards 2012 at Sheffield Collge ''Head of Sheffield High School, Anne Jones, right, presents the Community Award to Friends of Dronfield Station
Sheffield Telegraph Enviroment Awards 2012 at Sheffield Collge ''Head of Sheffield High School, Anne Jones, right, presents the Community Award to Friends of Dronfield Station
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NOTHING says community spirit quite like the actions of the Friends of Dronfield Station.

Since forming in 2007, an army of residents have transformed the once-neglected site which trains scarcely bothered to pass through, to a haven of flourishing flowers and pretty plants.

Come rain or shine, wind or hail, it is always a picture of perfection which helps instil community pride in residents of the village and attracts visitors from further afield.

And that’s why the group was selected as winner of the Sheffield High-sponsored Community Award.

The driving force behind the group is Dr Peter Hayward MBE, who works tirelessly to ensure the upkeep of the train stop, along with a faithful band of 25 active volunteers.

Valerie Slee, a volunteer and one of the original members of the Friends of Dronfield Station, said: “There is a woman I spoke to recently who looks after her 90-year-old mother. She told me that she only gets half an hour to herself every day and she chooses to walk through our garden. It is things like that which make it worthwhile.

“We enjoy doing something which benefits other members of the community. It gives us all great pleasure.”

A special mention in this category was given to Firth Park Community Allotments, based in Sheffield. It began as an idea in 2005, following a suggestion from a local resident.

Two overgrown allotments in Firth Park were taken on for development by Sure Start and Heeley City Farm. Volunteers from the local community and all over Sheffield mucked in to change a tangle of bind weed and bramble into a working site open and accessible to all ages.

Today, the allotment is open to all ages to explore the wonders of nature, with a focus on families with children under five.

Also shortlisted was Green City Action, in Burngreave, Sheffield.

The organisation is committed to raising awareness of environmental issues in our multicultural community and working together to improve the environment for residents of the area.