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Spotlight on EngAge Rotherham - June 2017

Yorkshire Pride

Three members of our affiliated group, Grey Matter in Todwick, attended a reception at St James’ Palace in London on 9 May where they met HRH Prince Andrew, who is the Patron of the Duke of York Community Initiative.

Grey Matter is one of 42 Yorkshire groups to receive an award from the scheme this year, with nine of those awards going to Rotherham organisations.  Grey Matter received the award for the excellent support they provide to older people in their local community.

This was the first time that the reception hosted by the Duke of York has been at St James’ Palace and the group members said they felt ‘greatly honoured to be at a royal residence’.

Duke of York Community Initiative Award presentation to Grey Matter Group 

Along with Grey Matter, Voluntary Action Rotherham, Rotherham Parents Forum Ltd, Rotherham Hospice, Rotherham Sitwell Rotary, the High Street Centre, Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and Rotherham Parents Forum Ltd also received an award.

The Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Rotherham, Janet Wheatley, said, ‘It is brilliant news that 15 from the 43 groups receiving an award this year are based in South Yorkshire and nine of those are based in Rotherham.  It’s fantastic recognition for the work that all the voluntary and community sector do in the county.’


Previous to their visit to London, the group had received their award at a ceremony in Huddersfield in April and received a personal letter from the Duke of York recognising their achievement. In the letter, His Royal Highness, said, ‘it is always inspiring to see the breadth of Award Winners each year.  It is a privilege to be able to recognise and reward the sheer enthusiasm, expertise and drive you add to the society and the environment in Yorkshire.’


Grey Matter Group member with the Duke of York Community Initiative awardGrey Matter focus on helping to improve the lives of older people through friendship and companionship. The group meets on Friday afternoons and offers a variety of activities.  Group members love nothing more than exercising their ‘Grey Matter’ with activities including quizzes, board games (there are some very enthusiastic scrabble and rummikub players), craft workshops, talks, or even just a good natter over cup tea or coffee.  The group also organise trips out such as the visit to Denby Potteries last summer and a Christmas dinner at the Silver Plate Restaurant (Granville College Sheffield). As a group, they are always welcome to new members joining them.

The Duke of York’s Community Initiative is a Royal Award presented to community projects based in Yorkshire. Award winners need to be owned, developed and led by the people they serve as well as proving to be a real value to the community, well run and an inspiration to others. Since the scheme was set up the Duke of York’s Community Initiative has recognised over 200 charities and community groups throughout Yorkshire.



Members of Grey Matter Group making flower arrangements

Also in May:

There were talks on fire safety at the Brinsworth, Bevan Crescent and Thorpe Hesley groups

Group members at Thorpe Hesley and Todwick groups created flower displays

We made paper doves in support of the Love is Louder project

Community Connector sessions were held in Maltby and Brinsworth and at Tassibee in Rotherham town centre

EngAge Rotherham staff took part in a digital inclusion meeting, a volunteer co-ordinators meeting and Big Walk event meetings and also met with evaluators for the safe and well project