Rawmarsh and Parkgate came under the Royal spotlight recently after local charity, the High Street Centre, earned a prestigious award for its work alongside people in the area.

The Duke of York’s Community Initiative Award has officially recognised the way in which the Centre and local people have joined together to improve life in the area.

The award was set up to recognise committed and well-run charities and community groups in Yorkshire which make a real difference in their local community.

In a personal letter to the Centre, Patron of the initiative, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, wrote: “It is a privilege to be able to recognise and reward the sheer enthusiasm, expertise and drive you add to the society and environment in Yorkshire.”

The Duke also thanked everyone involved for their empathy, understanding and much-needed compassion, as well as the practical help and support they give.

Representatives of the Centre were invited to an Awards Day at the University of Huddersfield, which was followed by the opportunity to meet with the Duke of York himself at St James’ Palace in May.

Caroline Langston, Centre Development Manager, said it was a particular honour to win the award, as the entry criteria state that projects and groups put forward must be “owned, developed and led by the people they serve, be of real value to the community and an inspiration to others”.

“We can only ever be as successful as the people who get involved,” she said. “This award recognise everyone – staff, volunteers, trustees, children and young people and everyone who takes part in our training and activities.  Hopefully it will also encourage others who don’t know much about us to get involved, too.”

Other Rotherham groups also recognised with this year’s Duke of York Award included Parents Forum Limited; Rotherham Hospice; Rotherham Sitwell Rotary; Grey Matter; Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and Voluntary Action Rotherham.

Trustees with Caroline at St James’ Palace, London

More information about the initiative is available at http://www.thedukeofyorkscommunityinitiative.org.uk