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Bramley: Husband and wife team hailed unsung heroes at Leeds Compassionate City Awards

A Bramley husband and wife team have been hailed as ‘unsung heroes’ at the Leeds Compassionate City Awards.

Volunteers Philip and Angela McConnell are the guiding lights behind the Bramley Care Bears group, which supports vulnerable people via running a foodbank, community litter picks, craft activities and garden makeovers.

The Compassionate City Awards are a celebration of the city’s many unsung heroes. The awards will celebrate the positive work that individuals, community groups and organisations do every day to make their local communities and our city a great place to live, work and visit.

The McConnells were nominated as Volunteers of the Year by Cllr Kevin Ritchie (Bramley & Stanningley) on behalf of his fellow ward members. Cllr Ritchie said he was ‘delighted’ with the award for Bramley Care Bears and added:

“Well deserved and I’m proud of them and the team they lead in Bramley.”

In his nomination, Cllr Ritchie wrote:

“I am nominating them due to their efforts and success in working tirelessly to support vulnerable people, inspiring volunteers and building lasting community partnerships thanks to the drive, determination and innovation by the leadership of both Angela and Philip McConnell.

“Bramley Care Bears was originally set up to support one of the most deprived areas in Bramley, by providing a foodbank, community litter picks, craft activities, garden makeovers for vulnerable tenants and even a homework club for schoolchildren.

“When the Covid-19 pandemic necessitated lockdown many of the group’s activities had to stop. This didn’t deter Philip and Angela who decided to maintain the foodbank and in fact added to it, with extra sessions due to rising demand.”

bramley care bears

The Care Bears have seen demand for their food distributions rise from 10-15 families a week up to around 70. More than 20 volunteers have been inspired to get involved in activities there.

Philip McConnell said Care Bears’ success was down to team work and added:

“We were and are happy to receive the award and thank our wonderful volunteers who have become like an additional family. As we have always said, any success is a shared success and thanks to brilliant team work.”

Philip and Angela last month were thanked for their tireless community work by members of Bramley Community Centre as part of the West Leeds Dispatch Good Egg awards.

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