Sam Horner, of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation, has been announced as the latest recipient of the West Leeds Local Hero award, writes Jo Fiddes.
This award, created by Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves, is given to people who have gone above and beyond, and enriched their local community through acts of kindness and generosity. All winners have been nominated by members of the public.
Sam was nominated by Councillor Jim McKenna, who has been volunteering alongside him at the New Wortley Community Association.
This community hub has been responsible for delivering food packages and other essential supplies across Armley and Wortley throughout lockdown, and a whole army of people have been helping out.
Sam was singled out in in particular because of his unique approach to making his deliveries.
Sam dresses up as Elvis and serenades older residents who might be feeling lonely and isolated – from an appropriate social distance, of course!
The feedback has been incredibly positive – sometimes Sam/Elvis is the only person a resident sees all day.
So as well as providing a service to meet the physical needs of those who are elderly and/or shielding, Sam is also filling an emotional need by raising a smile and lifting the spirits.
Ms Reeves will continue to celebrate the community spirit of the people of West Leeds by distributing Local Hero Awards throughout July and August, but nominations have now closed. She added:
“We have had a tremendous response, so much so that I am considering making this an annual event. There are plenty of unsung heroes in our community and in the next few weeks I’m looking forward to publicly recognising even more of them.”