The Pride Awards – 2 winners for Donisthorpe!

Leeds volunteers and community personalities scooped over ten prestigious achievement awards when Leeds honoured its un-sung heroes last week.

Some 250 guests from all walks of life attended the 7th annual Pride Awards, held at the city’s Etz Chaim Synagogue. The recently launched Street Lane Bakery walked off with the community award while Leeds Shaliach Or Nehushtan, specially booted and suited for the occasion, and praised for strengthening Jewish-Zionist identity with Israel, picked up male personality award.

Sam Walton and Elliot Landy, labelled the poor man’s Ant and Dec, hosted the “must-attend” event which last year raised nearly £14,000 for Leeds Jewish Welfare Board.

It was a smacking high-five for young James Goldberg and four of his Year 7 Grammar School at Leeds pals, who earned special praise and an achievement  award for completing a strenuous sponsored fund- raising cycle ride. The quartet saddled up and pedalled 127 miles in the space of three days in memory of James’ late father, sportsman and charity worker Richard Goldberg which the award was named after.

James’s uncle Philip Goldberg said his nephew was a “leader not a follower” and the ride was “an amazing achievement” raising in excess of £10,000. Edward Ziff, president of LJWB said James was “a tremendous source of pride not only for his family but for the community at large.” James is a supporter of Donisthorpe Hall where his grandfather Michael is a Trustee.

Chloe Williams, Cancer Research UK’s fundraising  manager for Leeds and Wakefield said she was “stunned” at the boys’ triumph. “Without people like James and his friends we could not do the work we do.”

James hopes to continue his fundraising, possibly with a coast-to-coast cycle ride. “We definitely need the community’s support though,” he said, “I’m sure my dad is very proud of us all.”

Pride 14 Alexandra Myers  David Richmond (3)
David Richmond presents Alexandra Myers with the award for “Female Personality”

A group of Leeds feisty WIZO workers, the Marie Apte group, who recently called it a day after sixty glorious years, won a lifetime female achievement award, while Alexandra Myers, fundraising coordinator at Donisthorpe Hall, describing herself as “opinionated, bolshie and passionate” won the female personality award. One of the younger set to join the care home staff, the fifty-something said she was “passionate and enthusiastic” about the job and keen to explore new ways of fundraising.

Pride 14 c Suzanne Berson com vol (3)
“Community Volunteer” Suzanne Berson with David Richmond

Suzanne Berson, who is a stalwart volunteer for Donisthorpe Hall and does some risque pictures with residents in the care home’s art class, as well as regularly dressing thewellfairshop window display, also with a risque slant. Receiving the award she appealed for more volunteers to help the community organisations.

“Shoah survivor Arek Hersh walked away with a special recognition gong on behalf of Leeds-based Holocaust Survivor’s Friendship Association. The 84-year old, who has devoted his life to educating youngsters about the horrors of Auschwitz, said he felt very humbled, honoured and committed more than ever to continue doing his life’s work.

The sports award went to Physcap 5 Aside group, now in its 15th year, which raises a significant amount of money for local disabled children.


by John Fisher