Leeds White Rose Centre presents special awards to mark its 15th ‘birthday’

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People who give their time to help others were handed Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medals, by the White Rose Centre in Leeds, as a special thank you.

One hundred of the special medals were made by the Royal Mint, featuring the Queen’s head and the White Rose emblem, to mark the shopping centre’s 15th birthday.

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Many of the recipients were presented with medals for their outstanding contribution to Leeds life, yesterday at a breakfast presentation.

They were nominated by the public to receive the award.

The recipients included 34-year-old Simon Brown, from Morley, who was blinded by sniper fire in Iraq. Simon lost his left eye and has only ten per cent peripheral vision in his right. He now works for Blind Veterans UK, and was recognised for the tireless work he does to help others.

Others recognised included disability campaigner Tim McSharry, from the Access Committee for Leeds, and Maisie Tetley, the widow of former Morley Mayor Joe Tetley, who received a medal on his behalf.

White Rose Centre manager Dean Stratton, who presented the medals, said: “It was quite overwhelming to see how much good work goes on. As well as being a shopping centre, we are a community here.

“We invited people to nominate those they think deserved an award and received a flood of names.

“Simon Brown is a worthy example, and now works to help others.”

Also mentioned was Jackie Hardy, of Costa Coffee, in recognition of her customer service and fundraising abilities, and Yvonne Crowther, who runs the Cardinal youth club, Mr McSharry said: “It’s truly fantastic that the White Rose Centre has chosen the Queen’s Jubilee to recognise and celebrate the work of so many people. I am truly honoured.”

Mr Stratton pledged that the White Rose community awards would now be an annual fixture and nominations would be accepted each year.

The centre, which sees more than 12 million visitors each year, opened in March 1997. Mr Stratton added that they marked 15 years of trade by thanking outstanding members of the community for their efforts.