CHRISTMAS has come early for two of the district’s unsung heroes who have been showered with gifts by a local bus company for going the extra mile to help others.
Staff from Arriva Yorkshire chose sports coach Steve Greatorex, from Pontefract, and mum-of-four Sharron Hawkins, from Streethouse, as the winners of the company’s Magic Moments competition which rewarded kind-hearted people in the community with hundreds of pounds worth of gifts.
Steve, 63, of Royal Court, is the coach of numerous sports clubs, including Featherstone Rovers wheelchair rugby team and Wakefield Whirlwinds wheelchair basketball team, and visits local schools to introduce pupils to disability sports.
The retired teacher, who carried the torch in the Paralympic relay in the run up to the Games this summer, was nominated by his student Lauren Rycroft.
She said: “Steve is a great guy, he has inspired me to go to university so that I can become a disability sports coach too.
“He’s always on the road taking us to games and competitions, he’s more than a coach, he’s a great friend to us all.”
The two winners were surprised last Friday with treats, including luxury Christmas hampers, free bus travel for a month, £200 high street vouchers and the chance to star in their own bus adverts in January.
Sharron, whose youngest son Kian was born with a heart defect, was nominated by her husband Barrie who has epilepsy.
Mr Hawkins, who is cared for by Sharron in their home, said: “Sharron has been really busy doing everything she can to make Christmas special for our family.
“I think she deserved a magic moment of her own so she knows how much we appreciate her. She is an amazing mum and the best wife.”
Sharron, 34, of Meadway, said: “It was such a lovely surprise to be nominated for doing really what every mother would do under the circumstances!
“It was really nice to be recognised for this. I would like to thank my husband and Arriva for giving me a lovely surprise and treat.”
The competition was run as part of the bus company’s campaign celebrating the arrival of eight new buses connecting Knottingley, Pontefract, and Wakefield.
Nigel Featham, managing director for Arriva Yorkshire, said: “We were absolutely delighted to be able to reward Sharron and Steve with their own ‘magic moments’ and we really hope that our small gesture goes towards helping them spoil themselves a little this Christmas.”
To watch Sharron and Steve receiving their awards visit www.youtube.com and search for Arriva Magic Moments.