The South Yorkshire High Sheriff, Carole O’Neill visited the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit office on Tuesday, 16 March to present the team with a certificate in recognition of their work across the county.

The High Sheriff has been in contact regularly with the Violence Reduction Unit throughout her term.  She has previously presented awards to young people across Rotherham, Barnsley and Sheffield.

Mrs O’Neill, High Sheriff of South Yorkshire said: “I wanted to visit the unit and present this award to the members of the team in recognition of great and valuable services to the community.  Each member of the team is working hard on issues such as domestic abuse, drug abuse, mental health, supporting young people and housing and they cover all of South Yorkshire.  Well done to all of you.”

The High Sheriff presented the certificate to the incoming Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, Graham Jones.  All other members of the unit watched on from their digital workplaces, including current Head of the Unit, Rachel Staniforth who will leave the unit on Tuesday, 23 March to return to her Public Health speciality training programme.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner was in digital attendance for the High Sheriff’s visit.  He said: “We have been very fortunate this year in having a High Sheriff who was so supportive of the Violence Reduction Unit and so determined to encourage us despite all the difficulties that the pandemic created.

“We thank her for her positivity which has inspired the Violence Reduction Unit staff and the many groups we support to find ways of delivering programmes across South Yorkshire to reduce and prevent violence.”

Only recently, the High Sherriff presented awards to young people in Barnsley and Sheffield, including Daniel James for being an active promotor of transport for young people in Barnsley as a youth councillor, constantly looking to promote equality in fare prices.

Parish Trevy also received an award from the High Sheriff as she has ensured that the community safety campaign, which she leads on, has worked alongside the police to create links to improve engagement as well as liaising with the hate crime officer to look at initiatives to make Barnsley safer for young people.

Theo Madden was also awarded for continually working to ensure the voices of all young people are heard.  Theo has raised awareness of how bullying affects others and has provided messages of support for young people returning to school and college after two separate lockdowns.

You can also see where the High Sheriff presented awards to young people in Rotherham earlier on in the year here – Four Young People from Rotherham are Recognised By The High Sheriff