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Church recognised for 'every day' community support

Dinnington Salvation Army has been awarded Dinnington St John’s Town Council’s Challenge Cup for “giving back something to its community every day”.

Council Chair Councillor Pauline Davies made the presentation to Les and Joanne Clarke, the leaders of the Salvation Army church on Leicester Road, at a council meeting at the Lyric Theatre (Monday 11 February 2013). The church was commended for making life “easier for a lot of people in Dinnington” and the council acknowledged volunteers who help children and vulnerable adults without discrimination and by offering a warm welcome to all.

Councillor Pauline Davies said: “Dinnington St John’s Town Council values what people do every day and appreciates people getting involved to influence local decisions. We support many local charities by giving time and funding so they can, in turn, give more to their community. The Challenge Cup is our way of highlighting an individual’s or a charity’s contribution, nominated by the community. This year, the community chose The Salvation Army.”

Dinnington Salvation Army provides various activities for the community during the week, including children’s clubs on Friday evenings and a bike club that teaches young people how to repair and maintain bikes.

Midweek, the church runs two free workshops in association with Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food to teach people to cook healthier meals from scratch on a limited budget. The Clarkes help identify people who would benefit from this support and invite them to the weekly workshops.

Once a month, Joanne cooks a three-course meal for people attending an informal Sunday service at the church and up to 30 food parcels are distributed each week to people in need.

Les said: “While there is need in the Dinnington community, The Salvation Army will work hard to meet it. The Salvation Army has a strong history in supporting those who are vulnerable or in need of support without discrimination. It is wonderful to be nominated for and be awarded the Challenge Cup, recognising our work to ensure our community thrives.”

Councillor Steve Scott, who first linked to the church when organising a town carnival, said: “I first made contact with The Salvation Army last year. While seeking help organising a carnival, The Salvation Army was also personally supportive. Many people come to Dinnington Salvation Army seeking help, particularly through its food parcel scheme, but most come because they know The Salvation Army will be there to listen to them too. I am pleased its work has been recognised in this way.”