People of the Year 2021: Supporting Older People and Citizens Advice recognised for their work across the Harrogate district

As we come to the end of 2021, it’s time to recognise those special people across the Harrogate district who have stepped up and made an extraordinary contribution within the community.

By Lucy Chappell
Thursday, 30th December 2021, 11:03 am
Updated Thursday, 30th December 2021, 11:10 am

The Harrogate Advertiser ‘People of the Year’ initiative provided a unique opportunity for residents across Harrogate, Knaresborough, Wetherby, Ripon and Nidderdale to honour those who have made a real difference to people’s lives over the past year.

Individuals, charities, community groups and businesses across the region have all played their part in keeping spirits high and the initiative is an opportunity to say ‘Thank You’ to our heroes for all the work they have done.

Supporting Older People is a Harrogate based charity aiming to alleviate loneliness and isolation that is often experienced by older people who live on their own and they have been a vital service over the last year and especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Supporting Older People and Citizens Advice have helped thousands of people across the Harrogate district this year and have been recognised by members of the public for all their hard work during another tough year

Kate Rogata, Director of the charity, is delighted that people within the community recognise the hard work they do.

She said: “It is fantastic and so wonderful for a small, local charity to be recognised.

“The last year has been very challenging because our charity is there to support older people and the pandemic created a lot of loneliness and isolation so it has been lovely to recommence our activities and getting everyone back together at our social events when restrictions allowed.

“In 2022 we are excited to be celebrating 40 years of Supporting Older People.

“Next year we are looking forward to extending our programme of activities for older people and recruiting more volunteers for our face to face befriending initiative.

“Although telephone befriending helped during lockdown, face to face supporting is far more beneficial and enjoyable.”

Citizens Advice Craven and Harrogate Districts have been there to support residents across the region with essential advice and guidance.

Following the loss of the £20 Universal Credit uplift and rise in energy bills, residents who have used their services have been grateful for their help and believe they should be recognised for their vital services.

Edward Pickering, CEO of the organisation, said: “It’s fantastic to know that people in our community have recognised that we have been able to ‘keep advice going’ over the past year, despite very difficult circumstances for all.

“Next year we want to reach out to more people in local communities, especially those who would struggle to contact us over the phone or by email.

“We will also be working closer together with other Citizens Advice offices across North Yorkshire to share resources and to ensure that we can continue to provide the advice everyone needs.

“The last year has been tricky, but our dedicated staff and volunteers have really focused on helping people from home, with more people being able to contact us in 2021 than ever before."