Hero award joy for fund raiser supreme Steve
Date published: 23 July 2021
Award winner Steve Hill
Super Oldham fund-raiser Steve Hill won the Clinell Cleaning Heroes competition after going the extra mile in his role to help ensure that none of his pupils caught coronavirus at school, whilst encouraging them to help vulnerable people in the community during the pandemic.
Steve is deputy head teacher at St Joseph’s RC Primary School in Shaw.
The competition, launched by GAMA Healthcare, manufacturer of Clinell Universal Wipes and infection prevention leaders in the NHS, invited local people to nominate friends, family or colleagues who have been on the frontline over the past year, helping to suppress the spread of the virus through cleaning.
Entries were submitted from across the country, and Steve’s winning nomination was chosen by a panel of expert judges including Karen Wares, who specialises in infection prevention at GAMA.
Teacher and adventurer Steve set up the Team Hill Charitable Trust in 2019 to raise money and awareness through a variety of ultra-marathons and personal challenges to support local, good causes in Oldham and sustainable projects in Uganda.
However, his day job is teaching, a role he has undertaken for 24 years.
The school remained open throughout lockdown so that the vulnerable children and children of keyworkers could attend.
With safety in mind, Steve, along with his colleagues, stepped up to ensure the school remained clean and safe.
Concerned for his pupils’ mental health during the pandemic, Steve also ensured classes were taken outside on the playing fields and replicated his own challenges around the school grounds.
His ‘six marathons in five days through the Amazon Jungle’ became jogs around the school playing field before lunch and his Kilimanjaro climb became an obstacle course.
He also introduced other outdoor activities for the children, such as den building.
Outside of school time, Steve, along with Di, organised over 20 volunteers to carry out shopping for the elderly and vulnerable with almost 2,000 shops to date and encouraged others to help make up care packs for the patients of the Covid wards at the Royal Oldham hospital.
The judges were really impressed by the extra work Steve put in to ensure the safety of his pupils and colleagues, while helping so many more in the wider community through his charity work.
Karen Wares, Associate Clinical Director at GAMA Healthcare, said: “Stephen was a well-deserved winner.
"The dedication he has shown to his pupils, colleagues and the community is extraordinary, particularly in light of the many challenges faced by education institutions."
Diana Heywood nominated Stephen, who she already viewed as a local hero.
She said: “The competition suggested nominating a local hero who has gone above and beyond and that’s exactly what Steve is.
"Over the years he has done so much to help other people.
"During the pandemic he has been on the frontline caring for the children, instilling in the children the importance of keeping their distance and washing their hands, while also teaching them how to safely help others.
"This teacher and his class make such a difference to so many people.”
Winner Steve said: “It has been important to keep our pupils minds off the situation and I am impressed and proud of just how adaptable and resilient they have been.
“I love being outdoors and so felt it was important to get the children outside too.
"The children loved being kept busy, making dens and simply having fun.
"We also had lessons outside and painted lots of rainbows for care homes and made comfort packs for the Covid wards.
“While it is my job to teach the children the curriculum and inspire them in the classroom, I also feel that it is important to develop and instil in them an understanding of how they can help other people and to develop in them those character traits so that they are inspired to help those less fortunate than themselves.
"It is the children who are the future and who can go on to make a real difference in the world.”
After finding out about his win for the Clinell Cleaning Heroes award, Steve added: “I’m overwhelmed and had no idea.
"It is a huge honour and the prize will go towards helping to make a difference to the lives of others.”
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