Local Doncaster resident Tony Sockett has been rewarded following his continuous work throughout the local community. The Freedom of the Borough Award recognises positive work in the Doncaster community, and is the highest honour a local resident can receive.
Tony Sockett, who served as Civic Mayor from 2007-2008, has worked in various different community-based roles before retiring in 1994.
Despite his retirement, Tony is still actively involved in a number of local projects, telling the Doncaster Echo he has always enjoyed making things happen for others.
“Most of my life I have worked with young people in a whole variety of ways. I have always enjoyed helping out others and making things happen for the community. I am just a local kid that enjoys working with others I suppose, working in the community has been a way of life for me for a very long time.
“Whether it be helping out with sport, youth groups, culture or whatever it may be, I am not too precious with anything like that! Being a member of society, when someone wants something doing, I have always been keen to volunteer.”
Starting out as a PE teacher, other roles for Tony have included serving as a Youth Officer for the West Riding County Council, as it was known then, and being senior adviser for the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster.
Following his retirement, Tony still remains actively involved in community work. He is the long-serving secretary for the Cooke Almshouse Charity and Chairman of the Adams Ark residential canal boat, and to this day he is keen to help out where possible.
“I am still involved in various different community projects. The Adams Ark canal boat, was built a number of years ago, bringing the Thorne area off the unemployed register. This scheme aims to provide activities, either day cruising or weekend hire opportunities for young people with the group now encouraging older people to get involved.”
Continuing on the Adams Ark canal boat scheme: “We actually had the boat built back 35 years ago. The story is there was a pocket of money and one of my colleagues put a bid in for it, consequently we received £25,000 to build a boat from scratch. Over the next 18 months we had the boat constructed.
Nominated for the award back in September by Mayor Ros Jones, Tony added he was both delighted and grateful that his achievements have been rewarded.
The prestigious title is something that Mr Sockett was familiar with, even before collecting the accolade. Back in his time serving as Civic Mayor in 2007-08, he was able to pass the award on himself.
“Of course, I am not someone that looks for accolades, but I was very grateful for the recognition and the award. Somebody must have been watching what I was doing! Actually, when I served as civic mayor in 2007-08, I was able to pass on the award to a couple of others.”