An unsung hero who has transformed lives through the launch of an action-packed community hub in New Parks has become the toast of Leicestershire after winning a top award.
Jo Randall, who manages The Hub in New Parks, was presented with the Community Action award at the LeicestershireLive Heroes awards, before being crowned as the 2019 Hero of Leicestershire, in recognition of her passion and commitment to helping local people grow and prosper.
The awards, sponsored by Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach, honour the efforts of remarkable people who go above and beyond to make a difference to people’s lives and make Leicestershire a better place to live.
Jo took on the former community centre when it passed to the community in 2017 and now runs it as a community interest company (CIC).
In the heart of New Parks, Leicester, the centre hosts an average of 175 people per day and offers a range of activities including dance training by the ‘Team Troupers’, ballet, a community café serving free tea and coffee each morning, neighbourhood police “drop-ins”, bingo, a Muslim prayer group and Slimming World to name but a few.
The centre, which has previously received funding from the PCC’s Prevention Fund, has also played a key role in the development of the New Parks People Zone, delivering essential services to the community and helping to foster a safer and more resilient environment for residents.
Those who nominated Jo described her as a “phenomenon” and a “massive asset” to local people.
After the ceremony, Jo Randall said: “I’m so shocked. I do this for the community. We’re one big family in New Parks and we support each other. It’s hard work, but so rewarding. I love what I do and will continue to build on what we have done so far.”
Willy Bach said: “I am enormously proud of Jo’s achievements in building such a vibrant facility which has quickly become the centre of community life in New Parks.
“As well as engaging young people in dance and other fun activities, The Hub is addressing some of the most challenging issues of today including knife crime, drugs and mental ill-health through information events and interactive engagement.
“Like every one of our LeicestershireLive Heroes winners, Jo thoroughly deserves this award. We are lucky to have so many committed and willing volunteers keeping our county safe. Without them, Leicestershire wouldn’t be as safe as it is today and they deserve full credit and praise for their efforts.”
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Thursday 11th July 2019