COMMUNITY champion Steven Barton has been rewarded for his charity work.
The 50-year-old from Stalybridge has been given an award by the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester Eamonn O’Neal.
While the remit is to recognise the efforts of individuals and businesses during Covid-19, Steven’s charitable work began during his days as a student.
He said: “I started doing charity work more than 20 years years ago when I was at university, and I’ve been homeless myself, so I know what that feels like.
“I’m not special, I spend my own money. If someone says they want £20 for food, if I have it in the bank, I’ll give it them and it’s all about helping families.
“I’d like to help kids stop having to go into school and having to queue for food vouchers and a foodbank can help stop people being embarrassed.
“I don’t make a big deal out of what I do.”
As for the award, Steven added: “There is no better feeling than to get an award.
“It is nice to be recognised for something you do and the personal satisfaction of doing it well.”
Steven is well-known locally for running Barty’s Foodbank for almost six years.
It is an independent foodbank which helps feed between 40 and 50 people each week.
And it has a new home after moving to the car park at The New Stalybridge Labour Club into a container donated by Manchester Log Cabins.
“I began by using my mum’s house to store food and also used an office at work before getting the container,” he explained, adding Lindsay Tweed from Mossley foodbank has provided help and support.
Steven, who runs his own gardening business Barton Gardens, receives food from Morrisons, Tesco, Anthony Seddon Centre, Endresult, The Clarkes Arms in Hyde and from family and friends as well as providing personal funding.
Steven is also heavily involved with the NSPCC as looking after the safety and well-being of children is a cause close to his heart.
He also works with SPIN – Supporting People in Need – which is based at Ardwick and provides beds for the homeless, Peace, Love and Blessings and Make A Difference.
Steven, who won an award last year for his mental health work at the Anthony Seddon Centre, also organises Christmas giveaways to help those in need at the festive time.
He also works with local charity organisers Pauline Town, Darryl Porritt and Anthony Brennan.