Rose Ardron has been involved in both the local and the global questions for the last thirty years. On global issues – particularly in the women’s liberation movement, such as understanding and supporting women involved in the conflict in Ireland – especially those women who were political prisoners – and also working towards and appreciating the need to build unity between women on both sides of the political divide. And globally again on working to establish the rights of women to work in all areas of economic life – particularly in the skilled manual trades which have so long been the preserve of men. Rose was the first women joiner on the Council’s works department; the first woman UCATT steward; and the manager of the North Notts women’s training workshop.
But on the local as well – at the same time. And it’s her local voluntary commitment that is being honoured. Since arriving in Burngreave in 1973, she has been successful in raising funds and getting started the Adventure Playground; a founder member of Sheffield Women’s Aid (in a squatted council house on Burngreave Rd) and from the 1990s onwards, as a founder member of Burngreave Community Action Forum (BCAF). It was this involvement – alongside many other people – that led BCAF to become a real force for change that persuaded the city authorities in 2000 to recommend that Burngreave be the location for the New Deal for Communities programme; and since 2003, Rose has chaired the Partnership Board. Her professionalism, dedication, expertise, knowledge and massive awareness of people has without doubt helped the Burngreave programme to become one of the most successful in the country, and to playing the major role in developing Burngreave as a neighbourhood and a community for the last ten years. Some of this commitment is apparent and public – but much much more is rarely seen in those endless meetings, endless discussions, endless debates about how to sort out this, that and the other. And the reason why things continually seem to get sorted in Burngreave has been because of Rose’s endless tact, warmth, understanding and real desire to make things happen and grow – in the most barren soil.
As her proposer says:
“Notwithstanding all this – she has remained a committed and loving family woman, a keen gardener, a strong swimmer and most of all, a great singer who likes nothing better than a session around either the kitchen table or the local pub…”
It’s interesting Rose hasn’t been here before – it feels like she has never been “not here” – but here is an award from all of us – to one of our most impressive volunteers…