Pandemic hero Steve honoured in Spirit of Salford Community Awards

10 March, 2021

A pandemic hero and Salix Homes employee who devoted his time to volunteering while on furlough has been named Volunteer of the Year in the Spirit of Salford Community Awards 2021.

Steve Finbow, from Higher Broughton, has worked as our business change project manager for five years, but when he was placed on furlough last year he decided to put his spare time to good use and do his bit for the Covid-19 relief effort.

He began volunteering at food poverty charity The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) last year, but when he was placed on furlough in April 2020 he was able to dedicate more time to the charity, signing up as their volunteer co-ordinator based at their warehouse in Trafford Park.

Steve volunteered seven days a week, co-ordinating the other volunteers and sourcing donations. He also managed to grow the volunteering team from just a dozen when he first started to a 120-strong team operating 275 shifts a week. 

During 2020, the Bread and Butter Thing delivered 3.2million meals to people in need.

Steve said: “I took up volunteering while on furlough as I wanted to add some routine to my week and support the community during the pandemic, so to be recognised in the Spirit of Salford Awards is completely unexpected and a real honour.

“The Bread and Butter Thing is a wonderful charity, which has made a real difference to people’s lives during the pandemic and I’m very proud to be a part of it. All the volunteers do a fantastic job and this Spirit of Salford Community Award is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved.”

Since returning to work at Salix Homes, Steve has continued to volunteer for the charity in his spare time.

Sue Sutton, chief executive at Salix Homes, said: “We are all incredibly proud of Steve and the extraordinary effort he’s made to help families in desperate situations during the pandemic. His selfless commitment to supporting communities goes right to the heart of our values as an organisation and is a real testament to the kind of people who work here.

“Steve always strives to make the best of every situation and is an inspiration to us all, so we’re delighted that he has been honoured in the Spirit of Salford Community Awards.”

Mark Game, CEO of TBBT said: "Steve is a TBBT legend. He worked so brilliantly alongside our staff team to enable TBBT to support literally thousands of families across the North of England during lockdown and beyond. I genuinely don't think we could have done it without him.

“His passion, dedication and sense of humour were a joy to work alongside and we're all enormously grateful that he joined us at that critical time. He's the perfect example of someone who goes above and beyond to make positive, life-changing things happen."

Salix Homes tenant Susan Hinder also picked up a Spirit of Salford Award being named Neighbour of the Year in recognition of all she does to support her community in Pendleton.

The Spirit of Salford Community Awards 2021 recognised people and public services that made a difference in Salford during the pandemic.

The winners were announced at a virtual ceremony hosted by City Mayor Paul Dennett and BBC presenter Emma Goswell. Famous Salfordians Peter Hook, Catherine Tyldesley and Stephen Lord also joined the ceremony to pay their own tributes to the Salford heroes.

View the full list of winners here