Rotherham United are delighted to be able to honour popular community volunteer Stuart Wildridge with his own plaque, to celebrate the amazing work he does for Rotherham United Community Sports Trust.
Stuart is a shining example of a volunteer who has selflessly committed much of his own time to our community work and has now been rewarded for the various projects he has worked on over the years, with a proud place on the wall of the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The importance of a person’s mental health cannot be underestimated and Rotherham United are keen to reiterate the importance of this message on World Mental Health Day.
Stuart himself got involved with Rotherham United Community Sports Trust through our EFL charity partner Mind, who look to provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing mental health problems.
He believes the time he has spent with the charity, alongside the Club’s Community Sports Trust, has helped him with his own mental health battles and insists he’s honoured to receive recognition for his service to the Football Club.
“I feel honoured to have a plaque made for me at the football club, when I started here I could never have imagined receiving something like this,” Stuart told www.themillers.co.uk.
“At Mind, we used to talk a lot, alongside other activities which really helped me, then I got involved with the Community Trust at Rotherham United.
“I got to know the folks there and things calmed down. I still worry a little sometimes, but I’m a lot calmer than I was.
“Now that I’m working here I feel as though I’ve got another family. It’s been great, something to do and something to focus on and I’ve made a lot of new friends.”
Stuart has been honoured for his selfless service to Rotherham United Community Sports Trust
During his time here, he has become our resident mini-bus driver, transporting a number of teams and students to venues across the region, a service which is pivotal to the successful delivery of many of our fantastic community schemes.
During the height of the Covid-19 outbreak, Stuart was again on hand to help out, heavily involving himself in the delivering of care packages and other donated food to a number of worthy causes around the town.
In addition to this, he collected shopping for participants in RUCST’s programmes who were deemed in the vulnerable category and therefore unable to go themselves.
Head of Community Jamie Noble, who has known Stuart for many years, heaped praise on the volunteer, who he described as having a “heart of gold” in homage to his selfless commitment to the Trust, as well as the people of Rotherham.
“Stuart came to us through the partnership we have with Mind, he came to one session and now he is literally like another member of staff,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“Stuart is an integral part to supporting the management of the Trust facilities. He does everything for the staff here, from cleaning up after people and making them drinks from when they are looking frazzled, to transporting some of our learners to the training ground and back.
“He has a heart of gold and will literally do anything. Recently during lockdown we’ve been doing a bit of renovation work and he’s been helping me with that.
“When he’s got his own issues, he finds the comfort of volunteering for us as a distraction for him. He does a lot for us and I’d like to think we do a lot for him.
“The plaque we’ve presented him with today will be displayed at the stadium for as long as it is here, to remember him for the time he has spent here and the time he gives up for us.”