Welcome to the Doncaster Freemen Group.
As Doncaster’s ‘Freemen of the Borough’ we share concerns that the town has recently had a less than positive image. Doncaster folks are rightly proud of their town and we feel it important to seek to spread good news and positive virtues. Hence we’ve now decided to meet monthly to seek ways and means to do so. We are strictly non-political, but use the Mansion House as our ‘committee’ venue with some secretarial support from the office of the Civic Mayor.
We invite to our meetings others from Doncaster with an interest in positive publicity for the town- to bring business investment, tourism and conference clientele, shoppers and visitors attracted by the towns long history. Some of our aims are:
To give current residents and businesses an opportunity to express their pride in the town.
To ensure ‘young people’ can understand the towns heritage and virtues.
To create harmony between various proactive groups in marketing the town.
Doncaster has a wealth of fine buildings including St George’s church (‘The Minster’); local medieval parish churches; Conisbrough and Tickhill Castles; Brodsworth Hall; Cusworth Hall and Georgian and Regency town houses. Doncaster residents have easy access to attractive countryside- Axholme towns and Trentside villages; the Dukeries; Pilgrim Fathers’ country and a circlet of National Trust and English Heritage properties. There are so many different reasons why we can be proud to be called ‘Doncastrians’ and here we have only just scratched the surface.
Since the early 1980’s, the town has been evolving into a viable location for trade and industry; tourists and visitors as well as an attractive place to live for current and prospective residents.
Each month we will be featuring a different freemen of Doncaster giving you the opportunity to see for yourselves the good work we have done in the past and continue to do today. This Months featured Freeman is:
SOMETIMES the most valuable treasures a community can possess are the people who tirelessly devote themselves to improving the lives of others. And nobody embodies that more than fundraising stalwart Jeannette Fish, who has been instrumental in raising millions of pounds for cancer care in the town. Back in 1971, Jeannette founded the Doncaster Cancer Detection Trust with the aim of raising money to spend on equipment and expertise to prevent, detect, treat or cure cancer. Over the years the Trust has bought more than 75 pieces of front-line equipment for hospitals in the area and paid for six staff. But Jeannette’s lasting legacy will be the £2 million St John’s Hospice in Balby, built and kitted out entirely from funds raised by the Cancer Detection Trust.
The hospice opened in 1992 after a seven-year fundraising campaign, and in 2004 the second phase of the building was opened after a further £1.4 million was raised. Jeanette’s status as one of Doncaster’s treasures was cemented in 2000, when she was one of just five people to be presented with the Honorary Freedom of the Borough by Doncaster Council to mark the millennium. She accepted the award with her usual modesty, saying: “I am very, very pleased that people thought well enough of me to nominate me – but the real credit must go to the people of Doncaster themselves. St John’s Hospice and everything there belongs to them.” Jeannette’s work with the St John’s Hospice Appeal has been acknowledged with several community awards, including the inaugural High Sheriff of South Yorkshire’s Award in 1992 and the title of Doncaster’s Woman of the Year for 2000. The town remains close to her heart. As the hospice’s second phase opened, she said: “Doncaster is a very special place. People don’t appreciate it enough. People here just respond so beautifully when something is needed.”
Get in touch.
Any ideas are welcome and constructive suggestions are actively encouraged. We can be contacted via the Civic Office (Kay Bennett, Civic Office Manager, 2 Priory Place, Doncaster, DN1 1BN) or by leaving a comment at the foot of this page.
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