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The first annual Haringey Voluntary and Community Expo organised by local charity the Bridge Renewal Trust and Haringey Council got off to a flying start on Friday, 25 November 2016 at Tottenham Town Hall. Hundreds of residents, community groups and other organisations enjoyed a jam-packed programme of activities. These ranged from exhibitions and displays to performances including dance to improve physical activities and theatre to promote mental health anti-stigma. Leading voluntary sector organisations were on hand to provide specialist information about carers’ rights and essential issues that affect the lives of Haringey residents.
With the help of leading experts and decision makers, the Expo featured two focused panel discussions. The first looked at how to improve the health and wellbeing of all residents and the second, ensuring that local community groups have the resources to deliver a range of services meeting the needs of the people they support.
The day ended with the first Community Impact Awards, which were given to outstanding individuals, grassroots community groups and voluntary organisations. There were more than 300 nominations across nine categories, showing the richness of the community in our borough. Nominees overcame limited resources, worked with volunteers and showed great innovation in addressing significant disadvantages in the community.
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The Voluntary and Community Sector Organisation of the Year was Finsbury Park Sports Partnership, a local group that raised over £1m for physical activities. Ambitious College – London’s first specialist day college for young people with complex autism – was winner in the newcomer category.
More than 200 young people and adults who give their time freely as volunteers were nominated as Haringey Heroes. Haringey Hero (Volunteer) of the Year was Georgina Pierre-Louis, who has overcome her own personal challenges to make a huge contribution as a volunteer at Pembury House Children’s Centre, where she has helped support children and their parents and carers since 2004. Limudin Ali was named Haringey Young Hero (Volunteer) of the Year for his outstanding work with young people, including being an Ambassador for the Princes Trust, running acting workshops and engaging young people in training and employment.
Rachel Hughes, Chair of The Bridge Renewal Trust said: “It was fantastic to see so many people come together to celebrate the great work done by the voluntary and community sector in Haringey. We will continue to work towards a stronger sector in Haringey and look forward to an even greater Expo next year.”
Councillor Eugene Ayisi, Haringey Cabinet Member for Communities said: “Haringey has such a strong and diverse community and the number of people who volunteer and give up their time to help others is testament to that. The Community Expo is the chance to put
these people in the spotlight and give them the recognition they so richly deserve. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated, especially the overall Haringey Heroes Georgina and Limudin.”
Catherine West, MP for Wood Green and Hornsey and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, was a member of the health and wellbeing discussion panel. She said: “The first ever Annual Haringey Expo was an undoubtedly success, bringing together key decision-makers; local experts; community leaders and hundreds of residents from across the borough, to inform the debate around health and wellbeing, and specifically address key issues persisting throughout our borough, such as tackling stigma around mental health. This lively and constructive session will certainly help inform my work in Parliament, and I will very much look forward to participating in next year’s Expo.”
To find out more about the Haringey Voluntary and Community Expo 2016, visit www.bridgerenewaltrust.org.uk #Haringey Expo.

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