Islington Council held an awards ceremony last night (Tuesday 14 March) to celebrate the borough’s unsung community heroes.
The Mayor of Islington, Cllr Marian Spall, chaired a panel to pick eight winners of the Mayor’s Civic Awards. These awards are given each year to residents or groups who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to support others and make Islington a more equal borough.
The panel also chose the winner of this year’s Ben Kinsella Award, which is a special youth award that recognises the outstanding contribution of a young person aged 18 or under.
The Mayor’s Civic Awards were presented to:
The volunteers at Hive Food Bank at St Mary’s Hornsey Rise. They were praised for their weekly efforts to ensure that local people in food poverty can get the supplies they need.
Sharon Hussein, a hairdresser who has been described as “a vital community resource” for her efforts visiting elderly residents and running errands for them. She is also known to be a good listener for people who are experiencing mental health problems.
Janice Tucker, the founder of the Archway Town Centre Group, which works with local businesses, the police and the council to make Archway safer, greener, and more prosperous. Most recently, Janice was instrumental in organising the Archway festive lights event.
Marie Williamson, who works tirelessly to support survivors of domestic abuse seeking refuge.
Paul Badman, a window cleaner who spent ten years caring for his mother-in-law who had dementia.
Toni Parker, a lifelong Islington resident who runs Pack Up – a community food service at St James’ Church Hall. Toni and her team have provided a free lunch for an increasing number of people every Monday for six years.
Nicholas Crivello, who nurtures and supports children and young people at Soapbox Youth Centre.
The team at FoodCycle in Finsbury Park, which is a charity that uses surplus food to provide a free three-course meal for people in need every Wednesday.
The winner of this year’s Ben Kinsella Award is Charlie Bridgeman, who was nominated for his work at Zone Youth Centre’s café. He has supported other young people, overcome personal obstacles of his own, and has even raised money for charity.
Mayor of Islington, Cllr Marian Spall said: “In Islington, we stand with our communities, and we celebrate the fantastic people who go above and beyond to improve the lives of others. Our community heroes are especially important at the moment as many people in the borough are struggling with rising costs of food and energy.
“I want to thank all of the winners, and everyone who was nominated, for helping us to make Islington a more equal borough.”
The winners were all presented with an award, a certificate, and a voucher for an independent local gift shop of their choice.
The ceremony was hosted by award-winning comedian Tom Ward and featured musical entertainment from the Singing Well Community Choir and young singers from SoapBox Youth Centre.
London Metropolitan University was the primary sponsor of the event. Other supporters of the Mayor’s Civic and Ben Kinsella Awards Evening this year included Smart Transport Hub, Better, and Faithful + Gould.