|Tooting’s Community Heroes honoured at the House of Commons|
|Friday, 20 November 2009 16:51|
A slice of Tooting life took over the House of Commons last night at Sadiq Khan MP’s inaugural annual Tooting Community Heroes reception. Local heroes of all walks of life joined some of the winners of Sadiq’s recent competition to find Tooting’s Community Heroes, in an evening to celebrate the diversity and community spirit that makes Tooting such a wonderful place to live and work.
The nominees reflected the range of cultures, religions, community groups and services in Tooting, from market stall holders to teachers to charity workers, and even martial arts instructors, it was a true cross-section of Tooting life.
The nominees were treated to a range of speakers, including the Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw, who praised their work and the strength of community spirit Tooting demonstrates as a thriving multicultural community.
The guests also heard from Russell Darbon of the Big Lottery fund, who spoke about funding available to community groups and gave advice to individuals present.
Indrajit Patel, one of the winner’s of Sadiq’s Community Heroes competition in October, said, “I think it was an excellent event by Sadiq to bring together and recognise what is being done in our community. It was also a great opportunity to meet other heroes in the community – It was a great surprise to meet several people who have been working in the community I’d never met before!”
Roy Witter, a martial arts instructor at Broadwater School, said, “It’s been a fantastic evening recognising normal everyday people in what they do in their community, not for recognition, but to help and lift-up their community... They’re doing sterling work.”
Anna Stapleton, citizenship teacher at Graveney School said, “The best thing about Tooting is its diversity and its community... It’s a wonderful be a part of it and work here.”
Kate Allan, Secretary of the Balham and Tooting Community Association (BATCA), said "This was an amazing occasion, full of warmth and goodwill. Mingling with the 'community heroes' made me realise the strength of Tooting's community and the outstanding commitment that so many demonstrate. It was stirring to hear Sadiq recount their contributions, which enrich so many aspects of local life."
Sadiq Khan MP said, “This was a wonderful way of recognising the hard work of so many, and the real difference they make to our local community. Without them many of our local sports teams, clubs, charities, schools and community groups would be unable to function in the way they do. I wanted to do something to thank them all for their hard work, but also bring people together to forge new friendships and alliances. Our community continues to go from strength to strength. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!”
In October Sadiq ran a competition to find Tooting’s Community Heroes. The 6 winners attended a reception at 10 Downing Street with the Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP and Sarah Brown.
The winners were:
• Steph Neale - Headmaster of Beatrix Potter School whose innovative and enthusiastic approach towards education has been recognised by many in the community.
• Kate Allan - Secretary of the Balham and Tooting Community Association (BATCA) and has helped coordinate events which have raised thousands of pounds for the local hospital through popular events like the annual Midsummer Fun Day and a 5-a-side tournament at the Furzedown Rec which took place recently.
• Caroline Holden - who is heavily involved in the Furzedown community Network and is one of the key driving forces behind the excellent Furzedown Festival.
• Thom Reilly - who was at the heart of the campaign to stop the mega-development at Springfield Hospital.
• Indrajit Patel - Chair of the Tooting Business Partnership and Tooting's Regeneration Programme 'Young People - Agents for Change'.
• Gunvantrai Shah - Mr Shah recently received a Lifetime Volunteer Award from Wandsworth Council for the work he does at the care home, Ronald Gibson House in Springfield Hospital. He has been volunteering for over 20 years at Ronald Gibson house since it opened in 1991.
The nominees who attended Sadiq’s reception included:
• Kate Allan - Secretary of Balham and Tooting Community Association (BATCA)
• Kate Cuddihy - Head of citizenship at Graveney, instilling passion for local, national and international issues. Runs an amnesty group in school.
• Paul Cummins - Crew Manager at Wandsworth Fire Station, commended for community engagement programmes and promotion of community fire safety.
• Gangadin Hannoe - One of founding members of ‘Meetings for Better Understanding’ (MBU) between Muslims and Christians.
• Jean Hardy - Outstanding dedications an service to Ravenstone Primary School
• Hilary Jennings - Co-Chair Transition Town Tooting
• Patrick Lethaby - Tireless work on behalf of Oasis (raising money for people with HIV and AIDS)
• Joe Moisey - Local veteran, and author. Went with Sk to No 10 Downing Street, and spoke to local Primary Schools about his experiences
• Indrajit Patel - Chair of Tooting Business Network, Tooting’s Regeneration Programme ‘Young People – Agents for Change’ and now the Tooting Town Centre Partnership
• Michael Pryke - Long-time stall holder on Hildreth Street market, accredited for almost single handily keeping the market viable.
• Abdul Razak Osman - Executive member of the Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre and dynamic community worker
• Louise Rowe - Community Support Manager at Generate, nominated for going the extra mile in her extraordinary support to people with a learning disability
• Gunvantrai Shah - Volunteering in Tooting for over 20 years, particularly, outstanding dedication to Ronald Gibson Hose in Springfield Hospital and work with older people in the community.
• Dr Mahfel Shiraz - Tooting South Medical Centre, Otterburn Street, years of commitment to serving the local population and providing excellent health care.
• Janice Simpson - Helps run local Brownie pack, sits on the local Neighbourhood watch, sings in the Church choir, has sat on the Governors Board for Fircroft School and bursar of a primary school.
• Julian Spooner - Years of commitment to serving the local population and providing excellent health care
• Anna Stapleton - Citizenship and special needs teacher at Graveney School, outstanding work.
• Rhian Williams - Health visitor/advisor who also does dedicated and persistent work on behalf of asylum seekers and refugees who come to our 'drop in' at St Mary's Balham
• Sorwaruz Zaman - Charitable fundraiser and youth role model
• Alison Smith - Many years of running the church playgroup at the Earlsfield Baptist church.
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