BY YANN TEAR
The winners of an award scheme designed to put the spotlight on Westminster’s community champions were announced at a ceremony at City Hall.
The MyWestminster Community Awards celebrate community life across the borough by highlighting the important work carried out by volunteers, as well as significant community action and acts of kindness.
Organised by Westminster City council with environmental charity Groundwork London and voluntary sector charity One Westminster, this year’s awards included 10 categories recognising people and organisations who work to make life better for others across the borough.
Among the winners was City for All Volunteer of the Year, Mark Healey – City for All being the borough’s motto for inclusiveness.
Mark established the 17-24-30 charity to tackle all forms of hate crime.
The organisation organises the April Acts of Remembrance to remember those lost in the London nail bomb attacks in Soho, as well as National Hate Crime Awareness Week in October.
The organisation is named after the dates of nail bomb attacks in the capital.
He said: “I want to dedicate this award to the memory of people I know personally who have been attacked, and even killed, in hate crime incidents.
“It is important that we remember everyone affected by hate crime across all our communities, those who need our love and on-going support, while ensuring we work together to prevent all forms of hate crime.
That’s what we aim to do, to bring people together, to say no to hate crime and to strive towards a society where we can all live in peace and harmony with each other.”
Another winner was Hassan Ali-Khan, who won the Young Person of the Year award.
He has been integral to the success of the Youth Council in Westminster and was elected as Deputy Youth MP for the area serving to support and encourage other young people.
Councillor Iain Bott, cabinet member for sports, culture and community, said: “These awards recognise the people in our community whose selfless work makes the borough a better place – a true City for All for everyone who lives and works here.
“The judges were especially impressed by the passion and dedication shown by the winners, so it was a real pleasure to see every one of these community heroes given the appreciation they deserve.”
The 10 winners of the 2019 #MyWestminster Community Awards were:
- City for All Volunteer of the Year: Mark Healey
- Neighbourhood Project of the Year: Independent Custody Service
- Voluntary Contribution to the Community: Tell It Parents Network (which provides space for families to socialise and be interactive) and One Big Family (which delivers hot meals for rough sleepers).
- Corporate Contribution to the Community: Marks and Spencer, which has a programme for involving staff in school projects, mentoring and work with the elderly.
- Outstanding Contribution to the Local Area: People Award: London Basketball Association, for arranging community basketball matches for all abilities.
- Outstanding Contribution to the Local Area: Built Environment: Westminster Recycling Champions, who have a pro-active approach to city recycling.
- Outstanding Contribution to the Local Area: Growth Award: The Pimlico Million, which organises healthy activities such as walking football for the over-50s.
- Outstanding Contribution to the Local Area: Culture Award: Mousetrap Theatre Projects; and Philip Andokou and Deborah Lauder for the 2018 Black History Month events.
- The Sir Simon Milton Foundation Award: Helen Burrluck, who is dedicated to befriending families in need to offer support.
- Young Person of the Year: Hassan Ali-Khan, who has been instrumental in the recruitment of young people to Westminster’s youth council and being a voice for his peers.