Winners of Borough Civic Honours Announced

Ten local residents and organisations awarded for their work in the community

Diana Belshaw picks up a special ‘Outstanding commitment to the community’ award

This Thursday (3 March) saw the awards ceremony for Hammersmith & Fulham’s Honours at Bush Hall.

The contributions of ten local residents were recognised including for work supporting refugees, providing healthy meals in the community and celebrating Black history.

“We’re fortunate to have people who set aside their time, give their energy, and a little bit of themselves to getting things done for others – making our borough stronger, better and kinder,” said H&F Leader Cllr Stephen Cowan.

“The H&F Civic Honours is a chance for us to recognise those residents who do so much for our community, and for us to honour and celebrate them.”

The winners for each category are:

Act of compassion

The West London Welcome team accepting this year’s ‘Act of compassion’ award
Jo MacInnes and Leyla Williams of West London Welcome won this year’s ‘Act of compassion’ award.

The award was presented by Michael Angus of Barons Court Project. It recognises and celebrates the work of residents who have shown dedication and selflessness in supporting those who are sick, homeless, lonely or otherwise in need of care and support.

Jo and Leyla won the award for their work supporting Afghan refugees, including providing a free clothes shop, and working with community and council officers and the NHS to organise covid vaccines for refugees and asylum seekers.

Bringing people together

This year’s winner of the ‘Bringing people together’ award was Active Successful Engagement CIC (ASE).

The award celebrates those that have worked to bring the community together around a shared idea or helped unite different communities. It was presented by H&F Mayor Cllr PJ Murphy and Youth Mayor Scarlett Knowles.

ASE were nominated for their work alongside departments within Hammersmith & Fulham Council, including the Education service and Gangs unit, to provide a hyper local response to residents.

Community organiser

Sara Benjamin (pictured left) won this year’s ‘Community organiser’ award

Sara Benjamin won this year’s ‘Community organiser’ award.

The award was presented by Gareth Dixon of Young Hammersmith & Fulham Foundation and H&F’s Deputy Leader Cllr Sue Fennimore. It recognises a resident who has demonstrated inspiring leadership in, for example, running a residents' association, scout group or community fundraising campaign.

Sara was announced as the winner for her dedication to helping Fulham residents, particularly those living on the Gibbs Green estate. Her work has included organising trips for the elderly and creating a seniors’ club to help those feeling isolated.

Contributions to art, culture or heritage

Peter Parkin (pictured right) from H&F Council won the ‘Contributions to art, culture or heritage’ award
Peter Parkin (pictured right) from H&F Council won the ‘Contributions to art, culture or heritage’ award

The winner of this year’s ‘Contributions to art, culture or heritage’ award was Peter Parkin from H&F Council.

The award was presented by Hannah Durling, Community Relations Manager for Westfield London and H&F’s Lead Member for Child Refugees Cllr Rebecca Harvey. It honours the work of a resident who has brought new ideas and inspiration to the borough or worked to promote and celebrate H&F’s heritage.

Peter saw a gap in the borough’s celebrations of Black history and worked to champion the idea of Black 365 which is the celebration of Black history all year round.

Contributions to health and well-being

The Smile Brigade won this year’s ‘Contributions to health and well-being’.

The award, which celebrates a resident or organisation that has supported the community to improve our quality of life, was presented by Merril Hammer of Save Our Hospitals and H&F’s Cabinet Member for Strategy Cllr Sharon Holder.

The Smile Brigade were nominated for the award for their work in successfully providing healthy nutritious meals to vulnerable residents across H&F. During the Christmas period the charity and its volunteers delivered more than 1,000 festive meals.

Covid-19 community contribution

Nadia Jazaerli (pictured right) won this year’s ‘Covid-19 community contribution’ award

Another council employee Nadia Jazaerli, , won this year’s ‘Covid-19 community contribution’ award.

Presented by Sharon Tomlin of Sobus and H&F’s Community Safety and Environment PAC Chair Cllr Frances Umeh, the new category recognises those that went the extra mile to provide help and support to those in need during the pandemic.

Nadia won the award for her around the clock work to ensure residents are vaccinated and tested against the virus.

Improving our environment

Debbie Warren from the Urban Partnership Group won this year’s ‘Improving our environment’ award. The award was collected on her behalf by Andy Sharpe.

The award celebrates a resident who has run a high-profile campaign or achieved real changes in the quality of H&F’s local environment.

Debbie was nominated for her crowd fundraising campaigns at Masbro Centre and Edward Woods Centre to ensure both will run off solar power in the future.

Her award was presented by Hannah Durling, Community Relations Manager for Westfield London and H&F’s Cabinet Member for the Environment Cllr Wesley Harcourt.

Lifetime achievement

The winner of this year’s ‘Lifetime achievement’ award was Lesley Schwartz from the SEN Project.

This award has been sponsored this year by Horton & Garton and was presented by John Horton and H&F’s Leader Cllr Stephen Cowan.

Lesley has volunteered in H&F for 30 years, including as a trustee-treasurer for SEAPIA (1991-2012) supporting the fundraising and securing of large grants.

Most dedicated volunteer

Shirley Cupit (pictured left) won this year’s ‘Most dedicated volunteer’ award

Shirley Cupit from Defend Council Homes was awarded this year’s ‘Most dedicated volunteer’ award.

The award, presented by H&F’s Deputy Whip Cllr Zarar Qayyum, recognises a resident who has dedicated their time to help their neighbourhood or wider community through organised or informal voluntary work.

Shirley was nominated for this award for her involvement in the Defend Council Homes project over the past five years, including chairing the working group to formulate the Defend Council Homes Policy which was accepted by Cabinet on 4 January 2021.

Leader’s recognition award

John Stenton was presented with this year’s ‘Leader’s recognition’ award by H&F Deputy Leader Cllr Sue Fennimore.

Brackenbury Village butcher John Stenton who won the ‘Leader’s recognition’ award

John has worked tirelessly to support the Brackenbury community for over 50 years and goes above and beyond for his customers from his butcher’s shop, often personally delivering to residents who struggle to leave their homes.

John is always positive and kind and has known many of his customers for a long time, sometimes knowing the same family over different generations.

Outstanding commitment to the community

The ‘Outstanding commitment to the community’ award was presented by H&F Leader Cllr Stephen Cowan to Diana Belshaw and Sally Taylor for their work saving the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates, supporting Grenfell survivors, and returning to work as nurses during the pandemic.

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Jacob Phillips - Local Democracy Reporter

March 7, 2022