Mayor joins Paralympic champion Martine Wright to award volunteers

25 November 2013
  • Mayor recognises Team London volunteers for their outstanding contribution to city life
  • Barbara Windsor, Ledley King and Bear Grylls join celebrations
  • Paralympic hero Martine Wright appointed as new Team London Champion to boost volunteering

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson was joined by Paralympic champion Martine Wright today to recognise some of the outstanding volunteers who make the capital a better place to live and work. The annual Team London Awards ceremony celebrated the remarkable achievements of fifteen individuals and groups who have dedicated time and energy to helping others.

Representing every borough in London, the awards were given to the volunteers in recognition of their inspiring efforts, including mentoring young people, transforming green spaces, working with young offenders, helping older Londoners and leading inspirational sports programmes.

The awards were presented by the Mayor alongside Barbara Windsor, Ledley King, Bear Grylls and Paralympian athlete Martine Wright, who has been appointed as Team London Champion. Martine lost both her legs in the Aldgate underground explosion in the 7/7 bombings of 2005, the day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games.

After months of surgery and lengthy rehabilitation, Martine tried a number of sports with the help of volunteers. She settled on the sport of sitting volleyball and quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the top stars in the Great Britain side and went on to serve as vice-captain of the ParalympicsGB team at London 2012. Martine is passionate about sports and as patron of five charities, she is now an ambassador for volunteering and inclusivity in sport. As Team London Champion, she hopes to inspire even more Londoners to get involved and help their local community.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘Team London volunteers represent the cream of our capital, giving their precious time and tireless effort to make a real difference to our lives whilst helping to make London the fantastic city it is. I have been delighted to meet our latest crop of award winners and want to thank them and all of London’s volunteers for the incredible work they do. We are creating new Team London opportunities every day to help even more people to get involved and give something back to our capital and I hope our award winners are an inspiration to others.’

Martine Wright said: ‘I’m delighted to have been appointed as a Team London Champion and to help raise the profile of volunteering. So many of us provide key volunteering roles in one form or another. These range from the highly celebrated Games Makers and Team London Ambassadors who made such a huge impression at last summer's Games to the wonderful individuals who were vital in managing the recovery in the aftermath of those terrible 7/7 bombings of 2005. It is fantastic to be at the Team London Awards Ceremony to recognise the remarkable achievements of some of the individuals and groups who have dedicated their time and energy to helping others. As an elite athlete, an inspirational speaker and as a mum, I passionately believe that volunteering within local communities is a vital part of inspiring the nation to keep the spirit of London 2012 alive.’

Chief Scout and adventurer Bear Grylls presented the award for greening and cleaning. Bear said: ‘It’s an honour to be here at City hall and recognise the fantastic efforts of volunteers from across London. As Chief Scout it’s great to see people actively looking after our countryside and wildlife, while learning skills and having an adventure.’

The awards recognised a spectrum of volunteering, with the mentoring prize being awarded to young Camilla Yahaya from Lewisham. Her group ‘Young Citizens’, part of the Jimmy Mizen Foundation, has inspired young people across London to campaign for peace in the UK. She has worked with the police, community groups and schools across London to grow the group from four Year 12 girls to over 200 young people from 15 secondary schools.

Camilla said: ‘Being recognised by Team London is both wonderful and humbling; importantly though it enables us to celebrate what the very many in my community have achieved, with no more than their love, determination and time'

Lillian Dickenson received the Long Service Award for over 50 years of service helping others in the Wandsworth community. The 90 year-old has devoted her life to others, and for the last 10 years has entertained and supported older and disabled residents of the Leonard Cheshire disability centre, putting on performances and bringing joy and positivity to the care home. Lillian was nominated by William Gallagher from Leonard Cheshire Disability.

Lillian Dickenson: ‘I never thought that I would get this recognition. I did what I did because I love people and have got so much from volunteering myself. It’s so important to give something back. It can change people’s lives. I would encourage everyone to give it a go.’

William Gallagher: ‘Lillian is in her 90s and has given so much to so many, especially to elderly people in Wandsworth. It is time to give something to her. This also acknowledges the hundreds of volunteers who give their time to Leonard Cheshire Services – they are a ray of sunshine in our organisation.’

Team London received nominations from every corner of the capital for the annual awards, which then underwent a rigorous shortlisting and selection process. The Mayor’s volunteering programme has seen thousands of Londoners giving up their time to make a difference in their local community – from helping young children with their reading, to welcoming visitors to the capital, to planting trees or leading community sports projects.

Nominations for next year’s awards will be open soon at http://volunteerteam.london.gov.uk

 

Notes to editors

Full list of Team London Award Winners:

Greening and Cleaning

Olivia, Woodward, Under 25, (Newham)

Jo-Ann Brown, Over 25 (Enfield)

Brent River Park Community Partnership, Team (Brent)

Mentoring & Coaching

Camilla Yahaya, Under 25 (Lewisham)

Loretta Balfour, Over 25, (Hillingdon)

Kingston Butterfly Project, Team (Kingston)

My Community

Tyrese Nana Adu Gyamfi, Under 25, (Barnet)

Keith Spiteri, Over 25, (Camden)

FareShare London, Team (Lewisham)

Sports & Healthy Living

Stephen Addison, Under 25, (Barking & Dagenham)

Yasroon Elmi, Over 25, (Greenwich/Westminster/Tower Hamlets/Camden)

Lewisham Thunder Basketball club, Team, (Lewisham)

Long Service Award

Julie & Len Pilfold, (Greenwich)

Sid Khan, (Wandsworth)

Lillian Dickinson, (Wandsworth)

Mayors Special Achievement Award

Pandemonium Drummers

Volunteer Centre Award

Satomi Atkins

Inspirational Volunteer Management

Richmond upon Thames District Scout Council

Team London 2012 Legacy Award

Steven Pettengell

Lisa Beavington

James Mulcahy

  • Team London, the Mayor of London’s volunteering programme, was launched in 2011 to help ensure that volunteering and volunteers were having the greatest possible impact on London’s highest areas of need. The project was inspired by Mayor Bloomberg's Cities of Service model. Since 2011, 68 per cent of Londoners have been involved in some form of volunteering, from mentoring a young reader through to planting vegetables. More than 30,000 volunteering opportunities are available from over 400 organisations on the Team London website.

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