Mayor’s Team London Awards honours volunteers
Young Londoners who dedicate their spare time to preventing their peers getting involved in violent crime were among the volunteers and community groups honoured at this year’s Team London Awards.
The awards, organised by Sadiq Khan’s volunteering programme, Team London, celebrate the many amazing Londoners who give up their time to help others and make the capital a better place.
This year, for the first time, a new Young Londoner award was presented to young people who have used voluntary work to raise awareness of and help tackle youth violence.
o Nahimul Islam who is developing a TV programme to encourage young people in Tower Hamlets to integrate peacefully. Nahimul has been volunteering since the age of 13, carries out annual knife crime projects, organises social integration events, launched a community cohesion event called the 'One borough event' and started a football club for young people.
o Brogan Brooks who is a young leader at BoxUpCrime – a Barking & Dagenham social enterprise offering boxing training – and a social entrepreneur. Brogan is studying DJ’ing and uses her skills to mentor other young people
o Tanisha Barrett-Thomas volunteers at For Jimmy – a charity working to reduce anger, confrontation and violence in local communities. Tanisha works with her peers to help voice their opinions on safety in Lewisham, she also supported the delivery of the Safe Havens programme where public areas provide a safe space for young people who feel under threat.
o Students at Leyton Sixth Form Forest who conducted a listening campaign to collect the views of staff and students on issues around crime and youth violence. The students arranged meetings with representatives from the council and the police to address their concerns are now inviting other schools in Waltham Forest to develop their own anti-violence initiatives.
o Silence the Violence which was set up by students at Hendon School to raise awareness of gang and knife violence. The students have delivered a conference for 150 local primary students featuring a diverse range of speakers including the police, a former gang member and addicts.
The awards spanned three broad categories: Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement. Within these, awards were made to individuals or volunteer groups in a further five categories - individual volunteer or team under 25, individual volunteer over 25, a volunteer 'team' award, a business or corporate volunteering group award and an innovative project or charity award.
A special Long Service award was also presented to Londoners who have served their communities for decades:
• Bromley’s Tony Catherall started his volunteering career over 60 years ago working as a football coach before becoming a scout leader. He has used his experience as a bank manager to set up a debt advice service at Bromley Community Counselling Service
• Westminster’s Jean Chippendale has over 30 years volunteering with Contact the Elderly. Working as a Volunteer Group Coordinator, Jean ensures that each isolated older person she works with is assigned a volunteer driver so no one misses out on social events.
Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Matthew Ryder and London Assembly Member Jeannette Arnold were joined by a host of leading figures from the voluntary sector to recognise the star volunteers at the City Hall ceremony yesterday evening. (15 November.)
The Mayor is committed to improving social integration in London, helping to bring Londoners of all faiths, backgrounds and social classes together. As well as publishing data to show how London performs in terms of economic fairness, the Mayor’s strategy for social integration involves putting inclusion and relationships at the heart of policy-making.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m delighted that, for the first time, we are honouring young Londoners who have gone above and beyond to help tackle the scourge of youth violence in their communities.
“Volunteers who dedicate their time to community groups, charities, youth centres and sports teams play a vital role in giving young Londoners something positive and meaningful to do with their time, rather than being lured down the wrong path and into crime.
“Volunteering represents so much of what is great about our city and it’s vital that we recognise the efforts of those who work so hard to make London a better place for everyone.”
Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Matthew Ryder said: “Volunteering is one of the most powerful ways we can improve social integration, active citizenship and bring so many other benefits to the communities we live in.
“That is why we are really proud of the annual Team London Awards and the opportunity it gives us to celebrate those who have selflessly given their time, skill and energy to help others.
“Congratulations to all the very worthy winners, as well as the thousands of Londoners whose volunteering contributes so much to our city others throughout the year.”
Assembly Member, Jennette Arnold OBE said: “It is a privilege to celebrate some of London’s most dedicated volunteers at the Team London Awards.
“I’m particularly proud of the young Londoners who challenge the negative stereotype and choose to use their time to help address issues of violence and crime in their neighbourhoods.”
“Volunteering provides an excellent way for Londoners from different backgrounds to connect and can effect real change. I hope these awards encourage as many people as possible to consider investing their time in others.”
Across the capital, Londoners of all ages are now lending a hand in their local communities as a result of signing up to Team London. The full list of opportunities is displayed here: https://volunteerteam.london.gov.uk/
The full list of winners are:
1. Individual volunteer or team award (under 25)
• Isaac Skrzypczyk, Merton Volunteer Police Cadets (Merton) is a Cadet Ambassador who uses his experiences as a transgender person to support young people and particularly young LGBTQ cadets.
• Deptford Green School Feminist Society (Lewisham) Students from Deptford Green School set up the Feminist Society to inspire girls to think about political and community leadership
• Morden Urban Rangers (Merton) is a team of young volunteers who carry out conservation projects at Morden Hall Park providing opportunities for locals to get involved in looking after their green spaces
2. Individual volunteer (over 25)
• Thomas Pocock (Lewisham) is a Yes Futures Coach and volunteers with groups of disadvantaged young people teaching them to believe in themselves and arranging workplace visits
• Antonia Cohen (Croydon) Antonia created The Refugee Cricket Project to bring young refugees together, improve their English and offer guidance with asylum applications
• Llewellyn Alleyne, YMCA West London Llewellyn helps to run free community football sessions at Botwell Leisure Centre as well as a drop-in session for people with substance abuse issues
3. Volunteer team award
• The Rainbow Club Supplementary School (Lewisham) provides emotional as well as educational support in English and maths for refugees and asylum seekers in South London
• The Kambala Estate Residents Association (Wandsworth) Is run by residents and provides practical support to parents and carers of children with autism
• #EveryBodyCanDance Dance Crew (Surbiton) created an inclusive fitness video produced by and featuring people with disabilities to encourage them to stay active
4. Business or corporate volunteering group award
• C Space, Shaw Trust (Harrow) C Space volunteers equip Shaw Trust clients, including those with health conditions and disabilities, with vocational skills to help them into work
• Capsticks LLP), Wimbledon Guild (Merton) Capsticks employees volunteer with Wimbledon Guild to hold gadget workshops helping older people make best use of their smart devices.
• Mace Group, Hammersmith Community Gardens Association (Hammersmith and Fulham) Volunteers shared their technical expertise and skills to help complete large infrastructure projects on two of Hammersmith Community Garden’s sites
5. Innovative project or charity award
• Mixed Martial Arts for Reform and Progression (Islington) uses Mixed Martial Arts to help young people develop life skills including health, education and financial responsibility
• South West London Law Centres (various locations) provide free legal advice and representation to people who could not otherwise afford access to justice
• Home for Good Volunteers (Westminster) provide community support for vulnerable and formerly homeless people who have been resettled and/or are facing isolation
6. Young Londoner Award
• Brogan Brooks, BoxUpCrime (across London) uses her DJing skills to provide inspirational music for young people to divert them from turning to crime
• Nahimul Islam, Wapping Youth FC (Tower Hamlets) volunteers on a TV show that inspires peaceful integration. He launched his own football club and delivers talks on knife crime
• Tanisha Barrett-Thomas, For Jimmy (Lewisham) Tanisha has a passion for raising awareness of youth violence in Lewisham. She now works with her peers on safety issues across the borough
• Leyton Citizens, Leyton Sixth Form College (Waltham Forest) Students meet with local leaders to discuss how to support young people at risk of getting involved in youth violence
• Hendon School’s Silence the Violence initiative raises awareness of issues surrounding gang affiliation and community safety through conferences and campaign days
7. Long Service Award
• Jean Chippendale (Westminster) has volunteered with Contact the Elderly for over 30 years, she ensures isolated people are assigned a volunteer driver so they can attend social events
• Tony Catherall (Bromley) volunteers for Bromley Community Counselling Service where he set up the Debt Advice Service using his experience in banking to assist with debt problems
• Sedley Wilson, Croydon People First (Croydon) Sedley is chair of Croydon People First, the self-advocacy organisation for people with learning disabilities in Croydon
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