Lambeth ‘champions’ who have gone that extra mile to help out in their local communities have been honoured by Lambeth Council.
The second ever Lambeth Champions Awards saw honours for a team of people who have worked tirelessly to support homeless people in West Norwood, a woman who has played a key role in transforming her local park, and two people who give up their spare time to give emotional support to people who have been victims of crime.
The ‘Lambeth Champions’ awards was set up earlier this year by the council to officially thank people or groups who regularly give their time selflessly for others through volunteering.
The ceremony was the second of three to be held this year. It was hosted by Deputy Leader of Lambeth Council Cllr Jackie Meldrum, Mayor of Lambeth Cllr Clive Bennett and Lambeth Chief Executive Derrick Anderson. All nominations received over the course of the year will be put forward to the annual civic awards where a panel of judges will decide two brand new Civic Award Winners within a ‘Lambeth Champions of the Year’ category.
Cllr Jackie Meldrum, deputy leader of Lambeth Council, said: “The Lambeth Champions awards is our way of saying thank to you to those people who give up their time week in week out to make a really positive contribution to the borough. It is about recognising those people and groups that go the extra mile to help others and to help make Lambeth a better place to be. It was truly inspiring to be able to meet and personally thank so many wonderful people.”
The Lambeth Champions honoured at the awards on Wednesday were:
Allison and Wilf Thomas-Smith
Nominated by, Arabella Yapp
Allison and Wilf spend their weekends coaching and running Brixton Bulls Rugby Club and providing an opportunity for Lambeth children to play rugby. The club recently won national recognition as one of the top clubs in the UK despite being one of the only clubs not to have their own home ground. They do this work voluntarily. Wilf has also been chair of Governors at Walnut Tree Walk Primary School for many years and works hard for the school in a voluntary capacity. They have both also worked for decades at Clapham Youth Centre and much of the work they have done there was unpaid. Alison also works for Lambeth library service.
Nominated by, Maya Kar, who said
“Anne has not only started a business aimed at promoting local produce, but also puts a lot of time into encouraging other local people to get started on creating local products and businesses. I have seen her helping out with her time, advice and support at a number of events and it would be great to see her efforts acknowledged.”
Nominated by, Dil Green, who said:
“Duncan has been the driver and motivator of Transition Town Brixton. He would be the first to say that any award he gets should be in the name of all the many people who have also given enormous amounts of time and energy, but equally, I think all of them would recognise his unique and selfless contribution over many years.”
Nominated by, Betty Friend
Elizabeth does so much for people in Lambeth and beyond. She was the person who first suggested a foodbank in West Norwood, which feeds people in crisis and is now the main administrator. The foodbank opened at St.Luke’s Church in September 2011, and in the first six months fed 1,000 people. She also heads up the team running a carers and toddler group at the same church and runs a Girl Guide Company at St.Faith’s.
Nominated by, Abigail Tripp
Helen Lees, Chair of the Friends of Archbishops Park, has helped transform Archbishop’s Park and St Mary’s Garden from unloved, litter strewn green spaces to flourishing ones. Thanks to Helen, Archbishop’s Park and St Mary’s garden now have several community gardening and food growing groups, two community beehives, an orchard and a refurbished heritage water fountain and park shelter.
James Hayes, Lorna Hawthorne and Rachael Burton
Nominated by, Maksims Prokofjevs
James, Lorna and Rachael are members of Emmaus South Lambeth in West Norwood. They dedicate their time providing a home, work and family environment for homeless people. The work that they do is invaluable. They collect unwanted furniture and electro and brick-a-brack goods for resale or recycle and provide direct support to homeless people in the area.
Nominated by, Stuart Everitt, who said:
Kirtsy is a West Norwood Feast volunteer and without her West Norwood would not be the place it is today – up and coming and full of bright prospects for the future.
While Feast is once a month, Kirsty gives up every Tuesday evening, countless hours in the day to field enquiries and alternate Wednesday evenings to host the steering committee group at her flat in West Norwood. Her hard work is driven by a desire to harness the goodwill that exists in West Norwood. She has the desire to make the town she lives in a better place and she acts upon it every day. It’s my opinion that West Norwood residents have a lot to thank her for.
Malcolm Thorburn and Nuvit Salih
Nominated by, David Phillips
Both these individuals are Victim Support volunteers. They visit Lambeth victims of crime in their homes, and provide emotional support by phone, or at the Victim Support area office. Both have worked at least one day a week for more than a year. We feel that this tireless selflessness deserves recognition.
Nominated by, Helen Carr
Pamela has organised the ‘Big Lunch’ events on our estate (Cressingham Gardens, Tulse Hill) and she has become a ‘master gardener’ for the community garden scheme. As part of the scheme (which she receives funding for) she has got some of the young people on the estate interested and helping out with the organic gardening on barely used plant beds, and she helps many of the elderly and infirm people with their gardening. In short, she is fantastic and has really given our area a sense of community and I think she should be formally recognised for the work she does.
Nominated by, Laurence Dixon
Stephen has designed, maintained, and campaigned to transform the steps of Matrimony Place by St. Paul’s church into a local treasure. Over the last ten years this area has transformed into beautiful, vibrant Gardens with oak seats, raised beds, pond and bee hives. It is used all day now by children coming to and from school or having birthday parties, community parties and volunteers growing their own vegetables. The area is now known as The Eden Gardens.
Nominated by, Tony Charalambous
Teri is the guardian of our estate – she runs gardening and art classes for the local children, she is always keeping tabs on repairs and maintenance to our beautiful grade two listed building, and ensuring that all neighbours are informed of what’s going on. Plus, she chairs our Tenants and Residents Association meetings and is a champion of recycling. I would love to see her efforts on our behalf acknowledged.
To nominate someone for the Lambeth Champions scheme, email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us who they are and what it is that makes them a Lambeth champion.