The pillars of the community in Hammersmith & Fulham were celebrated in style at this year’s Civic Honours awards.
The awards evening was held Thursday night (30 March) at Bush Hall in Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush. It was attended by 26 winners – who were all nominated by their neighbours, friends and colleagues for their incredible contributions to H&F.
The awards had four categories including the Leader’s Recognition Award, selected by Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham.
“All of us in Hammersmith & Fulham are so very lucky to have residents who – day in and day out – put others before themselves and work to make our borough stronger, safer and kinder,” said Cllr Cowan. “The Civic Honours are our chance to say ‘thank you’ to them - to celebrate their achievements, their generosity, and the selfless amount of time they have given to our community.”
Years of dedication
The remarkable 94-year-old Mary Elliot was awarded a Civic Honour for her years of dedication as a volunteer in the Sands End community. “Being nominated for the award was such a surprise I nearly fell through the floor,” she said.
Despite now being partially blind she has continued to volunteer at the Sands End Adventure Playground and still regularly helps at the playground’s activity days. Before the Covid lockdown, she taught local children how to knit while sharing her own experiences and advice. Each winter she also hand-knits and donates jumpers, hats, and scarfs to local children.
“I used to run three knitting groups and I still run one,” said Mary. “The children are between eight and 11 and they’re great fun. It’s the highlight of my week and I’ve learned a lot from them. For one thing, everyone has the same problems, it’s just the way you deal with them that matters.”
While the manager of Sands End Adventure Playground, Julie Cavanagh, who nominated Mary, said: “Mary’s the kind of lady who always helps out. She is a real asset to our community and her work and dedication to supporting the children is amazing.”
A stronger, safer, kinder neighbourhood
Nine other residents also received a Civic Honour for contributions to building a stronger, safer, kinder neighbourhood.
Anna MacInulty and Michael Dipple from the Linacre Court Tenants and Residents Association received an award for their work tackling anti-social behaviour and improving the lives of local young people. They also run an after-school homework club. “When we heard we were up for this award it took us by surprise,” added Anna.
And Michael added: “We tried to build independence and we go through each process with the resident who’s asked for help. Good community work is about empowerment. We do it because we want to have a nice community. [The award] was a very happy surprise.”
They were joined by Brendan Smith, Chair of the Better Brackenbury Project, who was nominated for his action in coordinating a community response after his neighbourhood flooded in the summer of 2021.
Dawn Brown was nominated for her involvement and generosity in community activities that support young people and vulnerable adults.
Also nominated for volunteer work was Janis Walton, who was put forward by his neighbours for organising activities and creating an inclusive and close-knit neighbourhood.
Annette Hercules received a Civic Honour for her work to coordinate and run a monthly food bank over the last three years.
Nicolas Cherniavsky received an award for helping to set up the Galloway Road Collective and for the collective’s work planting trees, adding greenery and painting colourful kerbstones along the road.
Noreen Goodwin was nominated for her collecting surplus food from greengrocers, supermarkets and delicatessens to distribute to families struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. Despite being a working mother of eight, she finds the time to deliver each food parcel.
Sharon Tomlin from SOBUS also received an award for supporting her neighbourhood. Volunteering in Old Oak and North End, Sharon was nominated for going above and beyond to help and connect people.
A stronger, safer, kinder, borough
Ten residents received Civic Honours for contributions to building a stronger, safer, kinder borough. They were:
Anna Harrison received an award for her work with St John’s Ambulance and dedication delivering first aid at events across H&F.
Barb Durand and Virginie Firth from the Lumi Foundation were nominated for the time they’ve dedicate to the charity. In 2022, they help to deliver accessible yoga classes to more than 1,200 people.
Also awarded were Helen Dell and Chris Dodwell, resident Climate Commissioners for H&F, for their work to help the borough reach its climate emergency net zero carbon emissions target.
They were joined by Ian Marshall who was honoured for more than 10 years working as a Youth Justice Service panel member.
Jamie Hilton from Fulham Good Neighbours received his award for supporting older residents in Fulham, including delivering health education and organising social events such as afternoon tea.
Jamie Hoult was nominated for his tireless dedication to local charities and efforts to raise money through various events. He invited his mother Elaine as his guest, who said: “Oh I’m very proud. Jamie won’t like me saying this, but he’s won a few other business awards and it’s exciting to finally be invited.”
Hammersmith Scout Leader Neil Docherty was nominated for his nine years of service to H&F’s scouting community. “It was a really pleasant surprise, and I still don’t know who nominated me,” Neil said. “I’m a Scout Leader for the 28th Hammersmith Scout Group and my main goal is developing the confidence of the kids in my troop. Going camping is my favourite part of the role, we do six or seven camps a year.”
Tracy McCormack – an officer from Hammersmith & Fulham Council – received an award for her work to support local Afghan refugees, including learning a bit of the Pashto language.
H&F’s lifetime achievement awards
Five residents received lifetime achievement awards:
PCSO David Miller from Fulham Police Station received his award for going above and beyond when helping his neighbourhood.
Fulham Scout Leader Peter Fuller who is in his 70s was honoured for his 40 years of service to scouting.
Ruth Savery, founder of the Friends of Margravine Cemetery, was nominated for her work to improve the community space and helping to secure its prestigious Green Flag award and National Lottery funding.
She was joined by Andy Sharpe from the Urban Partnership Group who has volunteered for the last 36 years in his local community, including helping to repurpose £2.5million worth of surplus food to households in need.
“I started at the Masbo Centre in 1986,” explained Andy. “I’m retiring next month, but in that time, we’ve run a children’s centre and youth club, and we’ve even run a carnival. I’ve had a great team behind me and it’s just great to have been nominated for an award, it was definitely a surprise.”
The Amici Dance Theatre Company’s founder Wolfgang Stange was awarded a lifetime achievement award for his work integrating Disabled and non-Disabled performers in a creative space for more than 40 years.
Leader’s Recognition Award
Rosemary Mortimer received the Leader’s Recognition Award. She was nominated for giving her life to public service. Her volunteer work has included being the Membership Secretary of Brackenbury Residents Association, the Chair of the Hammersmith Society and chairing the resident led Air Quality Commission in H&F.
“There’s a wealth of talent in the borough. And on an evening like this, it’s good to recognise it,” said Rosemary. “I’m amazed and so pleased to see the wide breadth of work that people do because they see a need and they see how they can help and that’s wonderful. It’s fantastic to be included.”
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