Hillingdon's community heroes honoured with awards

Wednesday 24 April, 2024: The hidden heroes in Hillingdon's communities were celebrated for their outstanding, but often unseen work at a special awards ceremony by Hillingdon Council last night (Tuesday 23 April).

Group shot of all the 2024 Hillingdon Community Awards winners, with the Mayor, Leader and Chief Executive
The ceremony for the 2024 Hillingdon Community Awards took place at the Civic Centre in Uxbridge and hailed the remarkable contributions to local communities across the borough from the 18 winners.

Hillingdon's awards are an opportunity for the council to shine a spotlight on the people whose selflessness makes the borough such a brilliant place to live, work and visit. The winners were shortlisted from 137 nominations, received across four categories: Helping Communities, Helping Vulnerable People, Bravery and Promoting Health and Wellbeing.

Winners were presented with their awards in the Council Chamber by the Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr Shehryar Ahmad-Wallana; Leader of the Council, Cllr Ian Edwards; and the council's Chief Executive, Tony Zaman. 

This year saw two gold award winners, both in the Helping Communities category. Christine Bennett is recognised for her involvement with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme and also overseeing 13 local Scout groups as District Commissioner.

The second gold award was given to Kath Powell who was acknowledged for contributing almost three decades of tireless work supporting the staff and children at Whiteheath Junior School, Ruislip. She originally joined the school as a volunteer, before working there as a dinner lady, then a teaching assistant before returning to volunteering, outlasting many of the teachers who've passed through the school's doors.

Speaking of her win, Christine said: "I became a leader to complete the volunteering section of my Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award many years ago and have stayed ever since as I enjoy helping others develop their skills through Scouting.  

"From teaching Cubs how to tie a simple knot, learn basic compass directions and know simple map symbols, to supporting Explorer Scouts who have developed these skills so that they can use pioneering techniques to build a platform to sleep on or navigation skills to complete their Duke of Edinburgh's and Scouting Awards; I enjoy seeing them all succeed and flourish." 

Hayes-based charity SEND Family Support has been supporting local children with special educational needs since 2015. The charity scooped silver in the Helping Vulnerable People award and trustee, Sarah Francis said they were shocked to win.

She added: "We feel honoured and privileged we have been nominated. We love to be able to offer support and advice to families who have children with special educational needs.  

"Having my own child with special needs and volunteering for SEND Family Support has helped me to use my own knowledge and experience to guide others in need of help, as I never had such support when my own children were growing up, so it's a very special feeling for our charity to have been awarded this honour." 

Other deserving winners celebrating on the night were Sharon Pink, who got a silver award in the Helping Communities category for her work volunteering in the community and as director of Hillingdon Chamber of Commerce.

Divya Patel received a bronze award in the Promoting Health and Wellbeing category for giving up her time to lead a group of volunteer yoga instructors in Hayes offering free classes to the local community, helping people stay active. 

Asad Karim was given a bronze award in the Helping Communities Category for his work on crime prevention by working closely alongside the Met Police's South Ruislip Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

The Friends of Northwood Recreation Ground were also awarded bronze in the Helping Communities category for the group's dedicated hours of maintenance and conversation work ensuring the park remains a pleasant and welcoming place for residents and visitors.

Cllr Ian Edwards, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said:"The Hillingdon Community Awards never fail to surprise and astonish us with the sheer dedication and selflessness shown by the wide range of brilliant nominees and winners.

"They all possess the qualities we pride ourselves in and that reflect on us as a borough, while highlighting how the work of a determined few makes such an invaluable difference to the lives of many.

"And that's why these awards are so important: They remind us that small acts of kindness and bravery can have a wider ripple effect, helping build resilience and harmony in our communities. Our awards are the very least we can do to thank the winners for that."

View the full list of awards winners at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/community-awards.


Page last updated: 24 Apr 2024