Hillingdon's unsung heroes recognised at awards ceremony
Wednesday 22 June 2022: Hillingdon Council held a special awards ceremony yesterday (Tuesday 21 June) to present awards to 25 of the borough's unsung heroes for the incredible - often unseen - work they do in the local community.
Nominations poured in from across the borough, with the council hearing incredible stories of residents working tirelessly, volunteering their time, effort, energy and care without the expectation of reward.
Of the 150 nominations received, 25 were shortlisted as winners across various categories.
The winners were invited to attend the awards ceremony in the Council Chamber of the Civic Centre in Uxbridge where they were presented with special lapel pins and certificates by the Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr Becky Haggar and Leader of Hillingdon Council, Cllr Ian Edwards.
Samantha Queen, from West Ruislip, won a Bronze Extraordinary Achievement award for her work delivering food packages to those shielding during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also raised £1,000 through the Co-op where she works, to fund a defibrillator for Ickenham Village Hall and even teamed up with Ickenham Bikewise to donate food to Hillingdon Foodbank.
Samantha said: "I am very honoured to receive this award and extremely proud to have the Ickenham Co-op enable me to help others.
"The kindness that has been expressed to me by the welcoming people and customers of Ickenham Co-op is immense, I was simply repaying back into the community, which keeps people at its centre with the love and kindness Ickenham is known for.
"Sometimes life is hard, therefore I feel it necessary for others to know they're not alone."
Angela Cox, from Hayes, received Gold in the Helping Communities award category.
Angela was nominated for organising a range of events, from afternoon teas for older people, career days and after school clubs for young people and mustering 200 volunteers to transform the gardens at four local care homes.
Angela said: "I am so honoured and grateful to have even been nominated, let alone being presented with this Gold award.
"It's a great feeling to know that my efforts have helped others in the local community."
David Gentry, from Uxbridge, won a Bronze Keeping the Borough Healthy award.
In 2020, David received the British Citizen Award at Westminster Palace for his charity work and work with children in the borough's schools educating them on the dangers and effects of street/knife crime and bullying. He was also recognised for his fundraising efforts for the NHS where he walked a total of 150 miles raising £2,200 and the free online classes he ran during the lockdowns for his martial arts and football students to keep them active and occupied.
David said: "From a young age I have always had a passion for sport. Over the years I have gained a lot of knowledge of many varying sports and now I enjoy helping others achieve their goals and raising money for varying charities. I am honoured to receive this prestigious award for keeping the borough healthy."
Winner of the evening's top honour, the Special Recognition award was Eastcote's Brian 'Bob' Beeston, 91, who was presented with The Civic Medal for committing 80 years to helping his local scout group. The Civic Medal is the highest award the council can bestow after Freedom of the Borough.
The Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr Becky Haggar said: "It was such a privilege to meet the winners and hear a little more about what they have achieved.
"All the nominees have proven that they have real heart and commitment and have served their community without hesitation. Huge congratulations to everyone nominated, and of course all of the deserving winners."
The Leader of Hillingdon Council, Cllr Ian Edwards, said: "It's been an absolute pleasure and a genuinely humbling experience to meet our Community Award winners. These are residents that have gone the extra mile, for their neighbours and community and have created a greater sense of belonging where they live.
"The calibre of all who were nominated was exceptional, not just our fantastic winners, so I share my congratulations and thanks to everyone involved."
To view the full list of winners, visit www.hillingdon.gov.uk/community-awards.