The annual Love Your Borough Awards give the council the opportunity to give well-deserved recognition and say thank you to those community members who have helped to make life here even better, whether for one person or for us all.
We thank those who have nominated and brought these good acts to our attention and we thank our sponsors whose contributions make it possible to stage the Love Your Borough Awards without placing a burden on council tax payers.
We share some of the stories and the award winners with you here.
You can view some of the photographs from the award ceremony at Walthamstow Assembly Hall on Friday 2 March at www.flickr.com/walthamforestcouncil
And the winners are:
Young Citizen of the Year
Abdur-Raheem (or AR for short) was selected to become a new Waltham Forest Young Advisor at the age of just 13 years old. Despite suffering a number of serious health problems, he has shown huge enthusiasm for getting involved in his community and ensuring all young people have a voice. In addition to work for local events and projects, AR sits on a number of scrutiny boards, is a Youth Mental Health Ambassador, and has even written his own books - which you can buy on amazon!
Emie has spent the last 12 months representing The Leaders Community through outreach projects, encouraging young people to get fit and active. She teaches community dance to children and young people during school holidays, and has performed at numerous local events. At the age of 15, Emie has already completed two leadership qualifications and has been awarded both a Jack Petchey Award and a Waltham Forest Cultural Star award for her volunteering efforts.
Halime arrived at Lammas School, Leyton in October 2013 with very limited English but with a sheer determination to succeed. In 2016 she achieved 7 GCSEs of which 6 were A*-C, and has since gone on to complete her A-Levels and begin a university degree in Architecture & Design. In addition to her academic work, Halime works hard for local charities such as Salaam Peace.
Since starting her Media Studies A-Level Lauren Smith has discovered a passion for filmmaking, and has been actively involved in the local film community. Last year she designed the programme for E17 Films’ International Film Festival, and was invited to film and edit a short documentary on the unveiling of the blue plaque heritage sites of two Silent Film Studios in Wood Street; interviewing top directors, actors and local councillors. She is always on hand to film events around the school, and is on her way to achieving top marks in her coursework.
Arts and Culture Award
Winner: Walthamstow Short Film Festival
Paul and Liza Fletcher have run the Walthamstow Short Film Festival during the E17 Arts Trail for nearly 10 years, attracting entries from all over the world, whilst researching and promoting the history of Walthamstow’s rich film heritage. They have also run educational workshops and projects in local schools to inspire young people’s interest in film, and provide them with the skills to make their own.
Teacher of the Year Award
Winner: Helin Taylor-Greenfield, Leyton Sixth Form
Helin has been described as the most supportive tutor throughout, with many children calling her their 'college mum'. She is loving and caring and makes students feel happy the moment she walks into the class room. One of her students said – “I believe she is the best teacher ever”
Best Community or Business Cycling Initiative
Winner: Cycle Sisters
Cycle Sisters is a Walthamstow-based Muslim women cycle group which meets for social rides every Wednesday at the Town Hall. Established by Sarah Javid, the group has led over 40 rides to locations in and around the borough, inspiring Muslim women and their children from diverse communities to experience the freedom and health benefits of social cycle rides, in an environment in which they feel comfortable.
Pride of Sports Award
Winner: Forest Crusaders Futsal Club
From under 16s Futsal, to sessions for children with a disability, and women’s-only sessions, Forest Crusaders Futsal Club offer a great fitness opportunity for the community. One user said: ‘as a lone parent, working to maintain a good standard of living for my Child, Forest Crusaders has given me the opportunity to keep fit in a fun and fulfilling way.’
Leaders Award for an individual
Winner: David King
David King is a long standing council officer who has gone above and beyond to ensure that the residents of our borough are kept safe and entertained through the licensing of many businesses, which are encouraged to grow and prosper, particularly through our new and developing night time economy.
David and his team are working towards achieving Purple Flag Status for Waltham Forest - an accreditation process which helps members of the public to quickly identify town & city centres that offer an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.
Leaders Award for a Group
Winner: Adult Social Care
Adult Social Care provides essential support to vulnerable adults in Waltham Forest who have long term disabilities, are Frail or have a Mental Health or Learning disability to ensure they are able live their lives safely and well with maximum independence. The team have dedicated staff with the skills and expertise to make this happen and some of the Social Worker and Occupational Therapist professionals who support residents to achieve their aspirations are here tonight.
Special Leaders Award for Cultural Commitment
This was a special award and there are 15 people recognised for their commitment to Culture within the Borough. All of these individuals have shown exceptional commitment to culture in Waltham Forest over the years, and in particular to our bid to be the first London Borough of Culture, through their involvement in our External Steering Group and London Borough of Culture Bid Board.
The award was given to Mark Clack, Lucy Harrison, Leesa Herbert, Laura Kerry, Shaukat Khan, Amanda Smethurst, Hazel Durrant, Hassan Vawda, Harriet Warden, Mervin Caesar-John, Liza Fletcher , Mark Godfrey, Louise Jeffreys, Zarah Hussain and Nick Bertram.
Nurse or Nursing team of the Year
Winner: The Breast Screening Clinic at Whipps Cross
The Breast Screening Clinic at Whipps Cross hospital are an outstanding team of dedicated nurses and practitioners, who help patients and families through what can be a really frightening time. They have worked hard to deliver a modern and effective service, whilst building the profile of the unit with our Waltham Forest communities. One example of how much they are loved is that one patient went on to raise £4,000 for the unit after treatment there.
Uniformed Service Hero Award
Winner: Police Constable Sam Philpot, Chingford Police
On the 3rd June PC Sam Philpot was off duty on a sightseeing tour of London, when the London Bridge terror attack happened. Eight people died and 48 people were injured when three terrorists unleashed a brutal attack in and around London Bridge. Even though Sam was off duty he didn’t hesitate and rushed to the scene, at the time unaware of what was unfolding. Sam rapidly attended to injured members of the public, assisting the London Ambulance Service with triage and CPR. He is commended for his bravery and humanitarian support with those injured and those who sadly lost their lives.
Best Venue for Culture and Night time Economy
Winner: The Wanstead Tap
The Wanstead Tap has become a fantastic community hub, punching way above its weight in terms of programming. Here you can find major authors, globally-known musicians, philosophers and artists, and a vast array of locally brewed beers. The Wanstead Tap brings in people from across London as well as loyal Waltham Foresters, all within the special atmosphere of the railway arches in Winchelsea Road.
Environmental Champion Award
Winner: Frances Dismore, The Stonebridge Coalition
Frances Dismore has worked hard to set up, promote and organise an environmental river clean-up group, The Stonebridge Coaltion, in Higham Hill Ward as part of the Thames21initiative – leading to the removal of huge amounts of fly-tipped rubbish, including tyres, motorcycles, supermarket trolleys and mattresses from the watercourses.
Best Business Award
Winner: Gigi's Dressing Room
Gigi has been a vintage clothing market trader for many years, moving Gigi’s Dressing Room from a thriving stall in Wood St Indoor Market to a permanent shop on Wood St only a few months ago. Her clothes are amazing and her knowledge is vast. But above all she is great with people and that's what has made a success of her shop. She is starting to run evening events and her shop has already become a true community hub.