‘Lifeblood of community’: Redbridge volunteers given recognition they deserve

The award winners were presented with their prizes by the Mayor Cllr Felicity Banks

The award winners were presented with their prizes by the Mayor Cllr Felicity Banks - Credit: Archant

Volunteers from across Redbridge who work tirelessly to make a difference to the lives of other people have been recognised for their roles.

The mayor, Cllr Felicity Banks, presented nine gold, silver and bronze Volunteers of the Year awards on behalf of the Redbridge Public and Voluntary Sector Partnership at its annual meeting last week.

Doreen Hewitt, known as “Skip,” of the Ilford Sea Rangers, won gold in the long service award category, following 60 years of volunteering.

“What a lovely surprise this was,” said Doreen. “Many people know me from all my years with the Sea Rangers. I’ve got lots of stories I could tell.”

Doreen has also been involved with the Girl Guides and Scouts since 1947.

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Alexander Tachauer, 23, of Ilford, received a silver award in the Young Volunteer of the Year category for his challenging work on the front desk of Ilford Police Station, High Road, Ilford.

Alexander, now accepted as a special constable, said: “I feel fantastic about this.

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“It’s truly wonderful to be recognised.

“Ilford police certainly need a helping hand from volunteers, and I’d recommend anyone do the Metropolitan Police Volunteering programme.”

A silver award also went to Saba Butt of Aanchal Women’s Aid in Holstock Road, ­Ilford in the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year category.

Saba has helped many women as a front-line adviser and is now supporting new volunteers and providing emergency support on the organisation’s helpline.

She said: “I am very surprised to win the award. It’s really nice to be acknowledged for the work volunteers do.”

All winners were presented with a trophy and the 30 nominees for the awards ­received a rosette and certificate.

Chairman of the Partnership, Cllr Gurdial Bhamra, said: “The commitment and dedication of huge numbers of people in Redbridge who give up their time and talents for others is what keeps the borough going.

“They are the lifeblood of our organisations.”

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service went to Healthy Living Projects in Green Lane, Ilford and Redbridge Carers Support Service in Station Road, Ilford.

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