'Impressive, jaw-dropping' Redbridge community heroes recognised at awards

The Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Roy Emmett

Redbridge Mayor Cllr Roy Emmett - Credit: Ken Mears

Selfless people from all over the borough were praised and celebrated at an annual awards ceremony. 

Around 20 individuals, groups, organisations and youngsters were invited to the Mayor's Community Awards 2022 at Redbridge Town Hall on March 10. 

Discarding with separate categories this year, Redbridge Mayor Cllr Roy Emmett gave out glass trophies and certificates while host Weininger Irwin - winner of the first series of ITV series Gladiators - explained why recipients were nominated by the community. 

Compere Weininger Irwin speaking at the Mayor of Redbridge Community Awards

Compere Weininger Irwin hosted the event - Credit: Ken Mears

Cllr Emmett told the Recorder: "It was an absolute privilege for me to publicly acknowledge a small section of the work that's done by the wonderful people of Redbridge. 

"The main difference tonight is the categories. There were no 'this category, that category' - each and every recipient, individual or organisation, was recognised in their own right by an independent panel without me interfering or nodding."

He added that so much of the "impressive, jaw-dropping" work recognised has been for the benefit of young people.

Winners include April Mehmet with her Walk it Out initiative; the Tin in a Bin group, which collected food for vulnerable people during the pandemic; and Sheraz Ahmed, who has employed young people at his restaurant Manjaros.

April Mehmet of Walk It Out receives her award at the Mayor's Community Awards 2022

Community Champion April Mehmet of Walk It Out receives her award from Cllr Roy Emmett - Credit: Ken Mears

Community Champion Sheraz Ahmed with mayor Cllr Roy Emmett at the Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards 2022

Restaurant owner Sheraz Ahmed with Cllr Emmett - Credit: Ken Mears

Tin in a Bin winners Juliette Harvey, James Patterson, Suzanne Patterson, Suzi Harnett at Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards

Tin in a Bin winners Juliette Harvey, James Patterson, Suzanne Patterson and Suzi Harnett with the mayor - Credit: Ken Mears

Recipients also included SEN Station, the 241 Squadron, Treehouse Nursery School, Transition Town Ilford and Naomi Landan with Redbridge Village.

SEN Station with their Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards 2022. Masumah Ramzan, Amani Green, Mohima Kamaly and Selina Sheikh

SEN Station with their awards. Left to right: Masumah Ramzan, Amani Green, Mohima Kamaly and Selina Sheikh - Credit: Ken Mears

241 Squadron with mayor Cllr Roy Emmett at Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards 2022

A representative from 241 Squadron accepted the award - Credit: Ken Mears

Transition Town Ilford's Begona Belmonte, Olcay Anika, Suhasini Sundara, Shilpa Patel at Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards

Transition Town Ilford members Begona Belmonte, Olcay Anika, Suhasini Sundara and Shilpa Patel with the mayor - Credit: Ken Mears

Community Champion Naomi Landan collects her Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards 2022

Community Champion Naomi Landan from Redbridge Village collects her award - Credit: Ken Mears

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Redbridge’s Community Crime Commission, which is a panel of people dedicated to tackling crime in the borough, was also commended with an award.

Redbridge’s Community Crime Commission receive their award at the Mayor's Community Awards 2022

Redbridge’s Community Crime Commission were recognised. - Credit: Ken Mears

The evening also saw the winners of the Ilford Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Young Citizen Awards announced. 

Running since 2008, the joint initiative sees an inspirational young person nominated in the newspaper each month, with an overall winner and runner up then picked from the group. 

Amrita Sapal with Ilford Recorder editor Franki Berry and Redbridge Rotary youth chairman Mike Bell

Amrita Sapal, September nominee, with Ilford Recorder editor Franki Berry and Rotary Club youth chairman Mike Bell - Credit: Ken Mears

This year there were two runners up - Leanne Mohamad and Esha Nadeswaran - and two winners - Areeb Khan and Neo Jain Naha.

Five-year-old Esha's battle with leukaemia inspired thousands to join the bone marrow donor list, while Leanne, 21, helped bridge communication barriers at Frenford Youth Club's Mutual Aid foodbank.

Esha Nadeswaran dad at Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards 2022

Esha Nadeswaran's father with the little one's award - Credit: Ken Mears

Neo has worked hard to collect more than 1,000 Easter eggs for children who are less fortunate.

The 10-year-old said he is "really happy to help other people".

His mum, Rina Jain Naha, said: "He is very humble, he just gets on with stuff and does it without shouting about it so it feels like we are not doing anything that big, but if we are making an impact and people are recognising that, that's really nice."

Neo Jain Naha was a winner of the Ilford Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Young Citizen Awards

Neo Jain Naha, 10 - Credit: Ken Mears

Areeb, who is 16, encouraged other young people to get vaccinated by revealing her months-long battle with Covid in hospital.

Areeb, who has since had to re-learn how to walk and eat independently, said: "I feel really amazed by this award and I am very thankful that I have been given the opportunity to raise awareness of my story again for young people."

Her dad, Saqib Khan, said: "They saved her life, with the grace of God."

Areeb Khan with Ilford Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Young Citizen Award from editor Franki and Redbridge Rotary's Mike Bell

Areeb receives her award from the Ilford Recorder editor Franki Berry and Redbridge Rotary president-elect Mike Bell - Credit: Ken Mears

Ilford Recorder editor Franki Berry presented the Rotary awards alongside Redbridge Rotary president-elect and chair of youth services Mike Bell.

Esha, Leanne, Neo and Areeb will now be put forward for the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Young Citizen awards, which will be hosted by BBC presenter Ellie Crisell  at the NEC in Birmingham in May.

Redbridge Rotary's Mike Bell, Ilford Recorder's Franki Berry and Redbridge Mayor Roy Emmett with award winners

Redbridge Rotary president-elect Mike Bell, Ilford Recorder editor Franki Berry and Redbridge Mayor Roy Emmett with the lford Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Young Citizen Awards winners and nominees. - Credit: Ken Mears

Neo is hoping to collect 2,000 Easter eggs by March 25. Donate at https://donorbox.org/easter-egg-appeal-2022

Winner of Mayor's Community Awards 2022 - Redbridge For Education's Vicky Taylor and Caroline Killick

Vicky Taylor and Caroline Killick from Redbridge for Education - Credit: Ken Mears

Community Champion Sofia Bhatti comes to collect her Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards 2022

Sofia Bhatti comes to collect her award - Credit: Ken Mears

Community Champion Sofia Bhatti with mayor Cllr Roy Emmett at the Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards 2022

Community Champion Sofia Bhatti with the mayor - Credit: Ken Mears

Barkingside Arts Club founder Eliyah Quereshi collects her Redbridge Mayor's Community Award 2022 from Cllr Roy Emmett

Barkingside Arts Club founder Eliyah Quereshi collects her award - Credit: Ken Mears

Nasima Rahman and Mayor Cllr Roy Emmett at the Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards 2022

Community award winner Nasima Rahman with Cllr Emmett - Credit: Ken Mears

Home and Garden Circle's Alok Ghosh with Cllr Roy Emmett at the Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards 2022

Home and Garden Circle's Alok Ghosh being presented his award - Credit: Ken Mears

Idris Patel with Cllr Roy Emmett at the Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards 2022

Idris Patel receiving his award from the mayor - Credit: Ken Mears

Iris Vadenburghe with Cllr Roy Emmett at Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards 2022

Iris Vadenburghe with Cllr Emmett, accepting her award - Credit: Ken Mears

Bali Bhalla collects his ward at Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards 2022

Bali Bhalla collects his award - Credit: Ken Mears

Bali Bhalla with Cllr Roy Emmett at Redbridge Mayor's Community Awards 2022

Bali Bhalla being presented his award by the mayor - Credit: Ken Mears

Mayor's Community Award winners:

  • April Mehmet (Walk it Out)  
  • Redbridge for Education (Vicky Taylor and Caroline Killick)
  • SEN Station (Masumah Ramzan, Amani Green, Mohima Kamaly and Selina Sheikh)
  • Naomi Landan from Redbridge Village
  • Sofia Bhatti
  • Barkingside Art Club (Eliyah Quereshi)
  • Nasima Rahman
  • Tin in a Bin (James Patterson, Juliette Harvey, Suzi Harnett and Suzanne Patterson)
  • Transition Town Ilford (Ruth Musgrave, Shilpa Patel, Yanis Cheblal-Belmonte, Suhasini Sundara, Begona Belmonte and Olcay Anika)
  • Sheraz Ahmed
  • Home & Garden Circle (Alok Ghosh and Rashida Karim)
  • Idris Patel
  • 241 Squadron
  • Iris Vadenburghe
  • Treehouse Nursery School
  • Bali Bhalla

Members of Redbridge’s Community Crime Commission:

  • Javed Khan
  • Peter Terry
  • Jenny Ellis
  • Michelle Robson
  • Taiwo Ademola
  • Colin Foster
  • Hassan Siddiqi
  • Claire Patterson
  • Gavin McKenna
  • Rob Harris
  • Amy Tully
  • Joanne Hamill
  • Richard Angell
  • Mark Glazer
  • Irfan Shah