'Impressive, jaw-dropping' Redbridge community heroes recognised at awards
- 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.
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.
Recipients also included SEN Station, the 241 Squadron, Treehouse Nursery School, Transition Town Ilford and Naomi Landan with Redbridge Village.
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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.
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.
This year there were two runners up - Leanne Mohamad and Esha Nadeswaran - and two winners - Areeb Khan and Neo Jain Naha.
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."
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."
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.
Neo is hoping to collect 2,000 Easter eggs by March 25. Donate at https://donorbox.org/easter-egg-appeal-2022
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