Local Heroes Celebrated at Civic Honours Awards

Town Hall ceremony includes special tribute to Charing Cross Hospital campaigners


Save Our Hospitals campaigners celebrate at Civic Honours Awards

Hammersmith & Fulham's local heroes have been celebrated for a second time at the Civic Honours Awards.

This year, the ceremony at Hammersmith Town Hall on 12 June included a special honour for the campaigners from Save Our Hospitals, each of whom received a civic award for outstanding contribution to the life of the borough.

The Save Our Hospital resident volunteers campaigned in all weathers, attended meetings, critiqued documents and let residents know what was planned for Charing Cross Hospital. Their hard work and steadfast opposition was critical to forcing the government climbdown.

"It was lovely to see the pride in everyone who received the Civic Award," said Anne Drinkell, former chair of Save Our Hospitals.

"It was a real honour to be in the same room as the other award winners who do so much for our borough. There is so much good work going on."

There was also a Lifetime Achievement Award for The Brunswick Club for Young People
The club in Haldane Road, Fulham is run by manager Danny Volino. He and his team, pictured above, have provided a safe haven and a wealth of activities for young people for more than 30 years, including affordable holiday schemes and adventure weekends. The club introduces young people from all backgrounds to new experiences, builds their confidence, and helps them learn new skills. Many see it as a second home.

The Hammersmith & Fulham Civic Honours for contributions to civic life, were launched last year to shine a light on the members of our community who have selflessly helped others and contributed to the borough.

This year's other winners were:

Most dedicated volunteer – Emma Faunch
Emma is a volunteer cook at the Barons Court Project. She uses her talents to ensure people who are homeless or who have mental health issues can get nutritious, healthy meals. Her meals have been described as a lifeline.

Contributions to art, culture or heritage – Melanie Whitlock
Melanie has been one of the driving forces of the Hammersmith Society for more than 30 years, serving long periods as both chair and vice-chair. She has devoted much of her time to representing the community in the society’s efforts to protect and enhance the urban environment in Hammersmith.

Sporting achievements – Fatima Lahmouddi
Fatima has trained in taekwondo since she was six years old and, 17 years later, she has recently been selected to represent the London region at national and international level. She is a role model to other Muslim women and girls and encourages all women to participate in sport, whatever their background.

Acts of compassion – Sebastian Jackson
Sebastian runs two hostels in H&F and provides highly skilled, individual-centred support to residents, many of whom have complex needs. His empathy and positive energy rub off on them, helping them support some of the most vulnerable people in our community with resilience and hope.

Improving our environment – Wendell Park Gardening Friends
Wendell Park Gardening Friends has been led by Caroline MacMillan from a seed of an idea discussed among neighbours on social network Nextdoor, into a full-grown community organisation. The plans started with improving one border, but they are gradually transforming the whole park into a beautiful community space.

Community organiser – Julie Cavanagh
Julie is manager of SEAPIA (Sands End Associated Projects in Action). She has shown endless dedication in building SEAPIA into a successful service, providing after-school clubs and holiday programmes for local children, many from disadvantaged backgrounds. She has also led campaigns on crowdfunding website H&F Hive to raise more than £56,000 for a community kitchen, and a ‘social shack’ for children and young people.

Bringing people together – Andy Sharpe
Andy is CEO of the Urban Partnership Group. He has grown the organisation through the past three decades from setting up one tenants’ association in a small office, to the current partnership which now has five community centres across Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush, running a variety of activities and support, including youth clubs, adult learning, an Elders’ Project, and the Community Champions to name but a few. They make a huge difference to the health and wellbeing of old and young alike.

Contributions to health and wellbeing – Joint winners: Tina Mayers and Soup4Lunch Tina Mayers is CEO of the Shepherds Bush Families Project, which supports families who are homeless or have housing problems and can be a lifeline for those in need. It provides advice and advocacy, family therapy, counselling, pre-school and after-school activities, laundry facilities, clothing, and parenting programmes.

Soup4Lunch brings people living in social housing together to make a simple lunch of soup and dessert, and eat it with each other. The concept to tackle loneliness may be simple but the results have changed lives.

"We’re fortunate to have people who set aside their time, give their energy, and a little bit of themselves to getting things done for others – making our borough stronger, better and kinder," said Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.

"The Civic Honours awards night is a moment for us all to recognise the dedicated people who organise our foodbanks, run residents’ associations, deal with community issues, or who have run campaigns to protect valuable community assets, such as our amazing Charing Cross Hospital."

You can see many more pictures from the night on the council's Flickr photo gallery.

June 21, 2019