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Local unsung heroes honoured at Community Heroes Awards

17 May 2024

Last night, Thursday 16 May, members from across our community were celebrated at Richmond upon Thames’ annual Community Heroes Awards.

Over 150 inspiring local heroes were nominated across ten categories. 

The Community Heroes Awards aim to highlight and honour those working and living in Richmond upon Thames who go above and beyond to make their community a better place to live, work and learn.

The winners: 

  • Business Contribution in the Community - The Coach & Horses Pub, Barnes for their continuous support to various community initiatives, charities and residents in their local area. This support includes hosting the much-beloved Christmas Day Dinner for elderly and vulnerable residents and the Turkey Run fundraiser for Barnes Community Association, which has provided great comfort and a boost in wellbeing to the community.
  • Communities Together - Learn English at Home (LEAH) Volunteers for the dedicated work of volunteer tutors to offer free, tailored English language support to asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants to our borough. This vital work helps in improving and facilitating opportunities for individuals and families to access local education, support and community.
  • Community Group of the Year - Albanian Heritage Club (Gjurmë Iliriane) for their work to create an entirely volunteer-run community hub that has brought together hundreds of local residents from our Albanian and Kosovo communities and beyond. The club provides a safe, fun space for children to learn and explore the language, dance, history and heritage of Albania, celebrating inclusion, ethnic belonging and diversity for future generations.
  • Community Project of the Year - The Hampton Hygiene Bank for the efforts of volunteers in Hampton and St Margarets to go above and beyond in ensuring everyone should have the dignity of hygiene by pulling together and distributing hundreds of gift bags of essential toiletries for people in our community who need it most.
  • Environmental Award - Kew EcoFair for the work of three volunteer members of the congregation at St Luke’s Church, Kew, to put on Kew EcoFair as part of the St Luke’s EcoChurch initiative. EcoChurch is a national programme to encourage churches to cut their carbon footprint and raise awareness of the need to care for the planet. Through the Fair, they galvanised hundreds of locals in learning more about the benefits of sustainable living and making it easy to know how to get involved in climate activity in our borough.
  • Helping Hands - Noorzera Sheikh for giving of her time, resource and skills to bake delicious cakes for a variety of regular activities and events in the community, many hosted by The Mulberry Centre where she has been a client, to help foster a sense of enjoyment, fun and comfort for those whose lives have been affected by cancer.
  • Lifetime Achievement - Veronica Schroter for her remarkable dedication to voluntary work in the borough spanning over 50 years. Her immeasurable contribution, strategic influence and diligent leadership to a wide variety of organisations and environmental causes has helped to improve residents’ quality of life. Her work is across many organisations including Age UK Richmond, FiSH Neighbourhood Care, Home-Start Richmond and the Leg O’Mutton Nature Reserve.
  • Outstanding Volunteer - Lt Cdr Martyn Mayger for his full-time voluntary service, alongside his career in the Royal Navy, investing his personal time, energy and passion into local young people through his leadership of the Twickenham Sea Cadet volunteer unit. His exemplary effort has taken the unit from one of the lowest points in its 90+ year history to being named best in the UK.
  • Trustee of the Year - Jenny Harris for her work as a Trustee and co-founder of space2grieve, a local charity set up to offer free, confidential bereavement support to members of our community dealing with grief. This charity is helping to create a system of deeply personalised support that has made a profound impact on the mental health and wellbeing of residents navigating loss.
  • Young Person Achievement - Jessica Stone for her dedication to helping other young people in the arts shine through performing, particularly through her instrumental work in the creation of SoundCheck, a band night and youth enterprise programme that provides a platform for local young people to showcase their musical talents and earn money from playing

View our virtual event programme to meet all our shortlisted nominees, who each made immense contribution to the wellbeing of our borough in 2023.

Cllr Nancy Baldwin, Richmond Council’s Spokesperson for Communities, Equalities & the Voluntary Sector said: 

“Reading through this year’s nominations, I have felt extremely privileged to live in a place where so many people, businesses, organisations and groups work tirelessly and selflessly to give back to their communities, often under the radar, with no expectation of thanks or recognition.

“Whether they are looking after those who are more vulnerable or isolated, creating safer, healthier and more inclusive communities for their neighbours or taking care to enrich our environment and people’s lives—we want to say a huge “thank you” to each of you for all that you do.”

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Up to: May 2024

Updated: 20 May 2024

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