Civic awards for unsung heroes

Published: Tuesday 29th November 11

Unsung heroes who have dedicated years of their lives to helping others have been honoured by the Mayor of Wandsworth at the annual Civic Awards reception.

An award ceremony was held at the civic suite in Wandsworth town hall on Tuesday, November 22, to recognise seven residents who have volunteered their services over a long period of time for the benefit of the wider community.

This year's committed volunteers have helped numerous groups, charities and projects succeed, from raising money for people living with HIV to offering guidance to young people charged with serious criminal offences.Abdul Razak Osman and Nasar Bawany were presented with a Civic Award by Mayor of Wandsworth, Councillor Jane Cooper

Presenting each with Waterford glass in a special presentation case, the borough's mayor, Councillor Jane Cooper, said the event showcased "the full extent of human altruism".

She said: "All those honoured have unselfishly given their time freely for the benefit of others with no expectation of anything in return.

"It has been humbling to see and hear what these people do for their communities. They are an inspiration to the rest of us and I am pleased that their tireless efforts to help others have been recognised.

"I am proud that these people live in Wandsworth as it is people like them that make this borough a good and caring place to live."

Award recipients had been nominated by local residents, businesses, voluntary and community organisations or councillors - but results were not announced until the night of the reception.


The recipients of a 2011 Civic Award were:

Philip Coleman

Philip Coleman gives up his time to act as a police-backed Appropriate Adult - someone who offers support or advice to a young person or vulnerable adult in custody.

Having joined the Army at the age of 18 and served for 22 years, Mr Coleman has spent the past 15 years supporting the police programme. During that time he has offered his help to juveniles arrested for offences as serious as murder and terrorism.

Receiving an estimated six call-outs each week, Mr Coleman has helped in the region of 4,500 young and vulnerable residents over the years.

Patrick Lethaby

Tooting resident Patrick Lethaby was honoured for founding Oasis, a small chain of five charity shops in the borough that raises money for local people living with HIV.

Now 76, he still works in the Battersea branch of the chain he founded 22 years ago two days a week as well as being chair of Oasis and doing a large amount of the preliminary book-keeping work.

Abdul Razak Osman and Nasar Bawany

Abdul Razak Osman and Nasar Bawany were the first to ever receive a joint award at the ceremony.

Volunteers for more than 25 years, the two Gatton School governors are on the management committee of Balham Mosque and are prominent in helping run Tooting Islamic Centre, both of which they have attended for over 25 years. They were responsible for facilitating a police office in the mosque - a groundbreaking move at the time.

Kate Allen

Described as having "an extraordinary amount of energy", Kate Allen was the secretary of the Balham and Tooting Community Association (BATCA) between 2006 and 2010, helping it become one of the most influential community groups in Tooting.

She remains a long-time active parishioner at Holy Trinity Church , in Tooting, and combines this with being chair of the Associate Hospital Managers' Committee for the South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust.

Greg Cruttwell

Greg Cruttwell was celebrated for transforming the Balham Blazers football club from a single under-10s team into 12 teams from ages 8 to 18, a youth team playing at a semi-professional level and an adult team.

His decade-long project also saw the creation of an innovative bursary scheme for boys from less privileged backgrounds, which this year raised £55,000.

Pam Davies

Pam Davies was honoured for a string of voluntary efforts. She has been described as a "chair of outstanding qualities" having chaired the governor boards at St Michael's, in Southfields, and more recently St Faith's, in East Hill and has also been a key co-ordinator of the Triangle Residents Association in Southfields for 16 years.

Learn more about the Wandsworth Civic Awards.


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