Wandsworth Civic Awards 2023
The Wandsworth Civic Awards shine a spotlight on the borough's unsung heroes.
Award winners may have helped out a neighbour in need, coached a local sports team, given up their free time to volunteer, organised a community event, or carried out an exceptional act of bravery.
This year we also presented the following special awards:
- Borough of Sanctuary - this award recognises individuals or organisations who have gone above and beyond to make Wandsworth a warm and welcoming environment for refugees and asylum seekers.
- Innovative, inspirational mental health initiatives - this award recognises organisations who have championed/ pioneered/ delivered innovative, inspirational and successful mental health and wellbeing interventions for those experiencing mental health difficulties at any age and initiatives to prevent mental illness
Congratulations to all our 2023 award winners.
- Vicky Piggot
- Volunteers of the Doddington Roof Garden
- Teresa Harris
- Nasiya Vorajee
- Maisha Sumah - winner of the Innovative, inspirational mental health initiatives award
- Katherine Low Settlement
- Ian Tattum
- Grace Salmon
- Darren McCoy and JCT
- Carey Sedgwick and Seema Khan - Care4Calais - winners of the Borough of Sanctuary award
Vicky is a well-known member of the Roehampton community, first as a community health visitor for more than 20 years and then, after retirement, as a volunteer helping local people.
In March 2021 Vicky set up the Roehampton Women’s Network, later renamed SW15 Women’s Network, which supports women to achieve their full potential in business, employment, learning and community life.
She has worked tirelessly with the Council and other organisations to campaign around Violence Against Women and Girls, including running the annual torch parade on the Alton Estate to mark White Ribbon Day and helping to set up the One Stop Shop in Roehampton for women seeking support for domestic violence.
Vicky leads on Roehampton’s annual International Women’s Day celebration. Local women cook their national food and sing, read and perform for an audience of more than 100 people.
She loves gardening and Vicky and a team of volunteers planted up the historic drinking fountain in Medfield Street, Roehampton, which they tend and water on a weekly basis. Vicky also installed and planted up planters outside Roehampton Library
Vicky supports and inspires so many people and Roehampton residents describe her as caring, kind, inspirational, helpful, amazing and selfless.
The Doddington Roof Garden is a haven for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Over the last two years a new committee of volunteers have taken the roof garden to the next level and created a space for all to feel welcomed.
The roof garden now hosts a range of programmes and events such as school summer holiday programmes, workshops with a horticulture therapist and visits from Chesterton Primary School as part of their Forest School programme.
In May the Doddington Roof Garden inspired a gold medal winning garden at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show. Hundreds of plants, together with a pergola, pizza oven, outdoor bookcase, storage cabinets and even hard landscaping has since been transported from the Chelsea Garden to the rooftop garden for residents to enjoy.
In May and September this year, the garden was visited by US Ambassador to the UK, Jane Hartley, as a great example of a community initiative bringing people together
The garden has built great links with community partners on Doddington and Rollo Estate through working with STORM, Cromwell House Community Hub and Doddington and Rollo Community Association.
The Doddington Roof Garden has had an amazing year, has inspired so many and has shone a bright light on the Doddington and Rollo Estates.
Teresa started Learn to Love to Read in 2014 to help the 25 per cent of children who leave primary school not able to read at the level the government expects of them.
Her vision was and still is to make every Wandsworth child a reader, no matter their background.
Starting with just a handful of volunteers in one Wandsworth primary school, Learn to Love to Read became a registered charity in 2017. Today, as founder and trustee, Teresa has grown the charity to 60 volunteers working in eight Wandsworth primary schools with six part-time members of staff.
During the past nine years, Teresa has volunteered her time tirelessly to realise her goal of providing high-quality support through an organisation that is embedded in the local community, serves the whole family, provides continuity of support and targets the greatest need.
She also constantly works to expand the reach of the charity within the borough, developing partnerships with other local charities like Home-Start Wandsworth and CARAS, as well as with new partner schools.
Fostering a love of reading for children who find it difficult underpins everything Teresa does as she understands the impact poor literacy levels will have on their lives.
Teresa leads Learn to Love to Read with warmth, kindness, and compassion, demonstrated in the relationships she builds with staff, volunteers, beneficiaries, supporters and funders - the majority of whom are Wandsworth residents. She has an enormously positive impact on people’s lives in Wandsworth.
Nasiya Vorajee is a health and wellbeing councillor and runs the local Foodbank at Battersea Mosque.
She has given countless hours of hard work to make sure the Foodbank runs smoothly and that no one ever leaves empty handed.
She also uses her skills in health and wellness to run classes for women every Thursday, including Pilates, exercise and a wellness talk. Nasiya has sourced funding for the exercise equipment for the classes and ensures that anyone who wants to join has the opportunity to be included.
The women’s health and wellness Thursday classes are an opportunity for women, especially mothers, to feel connected. Nasiya also goes out of her way to support and provide guidance for women who are facing difficult situations with their families and homelife.
Nasiya has also arranged a huge health and wellbeing event for women at Caius house which was a huge success.
She puts her heart and soul in everything she does and is a beacon of hope for the vulnerable and disadvantaged in the community of Wandsworth.
Winner of the Innovative, inspirational mental health initiatives award
Maisha has overcome adversity in her life, including domestic abuse, and now spends her time helping and empowering others.
A member of the local Violence Against Women and Girls Forum, Maisha is an award-winning mental health advocate, delivering talks and taking part in events in the Houses of Parliament and City Hall to create the change she and survivors want to see.
She is a mental health first aider and a youth mentor, as well as volunteering at the Tooting Foodbank, where she speaks to people about their mental health.
She organises events and workshops to help people with their professional development, mental health awareness and leadership skills, has raised funds for women’s shelters and has been a tireless advocate for safe places where women and young people can feel comfortable and secure.
One of her many nominees said: “She showed care to those who felt depressed and hopeless and inspired them and lifted them up. Wandsworth wouldn’t be Wandsworth without Mamatha - everyone knows her for her smile, passion and dedication She’s truly remarkable.”
Since 1999 the Katherine Low Settlement in Battersea has welcomed thousands of refugees to Wandsworth.
It runs free English classes for adults and children, many of them on low incomes, to build their confidence, help them integrate into British society and to bring together the local community.
The KLS Love to Learn staff and volunteers support 350 children and young people each year from a refugee background, including unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.
As well as teaching them English they provide advice and advocacy support, study skills, homework mentoring, after school clubs, an extensive summer holiday programme, parent workshops and supported referrals to enable them to get help from other agencies.
KLS also helped set up Wandsworth Welcome Refugees and the Wandsworth Refugee Partnership and is working with the council to help Wandsworth become a borough of Sanctuary.
As KLS prepares to celebrate its 100th birthday next year, this award honours the 36 staff and 155 volunteers who make a huge contribution to the lives of refugees settling in to the borough and to the civic life of Wandsworth as a whole.
Ian Tattum has been the Vicar at St Barnabas Church in Southfields since 2006.
In that time he has made a huge difference, with his work extending far beyond the usual duties of a parish priest. He has turned St Barnabas into a hub for the whole community and locals say the church is ‘always buzzing’.
Ian is also active in other areas of Southfields life. He was chair of the Southfields Grid Residents Association between 2012 and 2017, helping to instigate the annual Front Gardens Award.
He is also keen to improve the natural environment and actively supports the Green the Grid organisation. And he is a supporter of the arts, hosting many musical concerts.
Ian also does all he can to support local people in need. St Barnabas participates in the Glass Door initiative for the homeless, and Ian is an active part of the volunteer team cooking and serving hot meals through the winter. He was also crucial during COVID-19, bringing the community together and providing a food bank and mental health support.
He has also served as school Governor at Riversdale School since 2014, and as chair since 2018 and shares his love of nature with inspiring assemblies and bug spotting sessions.
Council leader Simon Hogg thanks Ian for generously sharing his time and community contacts as joint chair of the Cost of Living Commission, and said he values his good common sense and sense of humour.
Grace runs the charity Positive Network in Balham and works tirelessly for the local elderly Caribbean community. She has created a safe place for a group of elderly women in their 80s and 90s, nearly all ex-nurses.
She runs a food bank, arranges day trips and events like bingo and film screenings, and helps them with their paperwork and bills.
Grace does incredible things and deserves to have her work recognised.
JCT, which stands for Just Come Together, works to keep young people out of the criminal justice system as well as providing other support including food deliveries to families.
Together with his fellow directors Jonathon Mason and Errol Harrison and a team of JCT volunteers, Daren has established a well-deserved positive reputation in Battersea.
He and the team are well-known and their presence on the streets in the Winstanley and York Road estates has helped young people and the community as a whole feel safe and well-supported.
JCT offer an informal mentoring and peer support service for young men on the estates, and intervention by Daren and the team has helped create a better future for many young people, increase the social cohesion of the community, and probably also saved lives.
Thank you to Daren and everyone at JCT for the work they do.
Winners of the Borough of Sanctuary Award
Carey Sedgwick and Seema Khan from Care4Calais provide essential support for refugees and asylum seekers.
They understand what is needed to improve the quality of life of people seeking sanctuary, and work to build their confidence in belonging to their new community.
Seema Khan works as Area Lead for Care4Calais whilst Carey Sedgwick has a strong focus in the west of the borough.
Carey goes above and beyond. She is active in setting up activities including yoga, English lessons and regular informal English chat sessions, she organises work experience opportunities and signposts other support and activities available in the community.
Seema tirelessly researches and places asylum seekers in hotels with the best facilities within tight timeframes. On top of this huge task, she also finds spaces where activities can be held and sources clothes, toiletries, and other necessities.
Both Seema and Carey offer friendship, encouragement, and assistance to asylum seekers. They are passionate and dedicated to their community.
15 runners up received Mayor’s pin badges and will have their name added to the borough’s Roll of Honour:
- Angelo Rantac
- Meg Fry
- Deepika Makwana
- The team of: Miriam Hilary, Kleio Kousi & Maria Fearon
- Tatiana Dobreva
- Michael Mapp
- Carey Sedgwick
- John Newbigin
- Andrew Michaelides
- Jacynth Bennett
- Lisa Quarry
- Tara Scully
- Chloe Huttner
- Jared Brading
- Janneke Diemel
See previous winners of the Wandsworth Civic Awards: