Thursday, 8 November 2012

Redbridge's finest citizens await results of inaugural Redbridge Community Awards!

The atmosphere is electric as many of Redbridge's finest citizens are awaiting the results of the inaugral Redbridge Community Awards tomorrow.  We wish them all good luck and hope you will join us in celebrating their success and achievement at our Ilford Town Hall Celebratory presentation and meal tomorrow evening, including live Punjabi Music by Shin Cobra, displays from Redbridge School of Gymnastics and Live music by Electropop band Ooberfuse.

Tickets cost £25 or £15 for concessions and can be booked by calling 020 8514 0861.

Our shortlists for the varied categories are listed below - we believe everyone of them is a winner!

"Community Stalwart" category:

Nominee:                                                                            Nominator:
Bushra Tahir (Awaaz)                                                           Mrs Shamim Mullick                                              
Chris Wyatt (Redbridge Music Lounge)                                Jon Pushkin
Gurpashad Singh Bance (Satkar)                                          Jagdish Trehan

"Best Community Performer" category:

Nominee:                                                                             Nominator:

Mr Kuldeep Singh and Mrs Sukhbinderjeet Kour                   Mike Walton
RSG Display Team                                                                Stephanie Thomas

"Sports for the Community" category:

Nominee:                                                                             Nominator:

Spartans Basketball Club (Paul McKenzie)                            Frances Trought
Redbridge School of Gymnastics                                           Gemma Tully
Tony Charles (Foundation Football)                                       Jeeni Sheehan

"Volunteer of the Year" category:

Nominee                                                                              Nominator:

Mr Chanda Arora (hockey coach)                                         Christina Miller
Mr Chris Wyatt (Redbridge Music Lounge)                           Jon Pushkin
Danny O'Brien  (Anti-knife UK)                                            Robert Walpole
Mrs Jasvinder Panesar (Awaaz)                                             Bushra Tahir
Mrs Kartiki Nayak (Awaaz and others)                                 Bushra Tahir
Robin Das/East London Community Foundation                    Ed Tooth
Ursula Rabbitte (victim support)                                            Sheelagh Jarrett
Miss Cecelia Ngeze (various)                                                Haroon Yousaf
Monica (Redbridge Street Pastors)                                        Rev Barry Cheesman

"Young Volunteer of the Year" category:

Nominee:                                                                             Nominator:

Mr Akshay Mandalia (air Training Corps Cadet)                     Jerry Godden - Manager
Miss Natashai Ragavan (Redbridge Youth Council)                Rakshayani - sister
Mr Vino Mano (Ilford County High School)                           Catherine Hitchcock Teacher

"Lifetime Achievement" category:

Nominee:                                                                              Nominator:

Mrs Kishwar Bhola (Co-founder and Vice Chair Awaaz)        Bushra Tahir
Mr Len Hoffman (Mossford Table Tennis Club)                      John Spero
Mrs Neelam Pahl (Various)                                                     Kaijal Pahl
Mrs Parvin Mahmood (Knife Crime Victims' advocate)           Ann Oakes-Odger (MBE)
Mr rajireddy Makala (Age-Link)                                            Mahesh Kumar Chadalawada
Mr Ram Bhandari (various)                                                    Ross Diamond

Biographies for all Nominees:

Community Stalwart Category
Bushra Tahir – nominated by Shamim Mullick
Bushra Tahir is co-founder of Awaaz which provides services to disadvantaged women in Redbridge.  Bushra offers one-to-one counselling to victims of domestic violence, physical and mental abuse, loneliness and poor mental health.  As a leader of her group she has developed its service provision which now includes ESOL training,, Yoga and fitness classes and nutritional advice.  A tireless campaigner for she has one several major awards including a Team London Award and Queens Award for volunteering in 2011.
Chris Wyatt – nominated by Jon Pushkin
Chris Wyatt is chair and founder of the Redbridge Music Lounge. He has been a musician for many years and set up Redbridge Music Lounge as an opportunity for fellow musicians to come together to play music, improve their skills and have fun. During the Olympics he organised music in Ilford town centre everyday. Redbridge Music Lounge also nurtures talent of all ages.
Gurparshad Singh Bance – nominated by Jagdish Trehan
Gurparshad Singh Bance is a dedicated volunteer who has tirelessly served his community with considerable experience of community leadership. He organizes weekly social meetings, day trips to the seaside, yoga activities, regular health educational talks, monthly social evenings and cultural celebrations for Satkar Elderly Social Group members. He is also a leading figure at the local Gurdwara who makes an invaluable contribution to all their activities.
Best Community Performer Category
Kuldeep Singh and Sukhbinderjeet “Rimpy” Kour – nominated by Mike Walton, Rosie Lucas and Michelle Harris
The nominees are a friendly and sociable married couple who love, play and teach Indian music. They help to broaden the cultural awareness of school children through music. They also perform at charity shows and local events. Through their music people of diverse cultures and backgrounds have been drawn closer together.
Redbridge School of Gymnastics Display Team – nominated by Stephanie Thomas
The nominees are a team of young gymnasts who are hard working, enthusiastic and good young role models. They promote the sport of gymnastics and have represented their club at various London Youth Games.
Sports For The Community Category
Redbridge School of Gymnastics – nominated by Gemma Tully
Their gymnastics coach, Stephanie Thomas, has managed the Redbridge London Youth Games boys and girls gymnastics squads for the past 3 years and arranged extra training for the selected squad. The club have also accommodated gymnasts from other clubs as part of the London Youth Games training and worked with them on an equal status to their own gymnastics, which shows a high standard of sportsmanship and fair play. They have has also been involved in delivering primary school gymnastics and other coaches form the club (Maxine Ewneson) assisted schools to compete in the Redbridge Key Steps Gymnastics competition and also the London Mini School Games. Their display squads have regularly attended events for FREE to not only promote their club but also to champion the sport of Gymnastics

 Spartans Basketball Club – nominated by Frances Trought
This club is an exemplary model of using sports as a vehicle to inspire children. Paul McKenzie is a wonderful coach and mentor. The club inspires leadership, pride and a sense of belonging in its young members. They have had many successes in basketball both within England and in the USA, where several former members have taken up careers in basketball.
Tony Charles (Foundation Football) – nominated by Jeeni Sheehan
Tony Charles is the founder of Foundation Football, which provides football coaching in local schools. Tony Charles rescued the Redbridge Primary School Football League in 2008 when it was about to fold due to lack of funding. Foundation Football improves health, wellbeing and sporting potential for all.
Volunteer Of The Year Category
Miss Cecelia Ngeze (various charities) – nominated by Haroon Yousaf
Miss Ngeze is proud of her borough and attends many Redbridge events both as volunteer and as local resident. Moreover her passion for the local area has seen her getting in amongst local people and encouraging them to volunteer too. Her passion and commitment are second to none and she goes above and beyond the usual call of duty. Most parents at SS Peters and Paul’s School where she attends are aware of her and her participation at the School Bazaar and Summer fete was recognised by organisers.
Mr Chandra Arora (hockey coach) – nominated by Christina Millar
Mr Arora has readily given up his time to promote Hockey in Redbridge. He has always promoted hockey as multi-racial sport that should not discriminate based on race, religion or financial means, and his efforts have greatly reduced the dominance of the two local private schools in local hockey competitions. He has promoted inclusion by lending out his own equipment to schools and families who cannot afford to buy their own. Over the 7 years of volunteering he has given access to hockey to nearly 2000 young athletes. He also encourages 15-18 year old hockey players to get involved in coaching and volunteering.
Mr Chris Wyatt (Redbridge Music Lounge) – nominated by Jon Pushkin
Mr Wyatt is chair and founder of the Redbridge Music Lounge. He has been a musician for many years and after retiring, set up Redbridge Music Lounge as an opportunity for fellow musicians to come together to play music, improve their skills and have fun. During the Olympics he organized music in Ilford town centre everyday. Redbridge Music Lounge also nurtures talent of all ages
Mr Danny O’brien (Anti-Knife UK) – nominated by Jill Saward and Robert Walpole
Mr O’brien has worked tirelessly at his own expense to raise awareness of the amount of knife crime in the UK. He is committed and driven to explore new ways of raising awareness, as well as travelling all over the country to spread his message. He has raised awareness via posters in local shops and online resources to make young people think about how knife crimes could so easily affect them.
Mrs Jasvinder Panesar (Awaaz) – nominated by Bushra Tahir
By her nature Mrs Panesar is a true volunteer to support and help Awaaz. She is always willing to support and help the people in need. She is role model volunteer for the organisation, for her devoted time to volunteering. She is also a very committed and organised fundraiser for Awaaz and always has new ideas to promote the charity. She is a welcome support to Asian women who suffer from loneliness and mental health issues.
Mrs Kartiki Nayak  (Awaaz and others) – nominated by Bushra Tahir
Mrs Nayak is always willing to support and help people in need. She builds up the confidence of those around her, by encouraging them to attend Awaaz group meetings and progress. She is very committed and dedicated in fundraising for Awaaz and has been coming up with different ideas to promote the charity. Her involvement has made a huge impact, not just for this community.
Mrs Monica Abdala / Redbridge Street Pastors – nominated by Rev Barry Cheeseman
The Redbridge Street Pastors programme offers assistance to the late night economy by providing a listening ear, directions, hot drinks, water, answering spiritual questions and signposting to other Redbridge Service providers. They engage with all the local community including business [Group volunteer nomination].

Mr Robin Das / East London Community Foundation – nominated by Ed Tooth and Pauline Tingey
Mr Das’ voluntary work supports the East London Community Foundation’s efforts to support local community groups and sports clubs to thrive and grow. As monitoring support officer he is responsible for the follow up and monitoring of community groups that have received grants and works with them to help them with the process. He also raises awareness of East London Community Foundation.
Mrs Ursula Rabbitte (Victim Support Redbridge) – nominated by Sheelagh Jarrett
Mrs Rabbitte joined Victim Support in 1992 and at the time was the youngest volunteer for Redbridge. She has taken Victim Support training, enabling her to support victims of hate crime and other crimes effectively. She has always extended courtesy and respect to victims and shown genuine warmth and understanding. She has helped to empower victims. She has even supported vulnerable victims by attending hospitals/clinics with them. 
Young Volunteer Of The Year Category
Mr Akshay Mandalia (Air Training Corps Cadet) – nominated by his manager Jerry Godden
In the last 5 years Akshay Mandalia has put his heart and soul into the Air Cadets, and has distinguished himself as the best cadet and Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) on the Squadron, attending a wide range of training courses and rising through the ranks to Flight Sargent. He is self motivated and has consistently shown an ability to carry out high quality work without staff input. He has run recruit courses where he was responsible for the induction and basic training of new recruits from the local community into the Squadron. This is a significant responsibility and one which requires sensitivity and determination. Akshay Mandalia is an exemplary role model and inspiration to the younger cadets on the Squadron.
Miss Natashai Ragavan (Redbridge Youth Council) – nominated by her sister Rakshayani Ragavan
Natashai Ragavan is a dedicated member of the Redbridge Youth Council, working to improve the perception of young people within Redbridge. She was awarded her Sports Leadership Award Level 1 last year, and part of this role involved working with younger children and children with disabilities and encouraging them to participate in sport. She devotes some of her time as an English tutor, teaching basic English to children within our community who have recently moved to the UK and know very little English. She also involves herself in a great deal of charity work, e.g. having worked at Cancer Research Ilford branch for over 6 months and running annually in the Race Of Life marathon. This summer, Natashai was an Olympic Ambassador, helping to assure the success of Olympic-related events within Redbridge. Natashai managed to balance all of this community work with her education, and achieved an outstanding 11 a*s in her GCSE examinations this summer - a result of her hard working, obliging and consistent personality.
Mr Vino Mano (Ilford County High School) – nominated by his teacher Catherine Hitchcock
As an A level Computer Studies student, Vino Mano has led a small group of volunteers who developed a dedicated online trading forum for Oakdale Junior School pupils. “Oakbay” allows children to buy and sell unwanted games, toys, books etc. with 10% of the money raised going to support the Childrens Garden Orphanage in Kenya.. This exciting fundraising project could not have been set up without Vino’s computer skills. He was also one of a group of students who supported numeracy lessons at Ilford Jewish Primary School one afternoon every week during the last academic year. Through these commitments to voluntary work, he has acted as a positive role model for young children in the borough.
Lifetime Achievement Award Category
Mrs Kishwar Bhola (Co-Founder & Vice-Chair, Awaaz) – nominated by Bushra Tahir
Mrs Bhola works as a volunteer to support vulnerable women in the community including many who have suffered domestic violence, physical abuse loneliness and mental health. She is a Co-founder of Awaaz Asian women’s group and also encourages other women to volunteer, providing training support to build their confidence and skills.. 

Mr Len Hoffman (Mossford Table Tennis Club Volunteer) – nominated by John Spero
Mr Hoffman has devoted his entire life to coaching sports especially football and table tennis. He has just celebrated his 88th birthday, and 2012 is his 65th consecutive year in sports coaching. Amongst the hundreds or possibly thousands of youths he has coached at table tennis, many reached international level, such as Chester Barnes, Stuart Gibbs, Skylet Andrew, Grant Solder and Shelley Ruocco. When he was involved with Football, youngsters including Harry Redknapp and Frank Lampard Snr benefitted from his skills. Despite his great age, he rarely misses a training session at Mossford Table Tennis Club, where his is greatly respected by young people of all ages. He organises fun knock out tournaments and games to engage Mossford TTC’s young persons when they are not receiving specific tuition. The games he runs are always well subscribed and the participants thoroughly enjoy them, as evidenced by the shrieks of delight that ring round the hall at vital point gaining moments.
Mrs Neelam Pahl (various charities) – nominated by Kaijal Pahl
Mrs Pahl has dedicated 42 years of her life working in the community. She has dedicated herself to work for the disadvantaged, disabled and the elderly in the local community and those with mental health problems. She fundraises for the numerous charities locally, nationally and abroad including the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. She is a very giving and charitable person who, starting from the age of 15 years, has not only befriended the elderly and the lonely (via school), but went on to work with young people by being on the committee of a youth club in Redbridge in the 1970s. She inspired them to use and showcase their talents at local events that she was organising at the same time, collecting funds for various charities like Oxfam. In Newham she went on to work with the mentally ill on a voluntary basis and supported them at a day centre on a weekly basis. In 1990 she embarked on working for various voluntary organisations on a part time basis, one of these being Redbridge Carers, where she helped to build up the Asian clientele. She is currently employed by Living Well Resource Centre and the Disabled Asian Women’s Network, where she runs a drop-in session and makes outreach visits.
Mrs Parvin Mahmood (Knife Crimes Victims’ Advocate) – nominated by Ann Oakes Oadger
Since the fatal stabbing of her son, Mrs Mahmood has been instrumental to raising awareness to the painful consequences of young people carrying and using weapons. She visits schools, has held an awareness day each year on the anniversary of her son’s death and was a major influence in the erection of the Redbridge Peace Monument in Winston Way, Ilford.
Mr Rajireddy Myakala (Age-Link) – nominated by Mahesh Kumar Chadalawada
Mr Myakala is a volunteer, Philanthropist and fundraiser. He has been running a cultural school in Ilford every Saturday for five years to teach children cultural heritage, and has run and co-ordinated many charity events and activities over many years. He is the fundraising director for Age-Link and helps organise many activities to mitigate the loneliness of older people in Redbridge and across London.
Mr Ram Bhandari (various charities) – nominated by Ross Diamond
Mr Bhandari’s long and distinguished service to Redbridge communities and organisations has stretched over the 20 years since his retirement from his roles as Manufacturing Quality Engineer for a multinational company. He speaks several languages and is very involved in giving the public a voice in the decisions that affect their lives, particularly in the areas of health and social care. He is currently a member of the RedbridgeLINk Management Board and a trustee of Redbridge CVS, Age UK Redbridge and the East London Community Foundation. He is a founding trustee and General Secretary of Redbridge Indian Welfare Association (RIWA). He serves on many other advisory forums and advocates for patients’ interests in the NHS. As well as his many formal voluntary and public sector roles, he often helps elderly members of the community in small direct ways, such as driving them to hospital appointments. He is a passionate advocate for the rights of older people and demonstrates the best values of community cohesion in all that he does.

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