East London business volunteers recognised at awards ceremony

East London’s best business volunteers, from a chef promoting healthy cooking to a social business selling honey, were recognised at an awards ceremony on Wednesday.

The East London Business Alliance (ELBA) handed out awards to volunteers from Canary Wharf and City companies at the Centre of the Cell building in Newark Street, Whitechapel.

Guests were entertained during the Bollywood-themed evening by top Indian dance choreographer Honey Kalaria and her dancers.

ELBA is a charity supported by 122 member companies which works to get businesses involved in the regeneration of east London.

It places 10,000 business volunteers a year into the community.

Winners included Paul Farmer, a head chef working for Harbour and Jones caterers at legal firm Cameron McKenna.

He picked up the best individual volunteer award for his work in promoting healthy cooking and eating in Tower Hamlets.

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Hackney’s The Golden Company, a social enterprise which works with young people selling honey-related products, won the Peter Welton Memorial Award.

The award was created to remember ELBA’s former Legacy 2020 director who died this year aged 47.

Barclays’ Global Sourcing team won both the partnership award and most oustanding overall volunteers award for their work with Sir George Monoux sixth-form college in Chingford Road, Waltham Forest.

ELBA’s chief executive Liam Kane said: “Despite the recession and ensuing challenges, ELBA members have all increased their commitment to the east London community.

“Volunteer numbers are up by 25% and we fully expect the trend to continue into 2011 so our awards will be hotly contested again this year.”