Winners crowned at virtual East London community heroes awards

Trophies for the East London community heroes awards winners. Picture: Rotary Club of Stratford

Trophies for the East London community heroes awards winners. Picture: Rotary Club of Stratford - Credit: Rotary Club of Stratford

The work of those who have tried to change things for the better in their communities has been highlighted at the East London community heroes awards.

Organised by the Rotary Club of Stratford, the awards were set up to recognise the hard work put in by community organisations and people living, working and volunteering in the area over the past year.

Finalists were invited to attend a virtual ceremony where guests including the mayors of Tower Hamlets and Barking and Dagenham, John Biggs and Peter Chand, and East Ham MP Stephen Timms were among those announcing the winners.

Abosede Agbesanwa, president of the Rotary Club of Stratford, said: “Our society has changed dramatically within the past few months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The work that the volunteer sector is doing is all the more important and so is the need to recognise it.”

Winners included Good Hotel London, a floating hotel based in the Royal Docks which won the business community partnership award, while the Thames Ward Community Project in Barking won the improving access to services category.

Alternatives Trust East London was crowned champion in the response to Covid-19 category, while Forest Gate Community Garden scooped the environmental sustainability award.

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The community cohesion award was won by Walthamstow-based PL84U Al-Suffa, with Newham All Star Sports Academy winning the health and wellbeing category.

Community hero of the year was Emdad Rahman, who is part of the East End Covid Network, and the young community hero of the year was Shanea Oldham, of Your Life More Life.

Lola’s Homeless was named community group of the year.

The awards, which took place on Monday, September 28, were organised by Himanshu Jain, the club’s former president.

He said he hoped the ceremony would leave those attendng with “a stronger resolve to do good,” adding: “We have all persisted in supporting our communities throught the pandemic and that in itself is commendable.

“One of the hidden benefits is that we are able to meet and more importantly partner with so many organisations to do good in our communities.”

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