Newham heroes rewarded with Olympics tickets

Truly extraordinary individuals won top class Olympics tickets on Thursday at the Inspiring People Awards in Stratford.

Speaking at the Old Town Hall, Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales made a speech celebrating the achievements of 60 inspirational people from around the borough.

The diversity of residents’ efforts meant that volunteers and fundraisers were collecting awards alongside impressive sporting personalities, caring neighbours, and those who had overcome illnesses and adversity to achieve their goals.

Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said: “As an elected official, I sometimes get to speak on behalf of the people of Newham and, on behalf of them, this is our way of saying thank you.

“Just looking at the depth and breadth of people that are here has just knocked my socks off.”

Cllr Hudson then proceeded to read out the names of all those collecting an Inspiring People Award along with a short summary of their achievements.

Nominated by someone in their community, the recipients beamed with their certificates as they posed with Cllr Hudson and the Mayor, before picking a gold envelope out of a box.

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After a group picture, the Inspiring People were told to open their envelopes which contained a card reading “Congratulations!” and a number they matched to a wall chart corresponding to a pair of tickets to an Olympic event.

Most residents were overwhelmed by their prizes - coveted seats to athletics and swimming finals and places at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Gareth Green, who was collecting the award on behalf of his wife Angela Green, co-founder of the Ascension Eagles Cheerleaders in Custom House, said: “She’ll be over the moon with these. We’re lucky to get the Closing Ceremony as that’s the only date we can do - unbelieveable.”

Kim Stevens, who was described as “a vital cog” in running the Vicarage Lane Community Centre in Beckton for 28 years, won tickets to 100m Men’s Final.

She said: “Everyone is saying to me ‘Do you want to swap?’ and I’m saying ‘no!’ I’m really so chuffed.”

Nathan Lewis won tickets to the 1500m Men’s Final for his determination in overcoming unemployment and health problems to secure a job.

On collecting his award, he said: “I don’t really deserve this because you’re all such inspiring people to me.”