Harrow celebrated the achievements of its volunteers and valuable members of the community at the annual Harrow’s Heroes awards last night in front of hundreds of attendees.
Harrow’s Heroes Awards returned for the first time since the start of the pandemic at the Kadwa Patidar Centre, Kenmore Avenue, in front of esteemed guests including Council leaders and the Mayor of Harrow, Cllr Janet Mote.
Each year the awards recognise local residents who go the extra mile to make Harrow a better place to live and make a real, positive difference in the community. The event is the biggest night of the year for Harrow Council who organise the show along with support from local sponsors which included Karak Lounge and Heriots Cakes for 2022.
A total of ten awards were presented at the ceremony hosted by Terence Frisch, actor and Harrow resident for over 30 years, known for his roles in the films Last Night in Soho (2021) and Hugo (2011).
Cllr Jean Lammiman, Cabinet Member for Community and Culture opened the ceremony with a message saying: “I am delighted to welcome you to this year’s Harrow’s Heroes awards. This is the first time since the pandemic that we are holding our annual community awards and it is also my first Harrow’s Heroes as the new Cabinet Member for Community and Culture. Firstly, congratulations on being shortlisted as a finalist for this year’s awards. This evening is about you – our local heroes – and I am really looking forward to joining you all and celebrating the amazing things you do to make Harrow a special place to live and work. Judging this year’s awards was not an easy task.
“We went through hundreds of nominations which were incredibly inspiring and moving. Your contributions not only put our residents and communities first – but they have helped change lives, improve local communities and make life that little bit better for our residents. So tonight on behalf of Harrow Council, guests and sponsors, thank you for all that you do – I hope you enjoy this evening’s celebrations.”
The Mayor of Harrow, Cllr Janet Mote followed with a tribute to all the nominees and honoured Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II by inviting guests to take part in a minute’s silence.
“In my eyes, you are all winners for the amazing work you all do and I am so proud of all of you who have been nominated. You are so special, loved and valued”, she said.
“Before we continue with the evening, myself and Deputy Lieutenant, Simon Ovens, wanted to take a moment to reflect on Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts and condolences are with the Royal Family. Our late Queen was an advocate and supporter of volunteering throughout her life, and during her visits to Harrow, she has met communities and volunteers like yourselves who do amazing things. I trust our new King will continue to recognise the unsung heroes who work behind the scenes to make a difference to the lives of others. So, I now invite you to stand and take part in a minute’s silence to remember the incredible life and reign of our late monarch.”
Winners on the night included:
Supporting Vulnerable People
Winner: Jackie O’Hanlon – Nominated for her efforts and outstanding work spanning more than 20 years working and supporting special needs children.
Winner: Tanya Dennis – Nominated for her dedication to help vulnerable women and children, helping to change many lives by offering support and distributing essential food and equipment.
Winners: Voluntary Action Harrow – Nominated for their ongoing dedication and support for local communities and volunteer groups across the borough in a unique empathic way.
Health and Wellbeing Award
Winner: Aurora Da Silva – Nominated for her leadership of Need to Talk which has been at the forefront of supporting mental health of people affected by the pandemic.
Bringing People Together Award
Winner: David Phelops – Nominated for his contribution to the people of Harrow and the wider community through More Than Just a Choir which brings together and benefits those affected by mental illness.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Gerry Devine – Nominated for making a difference to the lives of many Harrow residents for more than 35 years – this includes providing accessible, safe and affordable transport to those with mobility issues and supporting housebound residents.
Clean, Safe, and Green Communities Award
Winner: Lee O’Brien – Nominated for making the community in Pinner feel safe – speaking to residents, listening to their concerns, updating on local crimes, and giving advice on staying safe.
Winner: Simon Braidman – Nominated for his commitment to make Harrow a better place for residents and nature – a passionate teacher and campaigner who gives up his time to help educate people and improve the environment across Harrow.
Extraordinary Achievement Award
Winner: David Steele – Nominated for volunteering for the home library service helping to deliver books to those who cannot get to their local library due to age, disability or illness.
Inspiring Young People
Winners: Harrow and Wembley Sea Cadets – Nominated for offering life-changing skills and opportunities to young people. Their dedication and commitment inspire young people learn new skills and go places they thought were not possible.
Outstanding Young Person
Winner: Ariana Abawe – Nominated for using her magazine for Aghan people through which she has helped thousands of people less fortunate and inspired many young Harrow women including Afghan women reach their full potential.
Volunteer of the Year Award
Winner: Gerry Devine – Nominated by the judges for incredible volunteering work over thirty five years.