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Islington's unsung heroes are celebrated at Civic Awards

Winners of 2017 Islington Civic Awards, and the 2017 Ben Kinsella Award.  Front row (L-R) Alex Silcott, John White, Penny Seal, Anne-Marie Garbutt, Sarah Adegboyega, Sasha Mears, Roger D'Elia.  (Back row L-R) Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council; the Mayor of Islington Kat Fletcher; and Ramzy Alwakeel, editor of the Islington Gazette

Winners of 2017 Islington Civic Awards, and the 2017 Ben Kinsella Award. Front row (L-R) Alex Silcott, John White, Penny Seal, Anne-Marie Garbutt, Sarah Adegboyega, Sasha Mears, Roger D'Elia. (Back row L-R) Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council; the Mayor of Islington Kat Fletcher; and Ramzy Alwakeel, editor of the Islington Gazette

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Unsung heroes including an inspiring young cadet, tireless volunteers and community champions have been given a huge thanks for their hard work at Islington's 2017 Civic Awards .

Residents from all walks of life joined community representatives and councillors at Islington Assembly Hall last night (16 March) for a celebration of the people who help to make Islington a better place.

The winner of the Ben Kinsella Award 2017 was Sarah Adegboyega, a Senior Cadet with the City of London Academy's Combined Cadet Force, who has led by example and played a huge part in helping other cadets to progress.  The Ben Kinsella Award is given in memory of Ben Kinsella, who was murdered in 2008, and was presented by his family and the Mayor of Islington Cllr Kat Fletcher.

The Mayor of Islington presented Civic Awards to:

Roger D'Elia - chair of the Westbourne Estate Tenants and Residents' Association.  Roger has played a key role in helping to establish a strong and committed TRA and bringing about local improvements including an upgraded football pitch and a new IT suite.

Jordan Frieda - a long-standing supporter of the Friendship Network, which brings friendship and support to older people in Islington. Through the "Dine and Donate" scheme, his restaurant Trullo has raised much-needed money for the network.  He also volunteers, visits clients and has cooked for them at parties.

Anne Marie Garbutt - a tireless volunteer for Islington Heritage Service since 2011, who has played a key part in bringing Islington's history and heritage to members of the public.  She also helps look after the welfare of vulnerable neighbours in her local community.

Alexandra Mary Mears (known as Sasha) - a long-standing supporter of the Angel Canal Festival.  Sasha Mears has been involved with the festival for more than 17 years and until recently was Joint Co-ordinator.  She has played a key role in helping to raise donations and grants.

Penny Seal - an Islington resident and prolific volunteer, who first started volunteering in the 1960s and 1970s.  She has sat on the boards of many charitable organisations, and continues to come up with ideas to improve lives of local residents.

Alex Silcott - Leader of the Drum Corps which has played a central part in the annual Islington Remembrance Day Parade for more than 10 years.  The marching and discipline of the Corps is highly praised by the public each year.

John White - a selfless resident who has given time and knowledge to improve the community spirit on the New Orleans Estate through gardening. He has helped establish the award-winning food and gardening club, and maintains green areas on the estate.

The Mayor of Islington, Cllr Kat Fletcher, said: “All over Islington, unsung heroes make a huge difference to the lives of others and to their communities, day in and day out.  

"It's an honour to meet these community champions and give recognition of the massive part they play.  The Ben Kinsella Trust is my Mayor’s charity for the year, and it was a special privilege to present the Ben Kinsella Award to Sarah Adgeboyega.”

Ramzy Alwakeel, editor of the Islington Gazette, which sponsors the awards, said: “There are so many people in Islington who make a major, positive difference to life for everyone. Choosing the winners was a tricky but genuinely enjoyable task and I’m very grateful to the Mayor’s office for inviting me to help do it. It’s humbling, and a big honour, to be involved with these awards.”

For more information contact:

Chris Roe
Media Manager
020 7527 8751
Chris.Roe@islington.gov.uk