A lollipop lady of 48 years and a couple who campaign for restorative justice after forgiving their sons killers were among Sutton's outstanding citizens honoured at an awards ceremony.
Last night's Sutton Council Community Awards recognised the unsung heroes who have had a positive and lasting impact upon Sutton.
This year’s ceremony, held at the Sutton Life Centre gave out five awards in the following categories:
• Given outstanding service to the borough by keeping Sutton safe
• Made a difference to people’s lives by going the extra mile
• Brought the community together through community events, clubs or projects
• Increased prosperity, employment or access to the borough through business initiatives
• Brought credit to the borough through outstanding achievement
Borough Commander Guy Ferguson with Florence Adams
Florence Adams, 86, received the Given Outstanding Service to the Borough by Keeping Sutton Safe award to honour her 48 years as a school crossing patrol officer.
She said: ‘I’m proud and very pleased to receive this award. I love doing my job. For me the children are my first priority - I love them all. I love seeing them grow up and I will keep doing this job for as long as I can.’
Ray and Vi Donovan picked up the Made a difference to people’s lives by going the extra mile award. The couple whose son Chris was murdered in 2001 campaign about restorative justice – at prisons, youth centres and schools – to empower victims and rehabilitate offenders.
Mr Donovan said: ‘It’s the young people and the people in prison whose lives have been changed that should win this award. We have seen so many lives changed. All we do is tell them our story.’ Mrs Donovan said: ‘We’re over the moon to win this award. We never imagined we could make such a difference. I really love Sutton. I love living here. Thank you for supporting us, it really means a lot.’
Ruth Dombey with Ray and Vi Donovan
Gwen Turner was recognised for her efforts to provide social outlets for senior citizens on the Benhill Estate by running an over 55s social club.
Along with Paul and Pauline Nathan, Gwen received the Brought the community together through community events, clubs or projects award.
Paul and Pauline were commended for the work they do for Benhill Residents’ Association organising events and bring the community together.
Gwen Turner said: ‘Thank you for this most unexpected award. We do this for the older people around the borough and this is a lovely surprise.’
Susanna Bennett, chief executive of SCVS, with Paul and Pauline Nathan, and Gwen Turner
Mr Nathan said: ‘We have many other committee members who also deserve this award. Thank you. We do what we do because we want to bring people together. Thank you also to the organisations who work with us, including the Salvation Army and Sutton Housing Partnership.’
Run by Monica Tyler, The Vine Project received the Increased prosperity, employment or access to the borough through business initiatives award.
The social enterprise finds new homes for unwanted furniture and appliances. It also supports local communities and families in need and provides training and employment opportunities for local people to help them get back into work.
Monica Tyler with Matt Watts
Mrs Tyler said: ‘This award it fabulous. It’s a real achievement for everyone at The Vine Project. We have trained around 400 people who were unemployed or have learning difficulties. This award is for them. It’s a real pleasure to live in Sutton. I moved here and I love it so much.’
The award was given to Mrs Tyler by Sutton Guardian assistant editor Matt Watts.
The Sutton Guardian, supports and was involved in the judging of the awards.
The winner in the final category, Brought credit to the borough through outstanding achievement, was the Gary Mason Drummers.
The charity responded to the Mayor of Sutton’s request to represent the borough at the annual New Year’s Day Parade.
Gary Mason Drummers with the Mayor off Sutton
They battled through the wind and rain and received a special award of £2000 which is being donated to the Mayor’s charity.
Christine Lindsay, chairwoman of The Gary Mason Drummers, said: ‘Gary Mason died just over three years ago and everything we do is for him. Going on the float to London was great and getting the award of £2k for the Mayor’s charity was a fantastic achievement. Please come and try drumming with us – it’s great fun and very therapeutic.
‘Receiving this award is fabulous and unexpected. We really enjoy what we do a lot and its all for Gary, and this award is for Gary – he loved Sutton.’
Full List of Winners
Given outstanding service to the borough by keeping Sutton safe
Winner • Florence Adams
Runner-up • Kim Sales – key worker at a women’s refuge supporting abused women • Heather Shaw – one of the founders of the Sutton Police and Community Forum which she has served for 28 years. She was chair for 20 years.
Made a difference to people’s lives by going the extra mile Winner
• Ray and Vi Donovan
Runners-up • Kay Hessey – has volunteered at VCS for 21 years. Engaged in more than two volunteering opportunities a week – befriending those most in need in the community.
• Les Wileman – A very caring man, leads a carol service in a nursing home, visits people every week and befriends them.
Highly Commended • Gwen Barker (Volunteering with Home Start since 2002 • Maggie Zolobajlluk – Volunteers with CAB and supports the volunteers to make sure they are valued and supported • Georgina Barbary – Volunteered with SCILL for over 10 years.
• Lyn Axon – an instructor at the Diamond Centre for almost 20 years.
Brought the community together through community events, clubs or projects
Winners • Benhill Estate: Gwen Turner and Paul and Pauline Nathan
Runners-up • Frances Drake – For 13 years Frances has headed up a team of local people to organise a Christmas lunch for over 100 people who would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day.
• St Helier Festival – Organised by a group of volunteers. A great community event that has become very popular in the borough. It has grown year on year and is very successful.
Increased prosperity, employment or access to the borough through business initiatives
Winner • The Vine Project
Runner- up • Amanda Edge – Chair of Social Enterprise Network. Keeps the programme running and helps social enterprises have a voice within the borough.
• Tracy Fitzmaurice – Chair of Worcester Park Traders’ Association. Tracy runs the cycle power shop in North Cheam and is a mum of three. She gives up her time to run the traders’ association holding regular meetings and organising events in the local community, she has helped to improve the trading environment for Worcester Park.
Brought credit to the borough through outstanding achievement – e.g. academic, artistic, sporting or cultural.
Winner • Gary Mason Drummers - The Gary Mason Rhythmical Empowerment charitable Foundation
Runners-up • Dick Bower – Dick has been organising community events in the borough for over 15 years, including events for the Millennium, Olympics and town-twinning and is currently helping with an event to commemorate WWI.
• Dawn Harvey – Dawn has opened her house and garden to any family within the borough who has a child with special needs. With help from friends, family and donations she has installed an outdoor swimming pool which has been updated over the years to provide hydrotherapy for children.
- Fate of Sutton theatres set to become clear as administrators set deadline for buyers
- Hospital death of childcare worker 'not a result of medical negligence'
- As it happened: GCSE results day in Croydon and Sutton
- London’s burning: Free events to mark 350 years since the Great Fire of London
- Missing teenager found safe and well - after just 19 minutes