Sutton Life Centre welcomes new citizens 18.01.11
Twenty four members of the local community have been awarded British citizenship in a ceremony at the Sutton Life Centre.
The Life Centre, which serves as a community hub as well as teaching children about responsible and active citizenship, hosted the event which was overseen by Cllr Sean Brennan, the Leader of Sutton Council.
Cllr Brennan said: "I'd like to congratulate all of Sutton's new British citizens. Gaining citizenship is so much more than a bureaucratic process, and this ceremony takes place to celebrate what this commitment means for applicants.
"We have a wonderful local community here in Sutton, and I'm very glad to be able to officially welcome all of our new citizens into it. Citizenship brings with it both rights and responsibilities, and I encourage all citizens to continue playing an active part in their society.
"This is what the Life Centre is all about so it seems very fitting that the ceremony should take place there."
Marcelline Tabu-Sala, originally from the Republic of the Congo, said: "Now that I have British citizenship, I feel so free. I have family who live in mainland Europe and before I had my British passport I couldn't visit them. Now that I can travel again, I will be able to see my brother for the first time in 20 years."
Oleksandr Povstyan, originally from the Ukraine, said: "British citizenship means so much to me and my family. I first came to the UK on a temporary contract with work, which was extended by my boss. My wife and young son came to join me and we have settled in so well here that my son seems more British than Ukrainian! The education that he can get here is wonderful; we are all looking forward to a bright future."
All successful applicants for citizenship who are over the age of 18 attend a citizenship ceremony to complete their application. New citizens swear allegiance to the Queen and pledge loyalty to the United Kingdom, before standing for the national anthem.
For more information on British Citizenship ceremonies in Sutton, visit www.sutton.gov.uk/. To find out more about Sutton Life Centre, including information on how to book, visit www.suttonlifecentre.org or call 0208 296 1287.
Last updated: Friday, 21 January 2011