Celebrating Sutton's unsung heros

mayor with winner
Sutton Community Awards

Published Thursday, 22nd November 2018

Over 50 guests joined the Mayor and Mayoress at the Sutton Community Awards ceremony on Wednesday 21 November from 7pm at The Garden Room, Russettings Registry Office, 25 Worcester Road, Sutton

In total, 12 groups and individuals were honoured for their contribution to the community.
The winners and highly commended nominees this year were announced as:

Young Outstanding Achievement

Overall Winner - Tanushree Nag

Tanushree Nag is regularly fundraising for a variety of worthy causes and even visited an Indian orphanage in January to support and feed the children, this fund was collected by running a craft stall during her Christmas holidays. At present she is running a Bollywood dance club in her school and in the future hopes to teach children on how they too can help fundraise.

Highly Commended - Tom Thornton

Tom won the Sutton Music Service Young Musician of the Year competition in March 2018. He gained places in the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, performing as part of the BBC Proms. He gained a place at the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music before gaining a coveted scholarship to study at the Guildhall School of Music Drama - one of the world’s leading music conservatories. Tom is incredibly humble about these extraordinary achievements and is always happy to help younger or less able musicians.


Improving Lives with Community Spirit


Overall Winner - Claudio Funari

Brazilian artist Claudio Funari has spent two years turning an overgrown and unattended plot of land in Nightingale Road, Hackbridge into a place of beauty. Mr Funari started work on the Hackbridge Community Garden when he moved to England to live closer to his son. It began with him clearing debris from the River Wandle to then recycling pieces of art, and making seats for children from tree trunks and sculptures from wires.

Highly Commended - Nali Patel

Nali has lived with polio all her life, but has propelled herself into public life as a Sutton Councillor and Deputy Mayor. She decided to apply for a post as a volunteer English teacher for ESOL students (English for foreign students). Social Service also introduced her to local clubs like Sangam and Euro Asia, where she became a member and later went on to help run the clubs. She uses her own experience to champion disabled causes and has worked with Bus Service Operators to highlight the difficulties of travelling on buses with a scooter.


Outstanding Achievement Award


Overall Winner - Robert Watson

Robert Watson founded Croygas Pirates football team six years ago for children from 4 to 16 with mixed disabilities. In the last 4 years, Robert also ran an annual Christmas toy appeal in with over 8’000 children have receiving presents on Christmas Day, including those staying in Royal Marsden, Queen Mary’s and Shooting Star Chase Hospice. Robert has already been awarded as a Sutton business champion in June 2018.

Highly Commended - Maggie Hughes

Maggie Hughes has succeeded in improving EU legislation to support British nationals when they become a victim of serious crime abroad. The measures were adopted by the EU after Margaret's son Robert - a professional footballer with a bright career ahead of him - was attacked on holiday in Greece ten years ago. The attack left Robert close to death with serious life changing injuries. Robert's case highlighted the lack of coordinated intergovernmental support for victims of crime and their families. Margaret, in addition to caring for her son, has campaigned tirelessly to highlight plight of UK citizens when they are victims of violence abroad.


Keeping Sutton Safe Award


Overall Winner - Sutton Street Pastors

The Sutton Street Pastors are a team of volunteers who work tirelessly late in Sutton to help prevent anyone coming to harm. Street Pastors go out on the high street every Friday and Saturday night usually from 9pm to 3am. They help ensure that people alone or heavily intoxicated get home safely, and generally help make the high street a safer place late at night. They go out to look after people on the streets at night, whether it be those out socialising on weekend nights or those affected by homelessness. They are all volunteers seeking to make Sutton streets a safer place to be.

Highly Commended - Linda Finn

Linda has for a number of years worked to improve the safety and quality of life for victims of domestic abuse. She has also volunteered for Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG), with particular emphasis on addressing the needs of children. Some of her involvement with civic groups includes chairing Sutton Women's Aid (refuge provider in Sutton for many years), being a strong advocate for addressing the needs of children living in the refuge, and securing external grant funding. She has co-facilitated several Caring Dads groups to help abusive men recognise and address the impact of their behaviour on their children as well as the victim.


Outstanding Volunteer Group Award


Overall Winner - Sutton Night Watch

The charity was set up to support and raise awareness for homeless people within the London Borough of Sutton and surrounding areas. A group of volunteers give up their time to run a soup kitchen and food bank. Sutton Night Watch has provided a vital service to those who do not always get the help they need. They have provided a range of opportunities for young people from local schools to support a worthwhile cause in their local community and they feed the homeless in Sutton three days a week

Highly Commended - Sutton Sea Cadets

Sutton Sea Cadets are an outstanding group of volunteers making a difference in young people's lives and in the community. The cadets volunteer on local community projects, doing things such as shopping for those who are less able. The staff volunteers provide their time to ensure young people can meet and develop new skills in a safe environment. They help build confidence in what can be a challenging time for some young people, helping them gain experiences in developing responsibility, qualifications, confidence, teamwork, respect and practical skills for everyday life.


Outstanding Volunteer Award


Highly Commended - Rachael Philips

Rachael is the Co-Chair of the National Autistic Society Sutton Branch. They offer lots of support to parents, young people and children. NAS Sutton provide lots of activities including lego club, yoga sessions and talks for parents. This year Rachael helped establish an autistic adults support group.

Sutton NAS has expanded its networking, supportive talks and communications offer in the last year to help fill the gap between need and available services.

Overall Winner - Lauren Mumford

Lauren runs the charity 'One Step at a Time' for children with disabilities and their families in Sutton. She organises days out, coffee mornings, play days, quiz nights and bingo nights to raise money to support children to have treats and fun without fear of judgement in a safe environment.

She has transformed her garden into a safe play area. She is selflessly committed to helping children and families in Sutton. She provides advice and support to all. Lauren continuously strives to help young people with disabilities and run her charity on a voluntary basis. She continues to help parents overcome by anxiety in times of need.