Community Awards winners 2014

A lollipop lady, a team of drummers and a social enterprise were among the unsung local heroes recognised at the 2013 Sutton Community Awards from Sutton Council.

Sutton’s Community Awards are a way of recognising and saying thank you to the local heroes, volunteers, carers, charity workers, good neighbours and club and event organisers who have made a difference in Sutton’s Community over the last year.

This year’s ceremony, held at the Sutton Life Centre gave out five awards in the following categories.
Florence Adams received the ‘Given Outstanding Service to the Borough by Keeping Sutton Safe’ award to honour her 48 years as a school crossing patrol officer.

Florence 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.

Ray 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.’ Vi Donovan said: ‘We’re over the moon to win this award. We never imagined we could make such a difference. Thank you for supporting us, it really means a lot.’

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 bringing 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.’

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 said: ‘This award is 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.’

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. 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, Chair 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'.