Hackney people shine at annual residents’ awards
Hackney’s Stoke Newington Town Hall played host to the annual Hackney Homes Active Residents Awards, reflecting on the great work of local residents over the past year and recognising those who go the extra mile to make a positive difference in their communities.
Over 100 local people who are involved in a variety of community engagement projects attended the celebration on 21 May, which launched with a high energy, entertaining performance from street dance group, Nemesis Dance.
More than 80 nominations were received across four categories – Young Resident of the Year, Resident of the Year, Community Project of the Year and the Ron Devoti Award for Long Service to Hackney.
Clapton resident, Mavis McGee, received the award for Long Service to Hackney. Mavis dedicates much of her own time to community work, making a difference to the lives of local residents as Chair of Clapton Neighbourhood Panel and a leading member of Landfield Tenant and Resident Association.
After receiving the award, Mavis said: “I love this event, it’s a nice gathering to meet people from estates we didn’t know. This award was unexpected. I enjoy getting involved in the community because I want to improve the place I live in and make a difference.”
The Resident of the Year honour was awarded to Chair of High Hill TRA, Shade Ajigbeda for her proactive involvement in the community. Shade has been successful in delivering community projects and the development of a number of youth programmes after recognising a need for more activities for young people where she lives.
Of her success, Shade said: “I’m honoured and humbled to have been nominated and actually win. Thank you for recognising all our hard work. It was definitely worth it. It’s not where you live it’s how you live. We need to keep improving our community to help the next generation.”
Other winners on the night included Rochelle Edwards Boyce for the Young Resident of the Year and Wenlock Barn Youth Forum for the Community Project of the Year.
Guest speaker at the ceremony was Shaun Wallace, Barrister and TV personality appearing on ITV’s The Chase. Previously a teacher in Hackney for 14 years – teaching over 3,000 Hackney students - he spoke of this formative experience as spurring him onto achieve greater things in his life, including becoming a Mastermind Champion.
It’s been an inspiring evening and as always it’s great to hear all the stories from residents across the borough about their amazing work. I’d like to congratulate all those nominated and pay tribute to the fantastic winners.
The event also showcased a “Hackney Housing at 50” exhibition, with photographs from residents of Hackney dating from 1965 – when the old metropolitan boroughs of Hackney, Shoreditch and Stoke Newington were amalgamated – all the way to the present day.