Local Hackney hero wins National Pride of Britain Award


An inspirational great-grandmother from Hackney has scooped a national award for her role in turning around the estate she lives in.

Vice-Chair of Hackney Homes Board, Alice Burke, 78, won the 2015 Local Hero, Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Award and was surprised with the news on Friday 25 September, live on air by Good Morning Britain’s Ben Shepherd.

The awards celebrate people throughout the UK who have been nominated by the public for the extraordinary things they have done to make a difference to the lives of others.

Alice is described by friends and colleagues as a “leading light in the regeneration of the Nightingale Estate”. She works tirelessly for her community and is always on hand to help others.

Former auxiliary nurse, Alice, and her husband Owen, moved on to the Clapton estate in 1975 to raise their three daughters.

In the 1980s and 1990s Nightingale Estate was beset by anti-social behaviour problems. She was determined to make a change and set up the Nightingale Tenants’ and Residents’ Association in 1993, encouraging others to develop their community spirit .

Alice has been instrumental in turning the estate around and has helped to oversee a raft of improvements including the building of new accommodation with open spaces and better street lighting. Throughout the regeneration of the estate Alice has been a vital link between officers and residents ensuring that their views are taken into account.

Alice said: “It was very important for me to make the estate safe. I wanted somewhere where my children were safe and happy.

“A lot of the kids I used to chase were doing things they weren’t supposed to. I see those boys and girls now. You hear them say to their kids, ‘this lady used to kick our backsides. If you see her, don’t you dare be rude’.”

Cllr Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing
We are so proud of Alice and want to offer huge congratulations on this fantastic achievement. Alice is a truly remarkable resident and Hackney Homes Board member, who continues to make a difference to the lives of many, not just on the Nightingale Estate but throughout the borough.
Cllr Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing

Commenting on her win, Alice said: “I am very surprised and so honoured to be acknowledged. I am truly thankful and proud to receive this award. I love living in Hackney and all the things I do are for the benefit of others living in the borough.”

Alice retired as Chair of the residents’ association three years ago, but she continues to sit on several committees as part of her role on the Hackney Homes Board, working to improve services for residents across Hackney. She also works closely with other estates to tackle anti-social behaviour.

The Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards air on Thursday 1 October, ITV, 8pm.