Mayor's Civic Awards 2016

Hackney thanked its unsung heroes in a ceremony which took place in the Town Hall on 25 May. Mayor Jules Pipe presented the Mayor’s Civic Awards to six well deserving winners; five individual community champions and one organisation, St Joseph’s Hospice.

Mayor Jules Pipe said: “We know there are amazing people from all walks of life doing extraordinary things in and for our borough- it’s time they got the recognition and thanks they deserve.”

The award marked the 10th anniversary in the ‘I Love Hackney’ campaign to recognise and celebrate some of the fantastic people within the borough and take pride in the amazing things people in Hackney achieve every day.

St Joseph’s Hospice

Over the course of a century, St Joseph’s Hospice has demonstrated that it can adapt and change with the times, while still maintaining its original mission and remaining rooted in the local community of Hackney. Today St Joseph’s Hospice cares for over 1,700 patients and supports the families and carers of patients. The hospice is now a place of recuperation and respite as much as it is for end of life care. From the beginning the Hospice has been an asset to the community and will be for many more years to come.

Thomas Bailie

Thomas is a drug and alcohol worker in Hackney at the Westminster Drug Project. He works with some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the borough. Thomas has been commended by colleagues for his compassion and desire to work hard to empower clients, always going above and beyond his professional duties, creating services and support groups when there previously weren’t any, and using his own funds to do so. Thomas has created a close partnership with the police and probation services, and encourages collaborative working to ensure the best outcomes for service. This work has helped reduce the number of burglaries taking place in the borough by 500 last year. On accepting his award Thomas said “It has been a privilege to help people overcome their addictions.”

Marilyn Douglas-Hamilton

Marilyn is a volunteer befriender for the Hackney Volunteer and Befriending Service, as well as a volunteer for City and Hackney Mind, the Marie Curie Service and the City and Hackney Carer’s Centre. Marilyn’s self-realised way of befriending clients has now become a best practice model for all future befrienders. The service said: “She will not only be able to build a relationship with that person, but make that person’s life significantly better through her visiting them for just one hour a week.”

Caroline Gregory

Caroline is a craftsman potter, guerrilla gardener and all round community minded person. She has been a trader in Victoria Park Village for 38 years, and has helped to keep the area a vibrant and busy place. When shops started shutting due to supermarket competition, Caroline set up a local traders association and managed to bring back a butcher, a fishmonger, a baker and a greengrocer. As well as being a champion for local traders, she can often be seen doing some guerrilla gardening on the roundabout in Victoria Park village, making an attractive centrepiece to the area and earing her the nick name ‘lady on the roundabout’.

Rachel Klien

Rachel is a doula (birth-companion) for the Jewish community in Hackney, and has been coordinating a team of 18 voluntary doulas for over 22 years. The doulas attend and support local mothers in the Jewish community, before, during and after birth, helping around 80 babies each month. Rachel has single-handedly led and organised the service which supports many women who often have language and cultural barriers. Rachel and the volunteers also support mothers in partnership with London’s maternity units to compliment clinical provision. The service has led to a recognised decrease in infant mortality rates, adverse mental health issues for mothers, caesarean sections and birth interventions. Rachel wanted to commend all of her volunteers who are “committed to undertaking their labour of love.”

Brenda Sullivan

Brenda has been a teacher at Holmleigh High school for over 40 years and has recently retired . Yet she still continues to teach at the school to promote school sports and physical education. Brenda ensures that all children enter school sports competitions and have the chance to become budding athletes, delivering extra sports lessons to teams who are selected to represent Hackney at regional and national events. She said: “I’m so honoured to win this award, after this term I have done 44 years at the school but I am still happy at the school and would like to make 50 years!”