Meet Hackney’s unsung heroes, the proud winners of this year’s Mayor’s Civic Awards
The Mayor’s Civic Awards celebrate Hackney’s unsung heroes. On 23 November, during a ceremony at Hackney Town Hall, this year’s winners were recognised for their invaluable efforts and selfless contribution to the borough. With over 200 nominations this year, these six winners truly represent the best of Hackney.
Find out more about each of the winners in the gallery below.
- Paul Fosu ‘a community hero and real superstar’Diagnosed with Polio at a young age, Paul pushed himself to qualify in Fitness & Instructing and now delivers free classes - ranging from aerobics, to Salsa - to patients and residents in Hackney. The overwhelming success of Paul’s classes has meant the expansion to different areas across the borough.
- Hawa Daboh Sesay ‘a survivor and inspiring campaigner’Hawa in an inspiring survivor of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) whilst growing up West Africa and she uses her personal experiences to help others. She founded the Hawa Trust charity, the only FGM organisation of its type that is based in East London, to support vulnerable women and girls affected by FGM, violence and abuse.
- Joyclen Buffong ‘ The Mother Theresa of the Block’Joyclen has worked with young people and their families in Hackney for over two decades managing multiple youth hubs in the borough and the founder of a community organisation RISE.365. When the pandemic hit Joyclen established an emergency food shop to stop food poverty in the community. The shop is run by over 40 volunteers most of which are young people who dedicate their time every Saturday to work in the shop and support local people.
- Hackney Migrant Centre ‘A hub of support for vulnerable migrants & refugees’ (Elizabeth Kolawale-Johnson, Trustee and Charlotte Buckley, DirectorHackney Migrant Centre (HMC) has been supporting refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants in need for over ten years. They provide free advice and support services including support with immigration, housing, welfare and access to health. HMC is one of the very few organisations that has brought together solicitors and barristers to offer legal advice to a part of the population that needs it the most.
- Apex ‘Bringing the education gap for disadvantaged young people’ (Faisal, founder of Apex)Apex, led by Faisal, provides high quality provision for young people including education, drama and sports as well as mentoring, coaching and family support. During the pandemic, Apex ensured that many young people who did not have access to IT equipment were not impacted. They supplied iPads, laptops and tablets to many disadvantaged pupils, as well as support to families to ensure pupil education did not suffer.
- Connecting all Communities ‘a home to celebrate our differences’ (Shukri Adan, and Mebrak Habetegergish)Connecting all Communities led by Shukri Adan, are a devoted group of volunteers who have been supporting families in need for years. Their primary aim is to tackle segregation and encourage community cohesion through a programme which includes events such as Eid in the Park and dinner for the homeless. As well as mentoring and employment support, housing and welfare advice, citizenship programmes, translation services, cooking classes, intergenerational activities.