THE Gazette can reveal the local champions who have made the shortlist for this Friday's Pride In Our People Awards.
KEY WORKER CATEGORY
Tim is a paramedic who has gone beyond the call of duty to help his community save lives. In his spare time the paramedic team leader at Hanwell ambulance station goes into local schools to teach children first aid skills and what to do in an emergency and helps elderly neighbours with chores and medical advice.
He has saved numerous lives himself, notably one man who had stopped breathing after jumping into a neighbour’s pool.
Tim, who has been with the London Ambulance Service for 25 years, said: “I am used to dealing with people in distress in an authoritative but compassionate way, so if someone needs help, I just do it. As long as I do a good job I know I have made a difference.”
EALING HOSPITAL HOUSEKEEPERS A team of hospital housekeepers, who have clocked up over 60 years between them, have become a second family to both patients and staff.
The four women: Jacki Kaur, Gurdip Chonkariais, Jessie Bahal and Davinder Kanwal were invaluable to the hospital said Kay Larkin, head of paediatrics, who nominated them. She said: “Not only do they keep the unit spotlessly clean, they look after everyone, staff as well as patients. They get to know the families personally and are so supportive and have also held fund-raisers for the department. They are so much part of the team. We could not function without them.”
The team, all mums and in their 50s and 60s, said they loved working with the children, who they described as a “second family.”
MUBINA ASARIA Mubina’s passion for e-safety has spurred her to take a leading role in anti-bullying campaigns in her own and other schools across the borough.
The Virtual Learning Manager and e-safety co-ordinator launched the CyberMentor programme in her school, Greenford High School after becoming an ambassador for the Child Exploitation online Protection Agency. She has worked with the national charity BeatBulling to introduce cybermentors in her own and other schools, training students to support other online victims.
The mum-of-two, who has also trained parents and featured in a Panorama expose of cyber-bullying, said: ”Because of our technology most of the kids’ lives take place online so bullying is all the more serious because with text messaging there is no escape and more kids can join in.”
SGT CHRIS NAUGHTON
Sergeant Chris Naughton, who was on the front line of Ealing’s 2011 riots, dedicated a large part of his time to preventing a repeat of the violence.
The father-of-two, who has worked with the Greenford and Perivale Safer Neighbourhood teams, has played a vital role in finding activities for youngsters during the long summer holidays. He helped raise funds for the Summer Project, designed to take kids off the streets and accompanied five amputee servicemen on Operation Snowcap Kilimanjaro last year, raising thousands of pounds for the charity.
Rachid has run three marathons within a year, inspite of being told by doctors he would not walk for years after being hit by a bus.
The impact broke his skull, collarbone, shoulder blades and ribs and he suffered numerous internal injuries and a hearing loss which affected his balance. In spite of this he has run in the Berlin, Marrakesh and London marathons and in this year’s London marathon abandoned his target finishing time to help another runner finish the race. He was nominated for being so motivational.
SGT MAJOR CLIVE CLAHAR
An inspirational cadet leader, who has spent decades mentoring youngsters, was put forward by his whole team and their parents.
The 12-18-year-olds praised Clive for teaching them discipline, leadership and responsibility. He runs activities at Acton Cadet Detachment Royal Engineers twice a week and has become a vital role model for kids, who might otherwise roam the streets. One mum Clarissa Stoneham said: ”He’s a positive black, male role model and for someone like my son, a mixed race boy with no father figure, that’s important. Many of the parents attended the cadets when they were young. Some say if it wasn’t for him they would probably be in jail or have a drug habit.”
A 90-year-old woman, who serviced spitfires during the war, started running socials in her home when the local disabled club closed down. Joan Edwards, who was in the Women’s Auxiliary Airforce in the 2nd World War and vice-president of the South East branch of the Burma Star Association, still has that fighting spirit. She started inviting people to her home about ten years ago and that has continued every since, with her making cakes and organising ‘gentle’ exercise.”
Joan, who said the socials “keep her young,” also helps at two local churches and holds regular garden parties, with the money going to the WellFound charity, providing clean water for people in Africa.
People with mental health problems have been inspired to reach for the stars by Nick Radclyffe who runs Ealing Mencap’s rock band, I Love Thunder.
The group has not only boosted the self-esteem of its members, aged 16 - 66, but also won a £5,000 grant from the BBC Performing Arts Fund to help it expand. Nick was nominated by Lesley Dodd, chief executive of Ealing Mencap, who said: ”I have watched the members grow as people and they are absolutely brilliant.”
Nick said the benefits went beyond playing music as the young people had learned new skills and often “confounded audience expectation.”
An actress has turned the spotlight on young people by launching a theatre group especially for them.
Julie launched Theatre Studio West in 2005 in Acton as an outlet for young people and to give them a chance to show off their potential. She was nominated by Fred Burley who said: ”Julie is totally inspirational. Despite losing their home at the Priory Centre she intends to expand. It just shows what can be done.”
The actress, who has worked in theatre and film, said she loved working with children and thought of the idea after working on a similar project in the States. There are now 90 children, aged six to 19 and 32 volunteers. The kids, including those with special needs, gain an all-round experience from professional tutors.
A CUT ABOVE
A Cut Above is one salon which has lived up to its name after being nominated for its caring approach to customers. The salon in the Avenue, West Ealing has been run by Anna Aristodemou since 1974 who is renowned for her attitudes towards her many disabled customers.
She was nominated by Marlene Sladen whose mother has Parkinson’s disease and sister has learning disabilities. She said: ”They were treated with the utmost patience and consideration. All the staff are sensitive to vulnerable people.”
Anna, who has also raised money for Meadow House hospice, cancer research and Cardiac Risk in the Young, said she and her staff took particular pride in caring for people with special needs.
This innovative shop, which has been open just over six months, is giving budding crafts people a commecial break.
Love Handmade in Northfield Avenue, West Ealing is run by Fiona Mitchell and Trevor Halliday who give people a chance to sell their home-made wares for a small commission. The couple, who used to run a similar crafts market at the Fox Inn in Hanwell, felt they could better serve the community if they could find a bigger space.
Fiona said: ”We needed a proper outlet to help more people.” Trevor added: ”We try and stock as much different work as possible to give everyone a chance. Local people are supporting local crafts people, which is great.”
DH LAW LTD.
This law firm was nominated for helping some of the most vulnerable members of the community,
DH Law Ltd. in Uxbridge Road, Hanwell runs a legal clinic for the homeless, acts for the mentally ill and runs pro-bono (free) clinics across the borough. They were nominated by businessman Piotr Durkalec who said the firm carried on offering legal aid inspite of enormous pressure to take better paid private work. He said: ”They go that extra mile for their customers and the community.”
Partner Rheian Davies, who has been named Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year for mental health work, said: ” The mentally ill tend to have the most difficulty in dealing with things like benefits, so it’s fundamental to have people who can speak on their behalf.”
YOUNG PERSON OF THE YEAR CATEGORY
Described as the best youth rep they’ve ever had, Pamela Masha has shown dedication and commitment in her bid to forge better relations between young people and the police.
She joined the Ealing Independent Advisory Group last year, an organisation which has volunteers from all walks of life who advise and challenge the police when faced with major incidents such as the 2011 riots.
Pamela was nominated by its chairman Barbara von Grundherr and Andrew Deane, acting chief inspector for criminal justice. They said her inpute had been invaluable and she had focused attention on what the concerns of young people were likely to be.
A student with a severe hearing loss has dedicated herself to helping others with similar problems.
Rania Seddik, only 15, from Ellen Wilkinson School, Acton was nominated by her teacher Sarah Sakimoto, who said: “Rania is a hearing-impaired student who has spent countless hours raising awareness of what it is like to be hearing impaired. At the young age of 11, she started a new club at her new secondary school that taught students sign language. In recent years, she has gone to individual forms and taught them about Deaf Awareness Week. She has also acted as a role model for other hearing-impaired students that are lacking in confidence – they know that they can always turn to her for advice and help.”
Teenager Sadaf Moosvi belies the myth that young people are not interested in politics.
Arrivng in the UK from India in 2005 with no English, she has been elected deputy member of the UK Youth Parliament at her school, Greenford High. The organisations aims to give young people a voice and this 16-year-old is passionate and voluble about how youth involvement can change society for the better. She said: ”I want to create a better relationship between youth and the police and give young people a chance to express their views. Many young people are interested in politics. They just don’t know who to talk to.”
She was nominated by head of year Tanya Foster who praised her for her work both inside and outside school, raising money for charity and highlighting the Save Ealing Hospital campaign.