THE prestigious Pride in our People awards 2012 have been launched on Ealing Green, just yards from many of the shops hit during the summer riots.
The awards have been backed by many local businesses who showed such courage during the devastation as well as amazing community-spirit when they pulled together to help each other get back on their feet.
The Gazette and Leader and the University of West London are running the Pride in our People awards, in its ninth year, who work selflessly in the community to help others or go beyond the call of duty. They hope that many readers will nominate some of those businesses who showed such spirit during adversity and many of those who went to their aid or took part in the clear-up operation.
Nominees, who live or work in West London, will also have the chance to win cash prizes of up to £1,000 as well as take home a stunning trophy and attend a lavish gala dinner at the university’s Pillars restaurant on May 31.
There are six categories, with the winner of each receiving £500 and the overall winner, the Star of West London, receiving another £500. One lucky nominator, randomly picked when the campaign ends, will be presented with £150 on the night.
Judges will choose three finalists in each category, with the winners being revealed by guest celebrity, top chef, Brian Turner at the dinner.During the coming weeks the Gazette and Leader will publish stories and pictures, in the paper and on the website, about the sterling efforts of local people. So send in your entry forms or log on to our website as soon as possible. The closing date for entries is April 20.
Ealing Gazette and Leader editor Adrian Seal said: “We want this year to be bigger and better than ever. We know there are many people out there doing great things. We just want you tell us about them, especially some of those businesses affected by the riots and those who went to extraordinary lengths to help and support them.
“It is important that we recognise and celebrate the selfless work being done by members of our local community. We are delighted once again to be working with the University of West London on these very special awards.”
Professor Peter John, vice-chancellor ot the University of West London, said:“As an Ealing resident I saw for myself the impressive actions taken last summer by local people and the emergency services in response to the riots that went on right outside our front doors, so I’m sure this year’s Pride in our People Awards will feature quite a few ‘local heroes’. Once again the University of West London is pleased to be working with the Gazette and Leader to organise the Awards. The event is a wonderful way to celebrate those that work hard to improve the lives of others.”
Ealing Mayor, Cllr John Gallagher, also attended the launch, also backed the awards for "encouraging the people of Ealing to help each other. It is always very encouring for the people to receive these awards and hopefully also encourages individuals and organisations to nominate them. These awards run by the Gazette and the university are very commendable and I would also appeal to businesses to become sponsors."
Two businesses most severaly hit by the riots were the Ealing Green Supermarket, which was torched and ransacked and babye, both on the Green. Elizabeth Pilgrim, who owns babye and was most vocal at the time, said she was delighted to back the awards which she hoped would ensure their ordeal would not be forgotten.
She said: "I am delighted to support these local awards which recognise the efforts of local people, particularly in the light of what happened on August 8. So many people in the community were involved in the clear-up. I had so many heroes that week. It's important you have these awards, which hopefully will recognise some of those involved, otherwise it would just be forgotten."
Her words were echoed by Amrit Khurmy who ran Ealing Green Supermarket, with her husband Ravi. The couple, who are still waiting for work to start on their devastated shop, have just won temporary premises in Bond Street, Ealing. She said: "It was such a terrible time and is still having a terrible effect on our whole family. Our lives have been put on hold. There were so many people who helped us. These awards are a very good idea. I will definitely be nominating people."
The Gazette and Leader and University of West London will be running a special stand at Ealing Broadway Centre, Ealing on February 10 and 11 where you can read last year's stories, get more information and nomination forms as well as Gazette goodies bags.