Mayor's Community Awards Winners 2019
Kingston Council has recognised the work of outstanding individuals in the borough, who have given up their time to help those in their communities.
They were honoured for their achievements at the Mayor’s Community Awards ceremony held at the Guildhall (18 March).
The Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Cllr Thay Thayalan, said:
"It was a proud and inspiring occasion to present these awards, which recognises the amazing contributions of those who have given their own time for the good of the community and to help others.
“There are a huge number of community minded people in Kingston. The Community Awards acknowledges the achievements of these individuals and appreciates their contribution."
The winners of the 2019 Mayor’s Community Awards are:
Mr Simon Gree
Simon is involved in arranging monthly litter picks on the Sunray Estate in Tolworth where residents get together and clean the estate, making it look tidier and cleaner. Simon along with the volunteer team, have made these events fun and inclusive for all ages and really brought the community together. Simon has boundless ideas to make the area brighter, cleaner and greener for residents.
Ms Sheena Crankson
Sheena founded Fastminds in 2013 - Kingston’s adult ADHD Support and Advocacy Group. Prior to her launching this vital service, patients had to request a referral from their GP, and then travel to the Maudsley Hospital in Camberwell to be assessed and diagnosed. Thanks to Sheena, patients no longer need to travel so far and the service has been replicated by other local authorities in the surrounding areas. As well as setting up Fastminds, Sheena is a volunteer consultant to local organisations including Healthwatch, the Recovery Initiative Social Enterprise (RISE) and Kingsgate Home-Schooled Children’s Choir.
Mr Julian McCarthy
Julian was one of the original founders of the Maldens and Coombe Heritage Society in 2012, and became a Kingston Tour Guide in the same year. During his time with the society, he has edited a book detailing the memories of those who have lived in the borough, and also written a book recounting the actions in which the three posthumous Victoria Cross recipients were cited for their awards. He was also the main driving force behind the successful fundraising for the erection of plaques, to honour these brave individuals. During Malden Fortnight, James holds parties on heritage walks and give talks to various groups including local scout groups and churches on subjects of their choice.
Ms Helen Brunskill
Helen has contributed so much to the Kingston Carers’ Network over the past three years, supporting both young and adult carers in the borough. She joined the network in 2016 as a volunteer mentor in their young carers project. Helen’s support has made a very positive impact on one young carer, building her resilience, improving her self-esteem and motivation to succeed. More recently, Helen has been volunteering twice a week in the office. Demand for carer support has grown significantly and without Helen’s contribution, KCN would struggle to support as many carers as they do. Helen is incredibly generous with her time and is an enthusiastic, positive volunteer.
Mr Elliot Newton
Elliot is a conservationist able to persuade a community to get involved in preserving their environment. Hundreds of people have been inspired by him to get involved in taking care of our green spaces. Through his work across many projects and groups, Elliot has built a passion for Kingston's natural spaces in people of all ages and most important of all in the young people. Not only has Elliot formed the Kingston Bio-Diversity network, he has created communities around The Friends of Berrylands Nature Reserve and The Friends of Fishponds as well as involving local schools in his work. He is currently working with Anstee Bridge, a programme that supports teenagers who have become disengaged with education.
Mr Daryl Wraight
Daryl has overcome major life-threatening injuries as a result of a motorbike accident in 2005. Prior to his accident, Daryl was a tree surgeon and very active in the community. After his accident it was uncertain whether he would ever walk or talk again and he struggled with his mental health. Through rehabilitation and determination, Daryl has regained his independence. His outlook on life is very positive and he demonstrates this through the energy and enthusiasm he brings to his Garden Volunteer role with The Fircroft Trust. He consistently demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to giving back to his community by helping to enrich the lives of others, including those with mental health and or learning disabilities.
Mr Andrew Bicknell
Andrew joined Kingston Adult Education as a volunteer six years ago. He is courteous and positive role model to students. He supports learners of all ages and they feel at ease asking him for help. Andrew attends professional development sessions to increase his understanding and skills. He is an example to many Kingston learners of English and the wider community.
Mrs Suhirtharanee Sivalingam
Suhi has been one of the key members of ITC Tamil Centre for nearly 23 years. The centre is a registered charity providing services to local people in the the borough through its projects the Kingston Tamil School, Fine Arts and the Sports Club. The organisation is heavily dependent on the work of local volunteers for fundraising and running of its activities. Suhi has been a Volunteer, Chair, Secretary and Committee Member of the Parents and Teachers Association. She was also a governor of Kingston Tamil School which runs a Saturday Supplementary school based at Tolworth Girls’ School. Suhi is responsible for organising the purchases of all items needed for the tuck shop, accounting, banking, setting the shop, serving customers and cleaning the kitchen. She rearranges her work commitments to volunteer with the charity.
Dr Thevaunchari Nathan
Dr Thevakunchary Nathan has been a Kingston resident for nearly 30 years and has been involved in many charities during her time in the UK. She is the Chair and a Trustee of the Centre for Community Development, an organisation formed in 2004 to improve the quality of life of people. Theva is also an active volunteer of the Kingston based human rights organisation, the Tamil Information Centre and was one of the founding members and chair of the ‘Stroke Action London’. She is also involved in Surbiton Sports Club providing sports and leisure services for young and older people as Chair and a Committee Member for nearly 24 years.
Mr Michael Pearson
Since 2015, Michael has been a volunteer befriender for Staywell's ‘In Touch’ scheme. Michael has built up an excellent rapport with the people he befriends. Michael previously used the old Age Concern Kingston Bardwell House day centre himself and in 2005 he became the Bradbury Active Age Centre's first member. As a recipient of Staywell’s services, Michael has always been keen to give something back, through volunteering, including helping out with the Bradbury’s Inter-Generational lunches. He is an excellent ambassador for Staywell and the voluntary sector, and a real inspiration to others.
Mr Simeon Linstead
Simeon has worked tirelessly as a volunteer in Old Malden and Worcester Park for many years. He has been a school governor, sat on the Old Malden Safer Neighbourhoods Police Panel and is currently Chair of the recently formed Friends of Manor Park. The Friends community group was set up in the summer of 2017 and under Simeon’s leadership, has made a huge difference to the park. Simeon has led numerous ‘action days’ where paths have been improved, bulbs planted, orchards begun, bird boxes installed and brambles bashed. He was instrumental in persuading the Greater London Authority to back a crowdfunding appeal with matched funds. A fund of over £26,000 was raised which will be used to improve the facilities at the park.
Dhillon Manku - Mayor’s Commendation Award
Dhillon was born prematurely and has attracted widespread fame and support in his quest to raising money for a new incubator at Kingston Hospital. He has organised numerous activities, whilst setting an example as a role model not only for other children but also adults. Despite his tender years, Dhillon has raised awareness for the charity Born Too Soon and has the support of the community, business leaders and celebrities, such as Peter Andre and Dr Ranj Singh. He has had the manufacturers of the incubator contribute to his fundraising efforts by reducing their price.
John and Lesley Parvin / Terry and Shirley Pass - Mayor’s Group Award
Sisters Lesley and Shirley, and their husbands John and Terry, first became involved with volunteering at The Royal Star & Garter Homes when their father, Leslie Boswell, became a resident at the Richmond Hill branch in 1993. Now volunteering for the Surbiton branch, they have amassed nearly 100 years of voluntary work, helping the homes care for ex-servicemen and women or their partners who have served in the Armed Forces and are now living with disability or dementia. They help with resident outings and activities and the interest they all show in the residents is genuine. Without them, so many of our activities which are so important to residents would not take place.