BATCA Community Awards were presented to many inspiring local volunteers at a celebration event attended by 200 at the Grand Room, Tooting on Tuesday 28th November. This was BATCA’s sixth round of awards.
Individual awards were given to Aslam Haidri, Diane Holmes, Ismat Jafri, Sukaina Karim, Hassan Khan, Taha Suleman and Melissa Taylor. Their work includes giving all round support to elderly people, funeral support for the Muslim community, leading Guides and Brownies for many years, outings for the elderly and isolated, overcoming disability to become a blind sports star, creative activities for those with sight loss, and community support by an Ernest Bevin College student.
Team awards went to Be Enriched for the Graveney Kitchen for the vulnerable, the Memon Association Ladies Wing for charity fundraising, the residents of Western Lodge hostel for homeless men for their help to others, and the Sound Lounge, music venue and community hub.
‘Highly Commended’ certificates were presented to other individuals and teams for their contribution to community life.
Speeches were made by Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP for Tooting, Councillor Leslie McDonnell, Mayor of Wandsworth and Ms Marie France Dorceley, senior teacher at Ernest Bevin College. All paid tribute to the warmth and resilience of the community in Tooting and Balham, and the contribution selfless volunteers make. Hassan Khan, recipient of the Flexicom Solutions special award, spoke movingly of his journey from a blind child newly arrived in the UK to international blind cricket star.
Entertainment was provided by the Dynamic Sound Collective, and Hannah White and Keiron Marshall of the Sound Lounge.
Generous sponsorship was given by Flexicom Solutions (lead sponsor), Mehman Restaurant, St Augustine’s and Holy Trinity churches, Barkers Chemist, WIFFA and Councillor Leonie Cooper, London Assembly Member for Wandsworth and Merton.
The BATCA organising team were Ali Jaffri, Arshad Daud, Kate Allan and Rev Andrew Davey. Rev Andrew Davey was the compere.
|Funeral support for the local Muslim community|
|Diane Holmes||Guide and Brownie leader at St Mary’s Church, Balham for over 40 years.|
|Ismat Jafri||Supports the elderly by organising activities and giving practical help.|
|Sukaina Karim||Local businesswoman who supports the elderly through organising coach outings.|
|Taha Suleman||Student volunteer at Ernest Bevin College who gives cricket coaching to younger children and those with disabilities, and other community help.|
|Tooting based international blind cricketer who helps fundraise for charities and advises local bodies eg Balham mosque on disability issues.|
|Melissa Taylor||Empowers people with sight loss to acquire new skills eg in knitting and dressmaking|
|Tooting based charity that runs the Graveney Kitchen providing free community meals for the vulnerable.|
|Memon Association Ladies Wing
|Substantial fundraising for a wide range of international and national charities for over 30 years.|
|Residents of Western Lodge
|Run a weekly drop in café for the homeless in partnership with Holy Trinity Church and give practical support to local churches in decorating and gardening etc.|
|The Sound Lounge Team
|Non-profit music venue, café /restaurant and art space in Tooting committed to supporting the community through eg training teenage refugees as baristas and sound technicians.|