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Community Heroes 2020   arrow



  • BATCA Community Awards have been made to eleven outstanding individuals and teams for their service to the community
  • Though the celebration evening planned for 19th March could not go ahead, we proudly celebrate those honoured

The award recipients come from a wide variety of fields, including improving the environment, the visual and performing arts, supporting the elderly, and leadership and community building in many spheres. Awards were made in the following categories.


Jean Millar Balham environment champion
Tooting Community Garden Growing and learning space open to all


The arts

Jatinder Verma MBE Founder of Tara Arts Theatre
Jayson Singh and Weavie Stevie Community artists at the Scrapstore
Liberty Choir Volunteer choir at Wandsworth Prison


Health and wellbeing

Dr Irshad Hussain Tooting GP, volunteer imam and community leader
Basia Klimas-Sawyer Social and cultural leader of the Polish community for over 40 years
Furzedown Project Community centre supporting the elderly


General community support

Dave Mauger Editor, Tooting Newsie
Year 10 and 11 girls of Al Risalah Muslim Secondary School  

Reaching out to the wider community

A special Chair’s award was made to Brian Albuquerque for his service as Tooting Town Centre Manager.

BATCA will look for opportunities to present the awards to those concerned over the next few weeks and months, to celebrate them fully and tell their stories. Certificates of commendation will go to all those nominated, who are heroes no less.

BATCA remains committed to connecting the community in these difficult times. We will look for innovative ways to do so, building on the resilience and community spirit of Balham and Tooting.

For more information, contact secretary@batca.org or 07966 690308

Notes for editors: The Balham and Tooting Community Association (BATCA) is a network of local organisations that aims to encourage closer links between all sections of the local community. It draws together faith bodies, businesses, and voluntary and public


We thank our sponsors, Amy Adams Photography, Barker’s Chemist and St Augustine’s Church