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Celebrating our community heroes

  • Balham and Tooting Community Heroes awards were made on 21 March 2019 to twelve outstanding individuals and teams. The whole community joined in this celebration.
  • A further seventeen individuals and teams received Highly Commended certificates
  • Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, MP for Tooting, spoke movingly about the importance of tolerance and cooperation in our community
  • The event was partially funded by a successful online crowdfunding campaign, raising over £1600

The community came together at the seventh BATCA Community Heroes Awards evening on 21st March to celebrate the local heroes of Balham and Tooting. Community Awards were given to outstanding individuals and teams, and certificates to those highly commended. All were nominated online by members of the public.

The Awards covered a wide range of fields, including BAME mental health counselling, providing meals for the homeless in Tooting, encouraging young people into politics, supporting families with autistic children, local history, an exemplary special constable and mosque administrator and the MushkilAction campaign team. The new ‘Heroes for Health’ awards winners included the St George’s Neonatal Unit charity team, cold water swimming leaders at Tooting Lido and a cheerful volunteer at St George’s.

Alongside the presentation of awards, three local leaders: Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (MP for Tooting), Councillor Piers McAusland (Mayor of Wandsworth), and Ann Beasley (Chair of the South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust) made thought provoking  speeches.

Samaj Hall, Tooting was packed with nearly 200 hundred guests of all ages, faiths and backgrounds with entertainment from the Great Gustos community choir and catering by Shahi Kitchen, Wimbledon.

Thanks go to all those who made the Community Awards 2019 so memorable, including those who helped organise and staff the event, contributed funding, helped with publicity, made nominations, and came on the night. Special thanks to our VIPs, and to Shahi Kitchen, the Great Gustos and our photographer Amy Adams.

Photos by Amy Adams photography






Amna Ahmad Monday circle and Youth scout leader and mentor


Saher Beg (and Mindworks team)


Mental health work leader. Founder of Mindworks counselling service.

Helping the homeless

Venessa Bobb Founder and leader of A2ndVoice, charity  supporting parents of autistic children
Maryam Tayub Administrator, Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre


Geoff Simmons Local history and community engagement


Alexandru Rusti


Special Constable




Tooting Community Kitchen



Serving hot food to homeless and needy
Patchwork charity : Imran Sanaullah and Esmat Jeraj



Helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds get into politics
MushkilAction Campaign Team



Campaigning to save Mushkil Aasaan’s culturally sensitive care services




First Touch



Neonatal unit charity at St George’s Hospital
2 Alan Bowen



Volunteer for St George’s Hospital Charity
3 Margy Sullivan and team Team leaders for the Cold Water Swimming Championships at Tooting Bec Lido



                         HIGHLY COMMENDED INDIVIDUALS


Emma Beckett


Creative, tireless Guide leader for over 15 years
Julia Bott and Richard Fox Founders and sustainers of Friends of Wandsworth Common



Matthew Brown and Derek Wright Organise free Saturday  football for young people on Garratt Green

Nicky Evans


Volunteer Reader for Talking News Wandsworth



Maulana Maksud Gangat Inspired leadership at Al Risalah Education Trust

Stevie King


Community Artist and Volunteer supporting the  Work and Play Scrapstore



Barbara Littlechild Exceptional Guide leader and mentor for over 20 years



Rozina Malik


Support worker and family carer at Mushkil Aasaan



Jayson Singh Community Artist supporting the Work and Play Scrapstore



Ehsan Raza Volunteer at Idara-e-Jaaferiya mosque



David Robson


Chair and dynamic leader of Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum



Jess Head chef at Graveney Kitchen homeless drop in and a volunteer




Counter staff team at HSBC Balham branch


Caring team who look after customers as people, especially those with dementia or mental health difficulties.
Tooting Foodival Co-ordinating Team Organising the Foodival community festival of local growing, cooking, and eating together.


Salvation Army Charity Shop team Charity shop that’s a social hub for vulnerable people and supports the Salvation Army’s social mission



Mary-Ann, Marie and Sandra Tireless leaders of Tooting Woodcraft Folk giving children experience of the outdoors and fun activities





Flu Vaccination team at St George’s Hospital


The team work  hard to ensure that St George’s staff take up vaccinations and stay healthy to carry on providing healthcare.
Melissa Lacey and Lucy Thrower Caring reception team at St Georges Hospital Emergency Department