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Community stars shine at Love Your Borough Awards

Inspirational individuals and organisations from across Waltham Forest were celebrated last week at the Council’s annual Love Your Borough Awards.

The event, in Walthamstow Assembly Hall on Friday 22 July, saw the great and the good praised for helping to make the borough a fantastic place to live and work. Dedicated volunteers, exciting entrepreneurs, hard-working professionals and caring community groups all came together at the ceremony, where they received well-deserved praise.

Once again, the Council received scores of impressive nominations for the awards, which gave the panel of judges a tough task when picking the winners.

One of the winners on the night was Citizen of the Year Nat DiMaggio, who has worked tirelessly to build the profile of local food bank Eat or Heat, as well as fundraising a staggering £40,000. Those nominating Nat said he has touched the lives of many through his community work.

Sergeant Dan Fox picked up the Uniformed Service Hero award. An Army Reservist, Sgt Fox was named his company’s best soldier following an operational tour of Afghanistan in 2009, and has since been on two tours with the Ministry of Defence as an analyst. Throughout this time, he has helped young people in the borough realise their potential through his work as a Cadet Instructor, and is always seen supporting the British Legion in Waltham Forest.

The Arts, Culture and Heritage Award went to community venture The Mill, which supports community creativity – encouraging people to make, create and share. All of The Mill’s events and activities are brought to them by local people who want to make something happen in a welcoming and caring environment.

The popular Coronation Gardens Market was the recipient of the Leader’s Business Award, while this year’s Leader’s Individual Award was given to Helen Bigham, Charity Manager for the Waltham Forest Dyslexia Association. Over the past five years Helen has helped thousands of children and adults across the borough and beyond, and played a pivotal role in the development of the borough’s association. 

Council Leader Chris Robbins said: “One thing you can always expect from Waltham Forest is a strong community – one that stands out from the crowd and stands together. And this year’s Love Your Borough Awards clearly showed just how much people care about their community and how many people are putting their heart and soul into all aspects of life here.

“The awards were our chance to show how proud Waltham Forest is of those who have helped to make life here even better, whether for one person or for us all.”

The Love Your Borough Awards was funded by sponsors, enabling the community celebration to be held without placing a burden on council tax payers.

Notes to editors

The winners at the Love Your Borough 2016 Awards were:

  • Citizen of the Year – Nat DiMaggio

  • Uniformed Service Hero – Sergeant Dan Fox 

  • Improving Your Neighbourhood Award – Cleveland Park Residents Association

  • Arts, Culture and Heritage Award – The Mill

  • Sporting Inspiration Award – AFC Leyton Girls Football Club

  • Employee of the Year Award – Joint winners Jena Musa and Joyce Guthrie

  • Team of the Year Award – Selective Licencing Taskforce

  • Leader’s Individual Award – Helen Bigham

  • Leader’s Business Award – Coronation Gardens Market

Awards were sponsored by:

  • NSL Services

  • Urbaser

  • NPS Group

  • Darwin Property Investment Management

  • Thames Water

  • CDS

  • Kier

  • GLL

  • PwC

  • The Mall

  • The SES Group

  • Capital Dynamics

  • J O Hambro Capital Management

  • Markham Rae

  • The Event Safety Advisors Ltd

  • JB Riney

  • Circle Housing

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