Haringey has a vast number of voluntary projects, some of whom are helped by leading experts and decision makers. Over time, projects have been increasingly joining together to look at best practice and joined up working, aided by an army of volunteers.
In 2016 the Bridge Renewal Trust in collaboration with Haringey Council organised the first annual Haringey Voluntary and Community Expo at Tottenham Town Hall. A programme of activities were enjoyed by residents and community and voluntary groups, showcasing the range of activities taking place to improve the health and well-being of local people.
Specialist information about issues that affect the lives of Haringey’s residents was provided by leading voluntary sector organisations throughout the day. This included two focused panel discussions to ensure local community groups have the resources to deliver a range of services meeting the needs of the people they support.
The Expo ended with the first Community Impact Awards, presented to outstanding individuals, as well as community groups and voluntary organisations. This was a chance for many people to come together to celebrate the great work done by the voluntary and community sector in Haringey. It was also a chance to re-energise the sector to continue to work towards a stronger sector in Haringey.
With more than 300 nominations across nine categories, it is clear that Haringey has a great number of people working to improve life for others in the borough. The nominated organisations that were short-list consisted of those who had overcome limited resources, had shown innovation in addressing significant disadvantages in the community and had worked with volunteers.
The Voluntary and Community Sector Organisation of the Year award was given to Finsbury Park Sports Partnership. This is a local group that raised more than £1m for physical activities. In the newcomer category Ambitious College, London’s first specialist day college for young people with complex autism was the winner for its work preparing students for adulthood through independence, employment, better health and community inclusion.
"No one can help everyone, but everyone can help someone!"
by Mickey Mouse in a Disney movie
Young people who freely give a helping hand were also recognised at the award ceremony. They were included in more than 200 people nominated as Haringey Heroes. Haringey Hero Volunteer of the Year was Georgina Pierre-Louis, who has made a great contribution with her voluntary work helping support children, their parents and their carers at Pembury House Children’s Centre for over 12 years. Pembury House Children’s Centre offers a range of health, education and advice sessions for families with children under 5, which includes a Young Parents group.
Limudin Ali, Ambassador for the Princes Trust, was named Haringey Young Hero Volunteer of the Year for his work with young people in the organisation, including organising and running acting workshops and engaging young people in training and employment.
The Impact awards showcase the fact that Haringey has a very strong and diverse community thanks to the large number of people who volunteer and give up their time to help others. The awards highlight some of these people, giving them recognition they richly deserve.