Chiswick’s ‘community stars’ recognised for their work

Image above: Leader of Hounslow Council Shantanu Rajawat; Mayor of Hounslow Cllr Afzaal Kiani; Chair of Chiswick Cricket Club Bernard Hughes; Hounslow Cabinet Member Cllr Ajmer Grewal

Awarded by LB Hounslow for community work

There were several winners from Chiswick among those awarded One Hounslow Community Stars by LB Hounslow at an award ceremony on Wednesday (12 July).

The Community Stars recognise individuals and organisations who have made an outstanding voluntary contribution to the borough.

Representing Chiswick among the 20 winners were Bernard Hughes, Chair of Chiswick Cricket Club, Colin Bartlett, Jonathan Courtney, and Aubrey Crawley from the West London Queer Project (WLQP) and three of the organisers of the Chiswick Repair Café: Jill Spencer, Marie-Claire Meisels and Katie Hollis.

Image above: Chiswick Cricket Club

Bernard Hughes – for revolutionising a cricket club

Bernard Hughes was praised for his ‘transformational guidance’ as the former chair and as a trustee of Chiswick Cricket Club.

The club has been re-energised since they decided to take down a high wall separating the club from the local community in 2016, a starting point for improving its facilities and extending its reach into the local community and schools.

The club has laid an artificial pitch, bought new nets, covers and netting, attracting free loans or grants from Sport England, London Marathon and the England Cricket Board. They have also started a women’s cricket team which is now playing competitively.

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Image above: Leader of Hounslow Council Shantanu Rajawat; Mayor of Hounslow Cllr Afzaal Kiani; Jill Spencer, Marie-Claire Meisels and Katie Hollis from Chiswick Repair Club; Hounslow Cabinet Member Cllr Lily Bath

Jill Spencer, Marie-Claire Meisels and Katie Hollis – for starting the Chiswick Repair Cafe

Jill Spencer, Marie-Claire Meisels and Katie Hollis, who along with Charlotte Bullock set up the monthly Chiswick Repair Cafe at Christ Church on Turnham Green, were there to receive their awards from Council Leader, Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, Mayor of Hounslow Cllr Afzaal Kiani and Cabinet Member Cllr Lily Bath.

The Repair Cafe, launched a year ago, has been a tremendous success. The four women set it up to do their bit to save the planet by working towards a sustainable future rather than contributing to a throw-away society. They met through Hounslow Council’s initiative to create ‘environmental champions’.

Since the first few experimental repair sessions proved so popular, the monthly sessions have become a permanent fixture. They now have 30 or 40 volunteers on a monthly rota, who repair more than 60 items at each event, and they have queues out the door on repair days.

Image above: A volunteer mends a bike at Chsiwick Repair Cafe

The co-founders of Chiswick Repair Cafe said:

“A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us! Thank you to Hounslow Council for the Thriving Communities Grant which kicked us off, and most of all, thank you to all our talented,
generous and dedicated repair volunteers, and everyone who gives their time and skills to make the Chiswick Repair Cafe happen each month.”

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Image above: Leader of Hounslow Council Shantanu Rajawat; Mayor of Hounslow Cllr Afzaal Kiani; Colin Bartlett, Jonathan Courtney, and Aubrey Crawley from WLQP; Cllr Shivraj Grewal

West London Queer Project – for setting up a social group to support the LGBTQ+ community of west London

The West London Queer Project were awarded for their ‘phenomenal rise from a few friends to a 5,000 strong movement across Hounslow and other west London boroughs’. The project was set up by Aubrey Crawley in recognition of the lack of opportunity there was for gay people to get together to do ordinary things like going on walks or watching a film and making friends.

What started out as a Sunday night social in the local pub has grown into a big events programme of walks, talks, sport and social nights, with drag nights at Geroge IV and film nights at Chiswick Cinema as regular fixtures.

Image above: WLQP finishing their 10k sponsored walk at the Black Lion in Hammersmith; photograph Lucinda MacPherson

This summer WLQP have raised money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association with a 10k sponsored walk and taken part in London Pride. They have recently announced they would be extending their events programme to other west London boroughs.

Colin Bartlett, Jonathan Courtney, and Aubrey Crawley received their award from the Council Leader, the Major and Cabinet Member Cllr Shivraj Grewal.

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