One Hounslow Community Awards winners

Two Chiswick women were among the winners of the One Hounslow Community Awards 2021, celebrating community service in the borough of Hounslow.

The awards took place on Wednesday 6 October at Hounslow House, highlighting the work of residents, community groups and businesses who have done somthing positive to help others and make Hounslow a better place.

Decisions on the winners were be made by judging panels made up of representatives from the Council, public sector organisations, community representatives, businesses and subject experts, depending on the category.

Hounslow Council Councillors or officers were exempt from nominating or being nominated. The Council will be holding a separate staff awards to recognise the work of its staff.

Nine winners were selected narrowed down into shortlists from over 220 nominations from across Hounslow’s communities.

Reaching Potential Award winner – ILAYS

For the outstanding contribution to supporting residents reach their potential whatever their backgrounds or barriers.

ILAYS is a non-profit organisation, set up in 2004 by our East African community. Their mission is to help BAME communities and new arrivals reach their full potential, helping people to feel comfortable and happy in their lives by overcoming barriers to social inclusion.

One nominator said:

“I am so happy with the support and the outstanding work that Ilays does. I have seen the direct impact that the support they give has for black and ethnic minority, migrants and refugees.”

Building Trust Award winner – Hounslow Young Facilitators

For the outstanding contribution to building trust between people – increasing inclusion, reducing inequality and giving the ‘less heard’ a stronger voice.

Hounslow Young Facilitators is a group of young people aged 12-19 who live, work or study in Hounslow. They volunteered to take part in the ‘Love from Hounslow’ project led by Participation People which aimed to explore young people’s experiences, perceptions and lived experiences of the Prevent agenda and to affect real change within local communities.

Hounslow Young Facilitators learned new skills including presentation, communication and leadership skills, and the project culminated in five interactive workshops exploring difficult topics creatively.

One nominator said:

“It was a privilege to work with such inspiring young people.”

Community Heart Award winners – Shelagh Allsop and Rachel Tanner, Refugees Welcome Hounslow

For the outstanding contribution to their local community, supporting neighbours, creating community spirit and strength.

Refugees Welcome Hounslow is a group of local residents, set up by volunteers in 2017, who helped welcome Syrian families fleeing their homes as refugees, into our community. Since then, they have helped settle many households into our borough, who have enriched our communities.

One nominator said:

“I can’t describe the support they gave us since we got to Britain. They were our brothers, our friends and family in our new country. They stood with us in all the hard situations and were the support for us in everything. My tongue cannot describe their dedication to us.”

Community Together Award winner – Vijay Rai Different Strokes Hounslow

For the outstanding contribution to galvanising people and organisations to work in partnership, particularly across diversity of communities (e.g. of ethnicity, age, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender) to overcome a challenge or create something positive for the wider benefit of others.  

Vijay Rai is Hounslow coordinator for Different Strokes, helping working-age stroke survivors optimise recovery, and regain as much independence as possible through rehabilitative services, weekly exercise classes, practical, easy to use information and advice and the Stroke-Line telephone service enabling younger stroke survivors to speak to others.

One nominator said:

“My wife had a serious stroke, causing major upheaval in our lives. Vijay has been incredibly supportive. This is a vital service which is genuinely caring, professional and well run. I can’t thank them enough.”

Cleaner, Greener Champion Award winner – Rob Antill

For the outstanding contribution to improving local area, galvanising and educating communities to think green and respect their environment.

Rob Antill is described by one nominator as ‘a powerhouse of energy and inspiration’.

Rob organises plant giveaways under the name of Feltham in Bloom, to help residents connect with nature, increasing biodiversity in flats with balconies, and local gardens, beautifying the local area. Recently, Rob organised a huge number of people to participate in making Feltham beautiful and ready for judging by the Royal Horticultural Society.


Green Innovation Award winner – Heston Action Group

For the outstanding contribution to addressing environmental challenges through creative new technologies, ideas or approaches.

Heston Action Group (HAG) aims to clean and green for all inhabitants of Heston and surrounding areas. To achieve this, they work hard with statutory authorities, local businesses, voluntary and community organisations and inhabitants in a common effort, advancing a stronger, more coordinated approach to improving the physical and social environment.

The group are nominated for their hard worked to turn Sutton Playing fields into a community garden, not just for Heston but spreading the word throughout the borough.

Young Leader Award winner  – Sahana Nagasundar

For the outstanding contribution by an under 25-year-old to their community or the borough.

During the lockdowns when schools were doing online classes, Sahana wanted to help under-privileged students who couldn’t afford basic stationery items. She approached Heart Felt Tips – a Community Interest Company which organises for children in economic hardship to receive pencil cases packed with pens and other art supplies – and her year group with a request to donate.

Sahana collected 30 filled bags which she donated to Feltham Assembly Hall for the Good Grub club and would like to continue doing as much as she can. She has also influenced her friends to do work in their community.

Social Enterprise Award winner – Stir It Up

For the outstanding contribution by a local business to support residents, communities and place beyond its core business.

Stir It Up Cookery started teaching children to cook healthy food 5 years ago in after-school clubs and holiday groups. In May 2021, Stir It Up Recipe Bags were launched, helping busy parents feed families through healthy, quick, easy, kid-friendly dishes.

Founder Jacquie ran a 10-week healthy eating campaign across social media, obtained funding to deliver cookery classes in local children’s centres and – when lockdown prevented the classes – set up Curfew Kitchen, sharing recipes on Facebook to help local families.

A nominator said:

“Stir It Up has been strengthening our community and the local economy. Jacquie’s keen to use her profits to teach children and their families, and run more healthy eating campaigns so EVERYONE can eat good food.”

Covid Hero Award winner  – Omar Salat Mohamed

For the outstanding contribution by an individual to support, protect and inspire communities during the pandemic.

Acacia Community Centre is a voluntary, non-profit organisation based in Hounslow and devoted to positive change for the most vulnerable. Established in 2020 at the height of the pandemic it works to help those most at risk from the virus, including vulnerable elderly and young people and low-income families.

One nominator said:

“Omar helped bring communities together by playing a vital role. He brought vaccinations to the community and he made sure most vulnerable and young adults were vaccinated. He understands their needs and always is there to help them.”

YouTube video of the awards ceremony

Below is a YouTube video of the awards ceremony which lasted for over two hours:

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: GSK Malaria vaccine approved for use across Africa

See also: Three Gold awards for Chiswick House Gardens in London in Bloom

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