Newham Civic Awards 2023 Ceremony celebrates local heroes

Group pic of the 2023 Civic Awards winners

•    Newham’s Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, honours local heroes at the annual Newham Civic Awards ceremony.
•    The Newham Civic Awards celebrates the contributions that local people and organisations make to the life of the borough. 

Newham Council honoured individuals and organisations from the community who have made an outstanding contribution to the borough at its Civic Awards ceremony on 5 December.

The ceremony, which took place at the Old Town Hall Stratford, saw recipients, friends, families, local councillors and colleagues come together for a glamorous evening of awards, community, music, entertainment and celebration.

Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, said: “I am delighted to present the awards to this year’s recipients and celebrate the outstanding achievements of our residents and supporters of Newham that have served the borough for many years.

“Newham is fortunate to have so many truly dedicated individuals who work tirelessly during their lives to make a difference to our local community. There are so many people we could honour, making final decisions from the wide range of nominations we received was a challenging task for us all. Tonight we are here to pay tribute to all those who made nominations on behalf of very worthy candidates while announcing the recipients of the awards themselves.

“This year’s ceremony has shown that we have an incredible wealth of talent and some tremendous people in Newham. We intend to make the Newham Civic Awards an annual event and look forward to celebrating more incredible people next year.”

The awards celebrate the inspiring individuals and organisations that are dedicated to Newham’s transformation, recognising their lasting impact and sharing their stories to inspire further achievements.

At the ceremony, Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE presented awards to recipients under 12 categories.

Past Chair of Council – Cllr Winston Vaughan
Past Chair of Council – Cllr Winston Vaughan

Honorary Alderman of the London Borough of Newham Award - Bryan Collier

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Honorary Freedom of the London Borough of Newham Award – David Mann, Jane Williams and Laiba Sheikh
Honorary freedom of the london borough of newham award david mann jane williams and laiba sheikh

Good Neighbour Award – Sian Jones
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Sian Jones has taken on a leading role in her community, including organising recreational events and tackling social problems in areas such as community safety, housing repairs, often in conjunction with relevant statutory agencies. She has also recently joined one of the council’s resident scrutiny panels, where she will be a voice for her estate and others in the borough. 

Outstanding Contribution Award – Katie Blake 
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Katie Blake is a long-standing council volunteer (19 years), who has contributed her time, knowledge and efforts to supporting a wide variety of community campaigns, such as the Ageing Well Strategy Resident Advisory Group, being a Covid-19 Champion and Peer Supporter and establishing a community garden at the Folkestone Road Allotments to provide a nurturing space for deaf, elderly and disabled members of the community. She hosts a weekly Green Couch session at local libraries called ‘Let’s Talk,’ providing a safe space for people to share their stories and experiences.

Youth Excellence Award – Remeez ‘Ramzy’ Saleem
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Ramzy Saleem has taken a leading role, as a co-chair of the Children in Care Council, in changing the way in which the council is held to account for the services it provides to young people for which it has corporate parental responsibility, making it much more young-person-led. Ramzy was one of the first cohort of young people trained to be a Young Commissioner, so that he could help to ensure that the procurement of services in the borough meets the needs of young people.

Community Wealth Builder Award – The Royal Docks Living Wage Action Group
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The Royal Docks Living Wage Action Group exists to increase the number of employers in the Royal Docks that are accredited as Living Wage Employers. The activity of the Living Wage Action Group has not only increased the number of businesses that are accredited as LW employers in the Royal Docks, but the lobbying from the group has resulted in a 100% increase in the number of Living Wage Employers in Newham since 2021, from a baseline of 42 LW Employers in 2021 to a current 84 LW Employers. Whilst the work of the group is largely focused on the Royal Docks, it uses every opportunity to promote the Living Wage accreditation to other businesses within Newham. 

Create and Thrive Award – Chain Reaction Theatre Company
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Chain Reaction are an arts organisation and registered charity who work with marginalised, vulnerable and ‘at-risk’ young people, aged 5-19 from deprived communities. Their creative programmes take place in schools, community venues and special education units. They run a free weekly youth theatre led by industry professionals which raises aspirations, confidence and employability skills amongst young people in Newham. 

Green Champion Award – Maryland Primary School
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Maryland Primary School has played a vital role in the improvement of recycling and reducing food waste at its own premises and in the local area. The school has a dedicated and passionate group of pupils called Eco-Warriors, who ensure that everyone at Maryland understands the importance of sustainability and limiting climate change. The Eco-Warriors have introduced recycling hubs, have collaborated with Newham’s Public Realm Engagement Team to deliver a food waste prevention programme, and have recently designed five planting beds around Henniker Point to grow native plants and conserve habitats. 

Outstanding Organisation Award – Discover Children’s Story Centre
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Discover Children’s Story Centre is an award winning, interactive literature venue in Stratford and the UK’s first story centre dedicated to building a love of literacy skills in children aged 0-11. Its purpose-built Story World and Story Garden inspire children to tell their own stories and to improve and build new skills through an extensive programme of workshops and events. It works extensively with a range of partner organisations and is particularly concerned with providing opportunities to children in need.

Stronger & United Together Award – The World Shirdi Sai Baba Organisation UK
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The World Shirdi Sai Baba Organisation UK was established in July 2010 as a religious organisation (Temple), committed to serving the community of Newham. Its activities include: providing food to those who need it; acting as a forum for meditation and religious practice; providing a platform for children to showcase their skills and talents; and shaping and nurturing the aspirations, ideals, and ethical behaviour of individuals, particularly younger people. One of the temple's most remarkable attributes has been its role in promoting cultural understanding and harmony within Newham's diverse population. 

Well Newham Award – Your Place (London) Ltd
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Your Place (London) Ltd is a residential supported accommodation hostel for adult single people, working with people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping. It is the largest provider of accommodation for homeless people in the local area. It has 155 beds in Newham, an area identified by Shelter as having the highest percentage of homelessness in England. In the year ending 31 March 2023, it provided accommodation to 404 individuals, supported 115 to move-on to independent living, including 69 who had experienced rough sleeping. Your Place supports its clients to access a range of other services to live independent lives.

Now in its second year, the Newham Civic Awards opened for public nominations between June-July 2023, offering Newham residents the opportunity to nominate their local heroes for an award. Nominations were considered by the Civic Awards Panel and agreed by Full Council ahead of this year’s ceremony. 

To find out more visit our webpage about the Newham Civic Awards and how you make a nomination. You can also contact:

Published: 08 Dec 2023