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Mayor’s civic awards and Ben Kinsella Award 2018: How to nominate Islington’s unsung heroes for a big thank-you

PUBLISHED: 18:09 11 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:45 11 December 2017

This year's civic awards at the town hall. Front row (L-R) Alex Silcott, John White, Penny Seal, Anne-Marie Garbutt, Ben Kinsella Award winner Sgt Sarah Adegboyega, Sasha Mears, Roger D'Elia. (Back row L-R) Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council; (then) mayor of Islington Kat Fletcher; and Ramzy Alwakeel, editor of the Gazette. Picture: Keith Emmitt

This year's civic awards at the town hall. Front row (L-R) Alex Silcott, John White, Penny Seal, Anne-Marie Garbutt, Ben Kinsella Award winner Sgt Sarah Adegboyega, Sasha Mears, Roger D'Elia. (Back row L-R) Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council; (then) mayor of Islington Kat Fletcher; and Ramzy Alwakeel, editor of the Gazette. Picture: Keith Emmitt

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Believe it or not, it’s a year since the town hall and the Gazette asked you to nominate Islington’s biggest community champions for the 2017 civic awards.

This year's Ben Kinsella Award winner Sarah Adegboyega, 17, outside the City of London Academy Islington. Picture: Polly Hancock This year's Ben Kinsella Award winner Sarah Adegboyega, 17, outside the City of London Academy Islington. Picture: Polly Hancock

The mayor picked her favourites and they were rewarded in style at a glittery town hall ceremony.

But now it’s December, the whole process starts up again – and we need a whole new batch of unsung heroes to fill the judging forms in the new year. Last year 40 people (and one dog) were nominated.

It’s our chance to say thanks to the people whose selfless work makes all our lives better. It could be a neighbour, a campaigner, a community leader, or anyone else who goes above and beyond to help and inspire people in Islington.

Ben Kinsella. Ben Kinsella.

As well as the four civic awards for adults, one outstanding young person will go home with the Ben Kinsella Award. The gong is named in memory of promising student Ben, whose horrifying 2008 knife murder in Holloway led to the setting up of the Ben Kinsella Trust.

Ben was 16 and had been innocently celebrating the end of his GCSEs when he was attacked; today his name is a symbol across the UK of the fight against knife crime.

His award goes to a rising star who has overcome adversity, achieved great things or been a role model for other youngsters, just like Ben. His parents Debbie and George will pick the winner and present the award on stage.

"I look forward to hearing about the outstanding contributions that Islington residents are making to their local communities on a day to day basis."

Cllr Una O’Halloran

Meanwhile, mayor of Islington Cllr Una O’Halloran will lead the judging of the adult nominations, with the help of Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes, the borough’s deputy lieutenant, and me, as the editor of the Gazette.

Cllr O’Halloran, who took on the chains from Cllr Kat Fletcher in May, said: “I am very pleased to announce that the nominations for next year’s Civic Awards are now open.

“I look forward to hearing about the outstanding contributions that Islington residents are making to their local communities on a day to day basis.

Mayor of Islington Cllr Una O'Halloran. Picture: Sean Pollock Mayor of Islington Cllr Una O'Halloran. Picture: Sean Pollock

“I encourage anyone to make a nomination if you have a friend or relative that deserves recognition for their hard work.”

Last year’s Ben Kinsella Award went to top cadet Sgt Sarah Adegboyega. Recipients of the adult civic awards included a drum corps leader, a festival organiser, a gardener, a historian and a chef.

Links to the nomination forms are at the bottom of the mayor’s web page.

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