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by Jon Dean
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Recognition for volunteers who go extra mile to help others.
A couple who helped stop a machete-wielding maniac’s murderous rampage and a wheelchair-bound woman whose tenacity helped improve the lives of thousands of disabled people across the country were some of those celebrated at a glittering ceremony on Tuesday.
The annual Mayor’s Civic Awards – held in partnership with the Islington Gazette – at the Islington Assembly Hall, in Upper Street, recognised the people who go out of their way to enrich the lives of their fellow Islingtonians.
Others honoured on the night included a woman who has looked after literally hundreds of young people during her three decades as a foster career, a group of DJ’s who run club nights for people with disabilities and a shopkeeper who battled breast cancer and raised £10,000 for others with the same disease.
Meanwhile an award presented in memory of Ben Kinsella, who was stabbed to death in Holloway in 2008, was presented to a 16-year-old girl who dedicates her spare time to helping disabled people.
Debbie Kinsella, Ben’s mother, said: “This is the fourth year of this award and as a family this means so much to us.
“It shows us the love and respect in the community there was for Ben.
“It doesn’t get easier but it does bring comfort to know there is now a youth council in Islington and youngsters doing positive things and work in the borough.”
Council leader Cllr Richard Watts said: “The awards winners are a credit to Islington.
“So many people do such great work for the community and this event always reminds you just how strong our community is.”
Presenting the awards, Gazette reporter Jon Dean said: “As journalists we see all manner of different stories come across our desks – but it’s rare to see a collection to tales as moving or inspiring as these.
“Islington really is the whole world captured in a borough – people from all walks of and all kinds of backgrounds live cheek by jowl, mainly in harmony.
“These awards not only recognise that diversity, but how Islington’s many and varied citizens are prepared to put themselves on the line to help each other.”