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Islington Civic Awards and Ben Kinsella Award: Nominate your favourite community heroes now

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 December 2016

Ben Kinsella, stabbed to death in 2008, lends his name to the annual award for young people. Picture: PA

Ben Kinsella, stabbed to death in 2008, lends his name to the annual award for young people. Picture: PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Gazette is proud to once again sponsor Islington’s civic awards.

The Mayor of Islington's Civic Awards at Islington Town Hall. Right, 2015-16 Islington mayor Cllr Richard Greening; left, Gazette editor Ramzy Alwakeel. Picture: Ken MearsThe Mayor of Islington's Civic Awards at Islington Town Hall. Right, 2015-16 Islington mayor Cllr Richard Greening; left, Gazette editor Ramzy Alwakeel. Picture: Ken Mears

Each year the Mayor of Islington heads a panel of judges to find our borough’s most inspiring and generous unsung heroes.

Last year’s crop included a publican, a disability rights champion, a campaigning vicar and a health charity.

This year? That’s up to you.

If you know someone who has contributed something extra special to life in Islington – through volunteering or campaigning, say – or someone who has beaten the odds and is a fantastic example to others, then please nominate them.

Mayor of Islington Cllr Kat Fletcher, pictured at the Whitecross Street Party. Picture: Matt KellyMayor of Islington Cllr Kat Fletcher, pictured at the Whitecross Street Party. Picture: Matt Kelly

You have until January 20 to get their names in, with as much information as possible to help the judges – of whom I as Gazette editor will be one – choose the most deserving.

One special gong will go to a young person who has made a positive mark on the community around them – the Ben Kinsella Award, named in memory of the teenager who was savagely and wastefully stabbed to death in June 2008.

Through this award, Ben’s legacy lives on, and his parents Debbie and George go up on stage each year to celebrate one of Islington’s brightest rising stars – as Ben himself was.

Last year, that went to Filsan Hassan, a model student at the Samuel Rhodes School who has published her own book and spoken at Islington Learning Disability Parnership – in between volunteering for charities.

Ben Kinsella Award 2016 winner Filsan Hassan with a copy of her book Open Heart Surgery. Picture: Ken MearsBen Kinsella Award 2016 winner Filsan Hassan with a copy of her book Open Heart Surgery. Picture: Ken Mears

It’s made even more impressive by the fact Filsan lives with a serious condition – Williams Syndrome, which affects her heart and development.

Debbie Kinsella told her in March: “You are indeed an excellent role model for your peers and I could not think of a more worthy winner of this award.”

The winners will be announced at an Assembly Hall ceremony on March 16.

To nominate someone, visit islington.gov.uk/mayor to fill in the form.

There are also hard copies available – call the mayor’s office on 020 7527 3113 for details.


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