Islington’s unsung heroes celebrated at town hall
- Credit: Archant
Award winners hailed as ‘the best of Islington’ were celebrated at a ceremony at the town hall last night.
Some of the borough’s unsung heroes were recognised for their tireless work in the community at the Mayor’s Civic Awards in the council chamber, while World War Two veteran and former councillor George Durack and the Islington Veterans Association were given the freedom of the borough.
Debbie and George Kinsella, whose 16-year-old son Ben was stabbed to death in 2008, were also at the ceremony to give out an award in his honour and spoke of their sadness at the death of 15-year-old Alan Cartwright.
Mr Kinsella said: “I would just like to pass on our condolences to the family [of Alan Cartwright].
“Giving this award brings a little light to my heart – there is good in the young people in this borough and that needs to be recognised.”
Those awarded on the night included the heartbeat of Islington Boxing Club, the driving force behind the return of the poppy appeal in the borough and a group of disabled residents, carers and service users applying their experience to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in the community.
Speaking at the ceremony, Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, said: “These award winners represent the best of Islington.
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“There’s a lot we can be proud of in our borough but there are challenges.
“The horrific stabbing of Alan Cartwright chilled all of us and I would like to pay tribute to the Kinsella family – who are proof that people can move on from tragedy like this, however hard it may be.
“We face challenges, terrible things happen, but we come together to support families and to change things.
“The people awarded this evening are vital to Islington and it’s fantastic to have you all here.
“It’s all about building a better borough.”
The award winners were selected by a panel including Islington Mayor Cllr Theresea Debono, Borough Commander Det Ch Supt Gerry Campbell, Deputy Lieutenant Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes and the Gazette’s Community Editor, Aimee Brannen.
Aimee said: “It was a really tough job choosing the winners from such a variety of exceptional nominees.
“These inspirational people make this borough the special place it is to live and work, and the Gazette is beyond proud to be supporting the event again this year.”
The ceremony was held in the council chamber so that councillors could unanimously pass the decision to hand both George Durack and the Islington Vererans Association the freedom of the borough.
See all of our winners and their stories by clicking through to the gallery above.