Modest Islington community stalwart wins Tenant of the Year award
A charitable resident who goes the extra mile to help others in her community has been named as the nation’s Tenant of the Year.
Caroline Benford, of the Hyde Village estate off North Road, Islington, was given the award by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service for her selfless work in fundraising, volunteering and starting up new projects.
One of her recent initiatives saw her raise money for the family of a Hyde Village resident who died from a brain tumour, leaving behind a wife and two children under the age of six.
Mrs Benford organised a sponsored night walk around London and ran a benefit evening with an auction and disco.
Both events raised �3,000 which enabled the family to go to Disneyland, Paris.
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Her motive she says was to put a smile back on the family’s faces.
The mother-of-four also spends a lot of time volunteering at the Goodinge Road Community Centre in North Road where she sets up, runs and raises funds for special groups.
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These include a parents’ group, a bingo club for the elderly and a drama group for which she makes the costumes.
She has also created a memorial garden on the estate and got youngsters involved as a way of keeping them off the streets.
Mrs Benford said: “It’s not about recognition for yourself.
“It’s about noticing that your neighbour hasn’t got any family. A simple conversation with these people can make their day.”
Her charitable streak runs in the family.
Her mother Doris is an esteemed member of the community and has been working with the Goodinge centre for 35 years.
The award-winner’s daughter, Chloe Hester, 20, has followed in her mother’s footsteps and has started to get involved in her community.