It was an evening to remember for Thornton Heath at the Mayor’s Civic Awards with local volunteers being recognised not once but three times.
There were awards for Marley King, Graham Mitchell and The Lions Society.Marley was heavily involved in the installation of play equipment near her block of flats as well as arranging a community picnic, which encouraged the elderly to come and socialise, won the Good Neighbour award.
Marley who is a Street Champion and a Thornton Heath Community Action Team committee member said: “In my eyes I hadn’t done anything amazing or selfless I had just done what I wish everyone, neighbour or not, to do. My motto (fellow Scouters may recognise) is to do my best, to be kind, to be helpful and love my world.
“The joy my mostly elderly neighbours received through our big lunch and daily interactions is thanks enough. Loneliness is a secret issue affecting so many and we can all do our bit to resolve.
“Winning this award has given me the boost I sometimes need to keep going when facing various setbacks.”
Fellow THCAT committee member Graham took the Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride award being recognised for his work with the council and residents during their Don’t Mess with Thornton Heath campaign – personally delivering 5,000 leaflets. He also organises clear ups of Norbury Brook and Thornton Heath Rec.
He said: “I am fortunate that I work with so many talented and committed volunteers in Thornton Heath and, hopefully, my recognition will also be an acknowledgement of the work done by those many ‘unsung heroes’ in the north of the borough. The award gives me great encouragement and I’ll continue trying to improve the environment in Thornton Heath and Croydon.”
The Voluntary Group of the Year award went to The Lions Society formed to raise awareness and bring solutions to the issues of knife crime. Based in Thornton Heath, The Lions Society have made a difference in the lives of many young people and were ‘absolutely honoured’ to receive the award.
A spokesman added: “We’ve all dedicated ourselves to make a positive change within our local community and beyond. We have a passion to see the youth of today succeed and achieve all they desire.
“Winning the award has undoubtedly encouraged us to keep pressing for great change.”
THCAT was for the second time a runner up in this category.
Pupils from Ecclesbourne Primary School, wowed guests at the Civic Awards with an amazing demonstration of African drumming.
The Thornton Heath school has become a beacon for musical talent under the leadership of the school’s enthusisatic Music Director Timothy Spoerer who conducted the performance.
In 2016 his long-term friend Ed Sheeran bought the school a bus because Mr Spoerer struggled to hold classes due to a lack of facilities. The Mercedes Citaro bendy bus called The Jam Bus has been transformed in to a musical studio and has storage racks for the West African djembe drum.
Earlier in the year the Ecclesbourne choir peformed at Buckingham Palace before Prince Edward.