A group of over 40 people standing on the stairs in the town hall. They each hold up a certificate in a frame.

Published: Friday, 8th March 2024

The council recognised 40 exceptional local people and organisations with Civic Awards, for their outstanding contributions to Royal Greenwich.

The winners received their awards at a special ceremony at Woolwich Town Hall on Thursday 7 March. 

Mayor of Royal Greenwich, Councillor Dr. Dominic Mbang, said: “Congratulations to the Royal Greenwich Civic Award 2024 winners.  

“From fundraising and litter-picking to life-saving first aid, it was an honour to meet you all and to reward your courage, hard-work and selflessness with the recognition you all deserve.” 

Councillor Anthony Okereke, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: “It was a massive challenge to narrow down just three winners of my Leader’s Civic Award, but Carmel, Erika and Teresa really stood out. And what better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than honouring three inspirational women leading the way in our borough? 

“We’re grateful to all our Civic Award winners for the huge impact you all continue to make to your communities. It’s thanks to the outstanding contributions of local people that our borough continues to be a welcoming and inclusive place. Together, we all make Greenwich.”  

The 2024 Civic Award winners are: 

Act of courage | For someone who has shown remarkable courage or bravery 

  • Choman Nasradin Abdullah – For providing life-saving first aid to a member of the public who had been stabbed on 10 November 2023 

Arts and Entertainment | For a person or group who have made an outstanding contribution to arts, culture and entertainment in the borough 

  • Greenwich Exchange Ltd - For publishing acclaimed educational and artistic books in Greenwich for over 20 years 

  • Groove 101 Band - For continuing to support community events,, such as the Together festival, Sparkle in the Park and Woolwich Carnival 

  • Sushil Prajapati – For organising traditional drumming classes, dances and cultural programmes to celebrate Nepalese traditions. 

Community | For a person or group who make an extra effort to give back to their community 

  • Brenda Taggart – For her work as a committee member of the Charlton Central Residents Association, co-ordinator of the local neighbourhood watch and reinvigorating the Safer Neighbourhood Panel 

  • Calestock Estate Resident Association – For their voluntary work with residents to build a thriving community on the estate 

  • Eltham Knitters – For providing a social space for local people and supporting local causes through donations, such as Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, Demelza and the Simba Charity by donating handmade knitted items 

  • Jean and Alan Mahy – For setting up Friends of Southwood Park and their work on community projects in New Eltham 

  • Latifi Adjao Amoussa – For community work including supporting the Dad Club of Brookhill Children Centre and establishing the Woolwich Common Residents Association football and cycling clubs and during pandemic 

  • Oksana Kalala – For founding the Ukrainian Support Greenwich Project, supporting over 500 Ukrainians on the resettlement scheme 

  • Roots4Life – For operating a community fridge, a warm bank with hot food, community meals and a weekly gardening club 

  • Sarah Harper - For engaging the community in art by helping local children create mural art in Plumstead, organising Plumstead Make Merry and running workshops at Greenwich Together festival 

  • Somali Parents Network - For being a cornerstone of support for the East African community for over two decades 

  • Spencer Johnson – For organising free events such as a Halloween show and New Eltham Christmas lights and fundraising for Wyborne Primary School 

  • Woolwich Service Users Project – For providing emotional and practical support to local people experiencing life challenges 

Environment | For someone who has shown great commitment to improving the environment and tackling climate change 

  • Bostall Gardens Friends Group - For improving the environment of Bostall Gardens, making it a welcoming, relaxing and safe place for Abbey Wood residents and surrounding areas. 

Good Neighbour | For a person who is helping their neighbours and making their community a happier and safer place 

  • Michelle Beaumont - For being a ‘first class neighbour’, putting those around her first to be helpful and supportive 

  • Robert Hames - For being a ‘truly wonderful neighbour’, always providing a helping hand, taking in parcels, looking after pets and houses when owners are away, giving gardening tips and providing a greater sense of security in the community 

Leader’s Award | Awarded by the Leader of the Council to someone who shows outstanding commitment to and leadership in the borough   

  • Carmel Britto - For being an inspirational leader in the community, a passionate educator and director of LPF Kiddies Club, a non-profit out of school club, as well as founding Jeans and Heels Divas Club, a successful social enterprise that supports women to thrive as mothers and business owners 

  • Erika Podmore - For being an inspirational leader as Head Teacher at Eltham Hill School, transforming outcomes for the school and her hard work to provide the best education for all students 

  • Teresa Cox - For being an inspirational leader in your role as office manager and receptionist at the Recovery College for Mental Health, supporting good mental health for the service users 

Lifetime Achievement | For an individual or organisation who has made a significant impact in Royal Greenwich over the last 20 years or more 

  • Alan Stevens - For providing safe and affordable financial service to low income Greenwich residents over 22 years, including as President of the Greenwich and Bexley Credit Union until retirement in 2022 

  • David Waite - For providing safe and affordable financial services to Greenwich residents over 24 years, David was instrumental in setting up Greenwich and Bexley Credit Union in 1998 

  • Dolly Baldeo - For her service to the community as a nurse, through Greenwich Hindu Temple and as a school governor 

  • Irene Taylor - For her contribution to the 54th Greenwich Scout Group Scouting over 50 years 

  • Jean Shiels - For continuing service as a nurse for the last 51 years, training hundreds of others, as well as fundraising and volunteering to support isolated older adults in her community 

  • Jeremy James - For 21 years’ service as CEO and Artistic Director, transforming Tramshed for local people 

  • Marilyn Severin - For 20 years’ dedicated service to Oxleas NHS and voluntary work 

Sporting Achievement | To recognise a person who has achieved success through playing, coaching or organising sport in the borough 

  • Binod Gyanwali - For leading the establishment of volleyball for young people in the borough 

  • Hayley Openshaw - For representing Great Britain at the 10th World Crossbow Championships in India, winning four gold medals and breaking five world records 

Teacher or Teaching Assistant of the Year | For someone who is making a daily difference to the children or young people they work with 

  • Joyce Robinson - For being an outstanding teaching assistant for 21 years at Waterside Primary School, supporting pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties 

  • Kelly Olney - For being an exceptional teaching assistant at Kidbrooke Park Primary School, whose unwavering commitment and dedication goes above and beyond 

Volunteer | For a person who goes out of their way to help others 

  • Ahmed Mohamoud - For educating young people about the dangers of getting involved in illegal activities and supporting them to find employment 

  • Alan Harris - For supporting the community as an active member of Sidcup Active Retirement Association and the Community Association of New Eltham 

  • Judith Akhidenor - For supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families at Willow Dene School and the Javan Coker Foundation 

  • Margaret Fordham - For running the Avery Hill Foodbank to help vulnerable people and families 

  • Reach Out Volunteers at Mycenae House - For offering a safe and welcoming environment for those experiencing bereavement, loneliness, social isolation, poor mental or physical health 

Young Persons Outstanding Achievement | For a person under 25 years of age who has gone above and beyond in their community 

  • Catherine Oke - For her outstanding contribution to the You’re Welcome programme, which aims to make health services more young people friendly 

  • Madeleine Kendall - For helping out at Charlton Park Riding for the Disabled 

See photo gallery