Islington’s unsung heroes

Two FoodCycle volunteers with aprons on, spooning food into pots

Meet this year’s Civic and Ben Kinsella Award-winners

Every year, Islington celebrates its unsung community heroes with the Mayor’s Civic Awards and the Ben Kinsella Award, a special award given to a young person who has made an outstanding contribution to life in the borough.

With many people struggling due to rising costs of food and energy, the people who volunteer their time, or go above and beyond for others, are more important than ever.

The winners were picked by a panel chaired by the Mayor of Islington, from more than 30 nominations from the public, and were announced at an awards ceremony at Islington Assembly Hall this week. Each winner received an award, certificate and a local shopping voucher for an independent Islington shop of their choice.

Meet our community heroes: Ben Kinsella Award

The winner of the Ben Kinsella Award 2023 is Charlie Bridgeman, who was nominated for his work at The Zone Youth Club cafe. He has supported other young people, overcome personal obstacles, and has even raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Meet our community heroes: Mayor’s Civic Awards


The volunteers at Hive Food Bank at St Mary’s Hornsey Rise were praised for their weekly efforts to ensure that local people in food poverty can get the supplies they need.

Sharon Hussein is a hairdresser who has been described as “a vital community resource” for her efforts visiting elderly residents and running errands for them. She is also known to be a good listener for people who are experiencing mental health problems.

Janice Tucker is the founder of the Archway Town Centre Group, which works with local businesses, the police and the council to make Archway safer, greener, and more prosperous. Most recently, Janice was instrumental in organising the Archway festive lights event.

Nicholas Crivello ensures that children and young people are getting the best possible start in life through his work at Soapbox Youth Centre.

Marie Williamson works tirelessly to support survivors of domestic abuse seeking refuge.

Paul Badman is a window cleaner who spent 10 years caring for his mother-in-law who had dementia.

Toni Parker is a lifelong Islington resident who runs Pack Up, a community food service at St James’ Church Hall. Toni and her team have provided a free lunch for an increasing number of people every Monday for six years.

The team at FoodCycle in Finsbury Park use surplus food to provide a free three-course meal for people in need every Wednesday.

Sponsors of the Mayor’s Civic Awards

London Metropolitan University was the primary sponsor of the event. Other supporters of the Mayor’s Civic and Ben Kinsella Awards evening this year included Smart Transport Hub, Better, and Faithful and Gould.

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