The BATCA Community Awards celebration on 24th November at Jasmin’s Club on Tooting High Street was a wonderful occasion enjoyed by over 200 people from all Balham and Tooting’s communities. I was honoured to have been part of the panel that judged the very worthy nominations, and to have to presented prizes to some of the winners.
Eight individuals and four teams received awards. All were outstanding, and active in fields including supporting young people at risk, championing BME women’s and LGBT rights, helping local children behind in their reading, relief work for Nepal earthquake victims, helping disabled children in Pakistan, and supporting parents of sick children in St George’s Hospital. Team awards went to groups who do football coaching, encourage blood donations, and support families in need, the homeless and the elderly.
Our VIP guests praised the amazing contribution that all the people nominated for awards make to our community. John Bird, founder of the Big Issue, spoke passionately of his personal journey through poverty, homelessness and prison, through to embracing community and volunteering.
Great generosity was shown in donations made on the spot and those pledged to BATCA in future. We also had fantastic singing from the Great Gustos community choir and Bollywood dancing by Priya Patel, followed by dinner supplied by Dawat Restaurant.
The evening ended with cheers for BATCA’s 10th birthday and cutting the birthday cake. Many thanks to our sponsors, especially Wandsworth Council and Dawat Restaurant, to the BATCA organising team and to all who contributed to the success of the evening.