Let's celebrate our community heroes!

by Kate Allan in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 25th March 2019 we successfully raised £1,642 with 50 supporters in 28 days

Help us celebrate our community heroes in Tooting and Balham. We need your support for this year’s BATCA Community Awards.

by Kate Allan in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

It's great news that due to your generosity, we've reached our initial target of £1250. A BIG THANK YOU for your support, which has come from all round the community. 

The aim of the Awards is to celebrate the amazing people from all faiths, cultures and ways of life who serve the community as volunteers. So many outstanding people have been nominated by you, the public. We want to make the evening on 21st March when the awards will be presented a celebration to remember. So we're keeping the campaign open and ask you to contribute to our stretch target of £1550.

Please come to the Awards event! It's an evening for the whole community to come together to celebrate our heros. You're invited to share food, fun and entertainment as well as the inspiring stories of the award recipients. There's no charge, but please reserve your place at http://batca.org/community-heros/

Be Enriched youth and community charity team award 2017

It’s time to celebrate our local volunteer heroes! All faiths and cultures value service to others, so let’s find a way to come together to honour the outstanding people who contribute so much to our community. That’s the aim of the Balham and Tooting Community Association (BATCA) Community Awards for 2019 – the seventh round of awards since they began in 2007. 

Why the Awards? 

Tooting and Balham are great places to live, full of energy and buzz. It's no accident that in 2018 Lonely Planet named Tooting as one of the 10 coolest neighbourhoods in the world.  Diverse cultures make a big contribution. But people from different cultures don’t always mix naturally.  BATCA is a group of local people that helps build connections between different groups.

The Community Awards build bridges. Previous awards have been enthusiastically taken up by people of all faiths, races, and cultures. They have a great track record. 

Little Village team award 2016            Be Enriched team award 2017          Bernadette Khan individual award 2016

What difference do they make?

Those who’ve received awards tell us about the difference they’ve made. They value not just personal recognition but the boost it gives to their cause or group, who get wider appreciation and feel more connected to others. The image of volunteers generally gets a lift. That’s why community leaders – civic, faith, business, political – endorse them strongly.  

Rebecca Wilson, Little Village baby bank

"The award really helped put Little Village on the map. It was a great way of promoting what we do and getting more people involved in running and benefitting from our service." 

Helen Johnson, Brownie and Guide leader

"The Brownies who came with me to the award ceremony saw other people as well as me receiving awards for their work. This inspired them to think what they could do for the community when they grow up"

Ilesh Patel, Miss U Stationers

"I was very proud. When my customers saw the certificate, they were very happy too. Overall it was a very good experience". 

How do they work?

The Awards are involving, inspiring and fun. Anyone can nominate someone, so the nominations reflect the whole community. Independent judges assess the nominations. Past awards have covered many different fields – supporting refugees, the homeless, women facing domestic violence, leading the Brownies, a cheerful milkman, a ‘talking newsletter’ for the blind, and many more. Read about past recipients on the BATCA website.

What’s new this time?

This year there will be a special emphasis on ‘Heroes for health’ – the people who work to support our health and well-being, whether in the NHS or the wider community.

Presenting the awards - an evening for all

Everyone's welcome at the presentation of the Awards on 21st March in Tooting. This will involve 200 people from across the community for a celebration evening of inspiration, fun and food.  Celebrating together is a great way to build community. Come and meet the MP for Tooting, the Mayor of Wandsworth and other local leaders. You can book a place now on the BATCA website.

We need your support

We need your support for the Awards. No charge is made for the evening on 21st March so no-one is deterred from coming.   We want it to be open to everyone. But we need to meet its costs - it doesn't come cheap. We look to you to help us resource the Awards well so we can bring everyone together. Please do your bit to make our community strong. Please give your generous support.

How your contribution be used

Every penny will go on expenses for the Awards:

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, came to the awards several times when MP for Tooting, as have many other leaders. They say:

Councillor Sarah McDermott  Nightingale Ward   "BATCA is a wonderful organisation that connects people from all walks of life and different faiths and backgrounds in their love of and attachment to Balham and Tooting. Their vibrant community events such as the Awards reflect the true spirit of Balham and Tooting – they are great fun!"

Brian Albuquerque Tooting Town Centre Manager   "The BATCA Community Awards evening is a great opportunity for us all to come together, celebrate and recognise the contributions of local people who have volunteered to serve their area for the greater, common good. These wonderful people make a huge positive difference in the community and it is important we show our appreciation. I certainly always come away from the evening feeling inspired".                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Hilary Jennings Transition Town Tooting  "The Awards celebrate the fantastic diverse community of Tooting. The Awards evening is a must- attend date in the Tooting calendar. The best place to meet the whole community!"

The BATCA team 

Ali Jaffri   Ali has been chair of BATCA since 2016. Over 10 years in the area, he is a lynchpin of the Idara-e-Jafferiya mosque community in Church Lane, Tooting. 

Arshad Daud   Arshad is a businessman and senior leader at Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre.

Andrew Davey    Andrew has been vicar of St Augustine’s and Holy Trinity churches, Tooting, for seven years and works to make them the heart of the community.  

Kate Allan    Kate is BATCA’s secretary. Now retired, she loves being involved in the local community and its buzz. She has lived in the area since her 20s.

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