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BATCA celebrates Tooting heroes

BATCA celebrates Tooting heroes

| by Editor | Posted in News

Over 200 people flocked to Bina Hall, Tooting Bec on Thursday 10th December for the presentation of the Balham and Tooting Community Association’s (BATCA) Community Awards to volunteers who do outstanding work to serve the local community.

These were the fourth awards since BATCA was established in 2006 to provide a space where all of Balham and Tooting’s communities can come together and build trust and friendship. Since then, it has built flourishing networks of faith, business, public sector bodies and individuals, and organised many events.

Individual awards were given to Mohamed Ali, Dr Carlis Douglas and Lystra Charles, Thelma Lewis, Pat Nevard, and Zaynab Osman. Their work covers:

  • supporting disadvantaged young people in deprived parts of the borough
  • pioneering work to improve black mental health
  • support to the vulnerable and quiet behind the scenes work at local churches
  • fundraising and youth work

Team awards went to CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) and Micky Gwiliam and the team at Wandsworth Talking News for the visually impaired.

Public sector awards were given to Insp Helen Hughes, Metropolitan Police, Pat Battista, Mayor’s office, Wandsworth Borough Council, and the A&E department at St George’s Hospital. Dawat Restaurant received a special award. Certificates were presented to others who had received nominations.

Thelma Lewis, Zaynab Osman, Eleanor Brown, Jacqui Thomas, and Rev Andrew Davey (photo by Muddassar Ahmad)

The awards were presented by Indrajit Patel, Chairman of the Tooting Town Centre Partnership, Eric Munro, Director of Facilities and Estates at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, and others. Councillor Fleur Anderson read a message of good wishes from Sadiq Khan,MP for Tooting. Dan Watkins, Conservative Parliamentary spokesman for Tooting, also spoke. Good wishes were conveyed from the Mayor of Wandsworth.

All paid tribute to the amazing contribution made by the award recipients. They emphasised the rich, diverse local community, where people know one another and care for one another, so helping the area go from strength to strength.

This was an evening of celebration. Entertainment was provided by the Great Gustos Community Choir, led by Denise Broad, and the dancer Priya Patel. The evening finished with dinner from Dawat Restaurant. 

The Great Gustos (photo by Muddassar Ahmad)

The organisers are grateful for generous sponsorship from Dawat Restaurant, Bina Banqueting Hall, St Augustine’s and Holy Trinity churches, Tooting and others.

Award details


Mohamed Ali
Supports young people and families in deprived areas through the Elays Network, using the creative arts, advocacy, and educational support.

Dr Carlis Douglas and Lystra Charles
As members of the New Testament Assembly, Tooting, they have led a ground-breaking approach to tackling black mental health issues.

Thelma Lewis
Lifelong support for the vulnerable through St Anselm’s RC Church, Tooting Bec.

Pat Nevard
Unsung service behind the scenes as administrator of St Mary’s Church, Balham.

Zaynad Osman
Fundraising for local good causes since the age of 12, and youth and children’s work at Tooting Islamic Centre.



Staff and volunteers at CARAS
Provides a range of services to support refugees and asylum seekers and their families.

Micky Gwiliam and the ‘Wandsworth Talking News’ team
Weekly production of a recorded local news bulletin for the visually impaired.



Inspector Helen Hughes, Metropolitan Police
Dedicated service over many years to the communities of Balham and Tooting.

Pat Battista, Wandsworth Borough Council
Friendly, efficient service as secretary to the Mayor of Wandsworth.

St George’s Hospital A&E Dept
A lifeline service to the people of Balham and Tooting and wider areas around.



Dawat Restaurant
Support to community organisations for many years



The Balham and Tooting Community Association (BATCA) is a network of local organisations that aims to encourage closer links between all sections of the local community.  It was founded in 2006 as an act of solidarity in response to the London bombings in July 2005. It draws together faith bodies, businesses, and voluntary and public sector organisations. It holds events (Community Awards, Multi-faith Peace Ceremony, sports tournaments and discussion evenings) in which all can share.  New members are always welcome.

For further information, contact Kate Allan on or call 07966 690308

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