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Balham & Tooting Community Awards 2019 winners & nominees

Balham & Tooting Community Awards 2019 winners & nominees

Winners – Mushkil Action; Alan Bowen; Alexandru Rusti; Amna Ahmad
All photos by Amy Adams Photography

The Balham and Tooting Community Association (BATCA) Awards evening on 21st March was a fantastic celebration of the heroes of Tooting and Balham. Twelve awards were given to outstanding individuals and teams, and certificates given to those highly commended.

Samaj Hall was packed with nearly 200 hundred guests of all ages, faiths and backgrounds. It was an evening of warmth and cheer, with entertainment from the Great Gustos community choir and a delicious dinner from Shahi Kitchen.

Winners – Sahar Beg; Imran Sanaullah and Esmat Jeraj; Geoff Simmons; South London Swimming Club
All photos by Amy Adams Photography

The awards covered a wide range of fields, including BAME mental health counselling, providing meals for the homeless in Tooting High Street, encouraging young people into politics, supporting families with autistic children, local history, an exemplary special constable and mosque administrator and the Mushkil Action campaign team. The Heroes for Health awards included First Touch (the charity supporting St George’s neonatal unit), cold water swimming leaders at Tooting Bec Lido and a cheerful all-rounder volunteer at St George’s.
Councillor Piers McAusland, the Mayor of Wandsworth, and Ann Beasley, Chair of the South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust spoke. Rosena Allin-Khan, MP for Tooting, rounded off the evening with a rousing tribute to the openness and warmth of the community in Tooting. 


BATCA would like to thank:

  • All who contributed to their crowdfunding campaign which beat not only the initial target but the stretch target too, raising over £1,600, and those who donated generously on the night. This made the awards possible.
  • Those who made the nominations that are the foundation of the awards
  • The judges who had the near impossible task of adjudicating the nominations
  • Those who helped organise the event and helped on the night.

And all who came on 21st March to make this a community celebration for everyone!

Award recipients


  • Amna Ahmad – Monday circle and youth scout leader and mentor
  • Saher Beg – mental health work leader. Founder of Mindworks counselling service.
  • Venessa Bobb – Founder and leader of A2ndVoice, charity, supporting parents of autistic children
  • Maryam Tayub Administrator, Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre
  • Geoff Simmons – Local history and community engagement with Summerstown 182
  • Alexandru Rusti – Special Constable


  • Tooting Community Kitchen – Serving hot food to homeless and needy
  • Patchwork Charity – Imran Sanaullah and Esmat Jeraj. Helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds get into politics
  • Mushkil Action – Campaigning to save Mushkil Aasaan's culturally sensitive care services




  • Emma Beckett – Guide leader
  • Julia Bott and Richard Fox – Promotion of and support for Wandsworth Common (Friends of Wandsworth Common)
  • Matthew Brown and Derek Wright – Facilitating a free community football activity on Garratt Green
  • Nicky Evans – Volunteer Reader for Talking News Wandsworth
  • Maulana Maksud Gangat – Director of education, Al Risalah Education Trust
  • Stevie King – Community Artist and Volunteer supporting Tooting Charity Work and Play Scrapstore
  • Barbara Littlechild – Guide leader
  • Rozina Malik – Support Worker and Family Carer
  • Jayson Singh – Community Artist supporting Tooting charity the Work and Play Scrapstore
  • Ehsan Raza – Volunteer at Idara-e-Jaaferiya mosque
  • David Robson – Chair of Wandsworth LGBTQ Forum
  • Jess – Head chef at Graveney Kitchen homeless drop in and a volunteer


  • Counter staff team at HSBC Balham branch (117 Balham High Road) – Rupal Morarji, (Manager) Saima Ahmed, Christine Mateja, Suresh Patel and Archana Uthayakumar 
  • Tooting Foodival Co-ordinating Team  – David Thorne, Malsara Thorne, Volker Nissen, Belinda Sosinowicz
  • Mindworks – Local mental health agency that provides low cost counselling to the community
  • Salvation Army Charity Shop Team – Charity Shop supporting outreach to Balham / Tooting communities
  • Leaders of Tooting Woodcraft Folk – Mary-Ann, Marie and Sandra


  • Flu Vaccination team at St George's Hospital
  • Melissa Lacey and Lucy Thrower – St Georges Hospital Emergency Department Reception

Many thanks to Amy Adams for the photos.

You can find out more about BATCA on their website and follow them on Twitter


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