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Celebrating Balham & Tooting's 2020 Community Heroes

Celebrating Balham & Tooting's 2020 Community Heroes

| by Tooting Newsie | Posted in News, Events, Charities & Community

The BATCA (Balham And Tooting Community Association) Community Awards have been announced, with eleven individuals and teams recognised for their service to the community.

Though the celebration evening planned for tonight, Thursday 19th March, could not go ahead, BATCA would proudly like to celebrate those honoured.

The award recipients come from a wide variety of fields, including improving the environment, the visual and performing arts, supporting the elderly, and leadership and community building in many spheres. Awards were made in the following categories.


  • Jean Millar: Balham environment champion
  • Tooting Community Garden: Growing and learning space open to all
Jean Millar; Tooting Community Garden
Jean Millar; Tooting Community Garden

The Arts

  • Jatinder Verma MBE: Founder of Tara Arts Theatre
  • Jayson Singh and Weavie Stevie: Community artists at the Work and Play Scrapstore
  • Liberty Choir: Volunteer choir at Wandsworth Prison


Community Awards
Jatinder Verma MBE; Jayson Singh; Weavie Stevie; Liberty Choir

Health and wellbeing

  • Dr Irshad Hussain: Tooting GP, volunteer imam and community leader
  • Basia Klimas-Sawyer: Social and cultural leader of the Polish community for over 40 years
  • Furzedown Project: Community centre supporting the elderly
Community Awards
Dr Irshad Hussain; The Furzedown Project; Basia Klimas-Sawyer

General community support

  • Year 10 and 11 girls of Al Risalah Muslim Secondary School: Reaching out to the wider community
  • Dave Mauger: Editor, Tooting Newsie

A special Chair’s award was made to Brian Albuquerque for his service as Tooting Town Centre Manager.

Community Awards
Year 10 and 11 girls of Al Risalah Muslim Secondary School
Community Awards
Dave Mauger; Brian Albuquerque

BATCA will look for opportunities to present the awards to those concerned over the next few weeks and months, to celebrate them fully and tell their stories,” says Kate Allan, BATCA Secretary. “Certificates of commendation will go to all those nominated, who are heroes no less.

“BATCA remains committed to connecting the community in these difficult times. We will look for innovative ways to do so, building on the resilience and community spirit of Balham and Tooting.”

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