1. AFIA PARVEEN
Ms Parveen is a very valued member of the local community. As a volunteer, she helps to look after a number of disabled and disadvantaged people. She does all she can to help them with cooking and cleaning their homes. Because of the work Ms Parveen puts in, they enjoy a higher standard of living and have hot meals to eat each day.
Afia was nominated by Cllr Raja Saleem.
2. AHBAB KOYES
Ahbab has been attending Crescent summer school project from the age of 8, as a participant. From age 16 he has volunteered with the project and for the last 3 years has become a paid youth worker. He currently volunteers 10 hours a week BYL Youth Club at CYCD and Denbigh High School. He manages a football session at Denbigh High for children with disadvantaged backgrounds. Ahbab has made a real difference in young peoples lives and encourages, motivates young people to get involved in positive programmes.
Ahbab was nominated by Abdul Halim.
3. ALLAN MAHER
Allan has a number of different voluntary roles which greatly benefit his local community. At the age of 23 he has achieved a huge amount for local children. As scout leader for the First Luton Sea Scouts, Allan is heavily involved in the management of the club. Allan has raised over £20,000 to purchase new equipment for the group. Also, as scout special needs coordinator Allan is part of the district committee and provides training, support and advice to support groups in Luton with children who has special needs. He is also Scout child protection advisor, Chairman of the PHAB Club, and also teaches at a school for children with special needs. He raises huge amounts of money and awareness for these children and often receives little recognition.
Allan was nominated by Jo Merrick.
4. CHERIE DENTON
Cherie works for GM and has helped partners a great deal with the set up and running of the SOS Bus, Luton. Cherie arranged for somewhere for the SOS bus and Vivaro to be kept and a place the vehicle can be refuelled. Cherie has donated raffle prizes to raise much needed funding for the bus and also sources its volunteers. Another of Cherie’s projects is the Safety Squad. She has been involved in this for many years; in 2009 she located a place for the Safety Squad to run events, organised trophy awards and is always an upbeat, helpful, positive person. Without her help with these two projects, they probably would not be up and running now and Cherie is a pillar of strength for them.
Cherie was nominated by Laura Chalmers.
5. DAVID BOND
David is a teacher at Stopsley High School and for the past 17 years has been the sole coordinator of the Duke of Edinburgh award’s scheme at the school. He has helped hundreds of students to achieve Bronze and Silver awards. This involves regular Tuesday evening sessions that he runs, but also the countless weekends he has given up to take young people away to complete the Expedition Sector of their award. Duke of Edinburgh gives participants personal skills, confidence, self esteem and independence, as well as making a positive contribution to society.
David was nominated by Paul Hunt.
6. FATIMA ISLAM
Fatima moved to Luton over 30 years ago and has been striving for women empowerment and challenged the education of women in her home town of Bangladesh. She is now a seasoned lecturer and a Community Liaison Officer within the local community, and is well known and respected amongst the local Asian communities. Fatima has also taken the time to learn English, Hindi and Urdu to aid her help with others. Some of her roles in the community include Home School Liaison Officer, Outreach Community Advice Worker for Social Services, Member of educational appeals committee within Beds, Youth Worker for Luton Borough Council and many more. Fatima recently retired but still voices her many ideas to help and support women and has recently approached Bengali Women’s project to set up a drop in session for wives who come from abroad to allow them to socialise and gain skills.
Fatima was nominated by Shabina Khanum.
7. JOAN HOW
Until recently, Joan had been Chair of her local Neighbourhood Watch, in the Westmorland area. Members meet regularly and have good “virtual” networks. Joan has provided a valuable neighbourhood service and is in frequent contact with PCSO’s, LBC and other groups. Issues addressed have included management of roads and pavements, road humps, care of the park and children’s provision and that of equipment of the park. There has also been bad vandalism which Joan handled with the police and local authority. Joan is a community spirited person who we all benefit from greatly.
Joan was nominated by Cllr Margret Simons
8. JOHN SIMMONS
John has represented trade unions and employee’s rights throughout his working life, and has always gone beyond the call of duty to try and resolve other people’s issues. Since retiring he has remained an active individual and is currently Chair of the Trustees for Luton Rights, and a Director for the Community Resettlement project, which works country-wide supporting offenders with re-establishing themselves back in to the community. Luton Rights is a local charity providing free specialist advice in social welfare law and also supports the unemployed and those from disadvantaged backgrounds with getting back in to employment. John is the backbone and driving force of the centre, providing innovative solutions and value for money. John takes an active interest in the government and how changes will affect the vulnerable members of Luton and strives to make a positive difference by driving the organisation to address the issues.
John was nominated by Rumi Chowdhury
9. LINDA ELLIOTT
Linda gives her free time up week in and week out to lead the 1st Luton Guide Company, which is the oldest Guide company in Bedfordshire having formed in 1915. Linda has been in charge of the guide company for a number of years and although she lives in Flitwick, travels each week to run the unit for the girls attending. Linda also takes the girls away for weekends once or twice a year and during school summer holidays takes them away for just over a week to large international “Jamboree”.
In 2009 Linda took her narrow boat license and now regularly takes the girls from 1st Guides out on narrow boat trips; opening up this opportunity to girls right across Bedfordshire. Linda has also previously been the District Commissioner for the Stockwood District of the Guides in Luton.
Linda was nominated by Paul Hunt
10. LUKE BLAND
Luke has been a support worker for several years and has aided the homeless with managing their issues and building up their self esteem and other life skills to get them back on their feet again. He has motivated and helped others gain accommodation and encouraged setting goals and helping to achieve them. Many people working with Luke have received support and appreciate his hard work. He has also helped raise money as well as awareness for those in need. Luke also suffered from similar things to those he now works with and uses his own experiences to help others.
Luke was nominated by Dwain Williams who was helped personally by Luke and calls him “his local hero”.
11. MARIA LOVELL
Maria took it upon herself to establish a Ghana Society in Luton. The society offers the young people of Luton the chance to develop their creative talents, to build self confidence and to learn about Ghanaian Culture. Maria took time to organise events and activities for young people in Luton; for example, in November 2010 a group of young people performed at the UK Centre for Carnival arts in celebration of Black History Month and some have also played an active part in the Luton Carnival.
Maria is a great role model for young people as she displays commitment to a cause. Maria sets a good example with her enterprising nature and her “not afraid of hard work” attitude.
Maria was nominated by Cllr Morel Benard.
12. MAZHAR HUSSAIN
In his spare time, Mazhar looks after disabled and disadvantaged people in the community. He takes the time to help people see religious leaders for spiritual guidance and support. He also ensures that people are provided with food and meals and that Carers of vulnerable people are supported. He does this on top of his job and also looks after his family, which in itself if a big commitment. Mazhar helps support those with special needs and is an active participant in the cohesion of local people with health and social problems.
Mazhar was nominated by Cllr Raja Saleem
13. MICHELLE HADDRELL
As a teenager, Michelle has always been interested in fundraising for disabled and disadvantaged children at Linsele House in Dunstable. She is now currently the Branch Secretary for Parkinson’s UK in Luton and over the last two years has orchestrated their move from the Hockwell Ring Day Centre to the new modern facility at Luton Active branch in Hightown. Michelle continually supports all of the members on a group basis and on a one to one basis when necessary. Without Michelle, most of the attendees, who are mostly pensioners, wouldn’t get many opportunities to go out. She arranges travel needs for Parkinson’s night which is held every 2nd Friday of the month and organises an annual day trip for all members and guests to a local place of interest. Michelle also organises fundraisers, raffles, bazaars, dinners and parties to help raise much needed funds, which is needed to pay specialist Parkinson nurses who care for the members. Most of her time is devoted to the above charity but she also contributes in charity fun runs every year. Michelle does this on top of being a devoted wife and daughter and has a daytime job.
Michelle was nominated by Joyce Edwards
14. MOHAMMED AZAD
Mohammed’s daytime occupation is a handyman. In his spare time he looks after disabled and disadvantaged people in his local community. He is the key communicator with those in need and people regularly contact him for help and support, either practically or for help managing their personal issues. He is a well respected man due to his work within the community and the support he shows families and individuals.
He ensures people have hot meals and food and shows people different ways of managing their problems, including introducing and supporting the roles of religious leaders.
Mohammed was nominated by Cllr Raja Saleem
15. MOHAMMED TUFAIL
Mohammed is a local business man who gives his time up voluntarily to support those most in need within his community, providing transport and advice and practical assistance when required. He has given his time freely, so as to assist his community any way that he can, visiting those struggling families and providing not only relative support, but also moral support to those in desperate need. Mohammed is a construction worker by day but aids the people in his community by supplying food and support to those disadvantaged and often disabled people, whilst still managing to work full time.
Mohammed was nominated by Cllr Raja Saleem.
16. MRS RITA WIGG AND MR STUART WIGG
Despite being very much a family man and not always enjoying the best of health, Stuart finds time to give to many different organisations. Stuart has, for many years now, been Secretary to the local branch of the Far East Veterans Association and writes the regular monthly column for the Luton News. He also arranges speakers, quizzes and other entertainment for their monthly meetings. He can often be found visiting members who, unfortunately, have been taken into hospital. When he isn’t doing this he is finding as many ways as possible to raise much needed funds. He is an active member of the Royal Air Force Association and can often be found at local supermarkets “shaking the tin” to raise money for “Our Heroes”. As is often with a great man, there usually is an equally great woman behind them, and this is certainly the case with Stuart and Rita. Rita is 100% behind Stuart’s work with the Far East Veterans and often helps by compiling quizzes and providing entertainment and making birthday and get-well cards for the members. Rita puts many long hours into these things and supporting the organisation.
Being a family orientated person, Rita also finds time to make Christmas and Easter decorations which she sells and donates the money to Keech Hospice Care. Rita provides all materials for these gifts from her own purse and has raised a great deal for both of these causes.
Stuart and Rita were nominated by Paul Hunt.
17. SABATH SHAZIA
Sabath is a 21 year old young lady who has been a part of charity and voluntary work since 2007. Despite being a full-time student, working two jobs and running her own two business’s, she still has time to help the community out there and spare up to 20 hours a week trying to make a positive change. In 2007 she organised her first ever event at Luton Sixth Form College, where she raised £2,000 for the Bangladesh Cyclone. In 2008 she organised another event at Luton Sixth Form College to raise money for a new minibus for the Lady Zia Wernher’s children with special needs school. Over the years Sabath’s passion for charity and community work has grown and was recognised when she was nominated for, and won, first prize of the “YOPEY” awards, and again in 2008 when she was awarded a Diana Award.
At the beginning of 2010 Sabath got involved in LBBC; a project to help support local businesses. As Vice Secretary, Sabath worked 15 hours a week going from business to business offering help. In February 2010 Sabath got involved in “Hear my voice”; a project which raised £30,000 for those who suffered in the Earthquake in Haiti last year. She also raised £6000 for charity by holding a “Luton Bazaar” and £1,000 when she climbed Mount Snowdon in 7 hours to raise money for Haiti and Gaza.
Sabath is known to have said “I am a strong individual and will never give up helping others out there”. Youngsters also find Sabath a strong and inspiring role model; particularly to Usman Ali, who said “Sabath is the most inspiring person I have met in my life because she does so much for others, it motivates me to stand up and also help”.
Sabath continues to contribute to the community and raise money to support those in need, as well as being a loving daughter and sister.
Sabath was nominated by Nargis Rahman and Cllr Raja Saleem.
18. TERRY BAXTER
Terry stepped up to become the Chair of Limbury 50+ Club 3 years ago after his predecessor passed away suddenly. Terry has since built up and extended a great foundation for the club. The members meet once a week and are able to go on outings, making this a caring environment for them. 120 or so members attend this group, which means this is a heavy task for Terry to undertake, and he has given so much energy and time to the club.
Terry was nominated by Cllr Margaret Simons
20. TONY MURPHY
Since his retirement, Tony has devoted a lot of his time to voluntary work. A ‘Stopsley Strider for over 20 years, he has run marathons all over the world; London, Newcastle, Birmingham, Dublin, Brussels etc, all in aid of local charities. Tony is a volunteer at the Luton Irish forum and lends his support and help to organise events throughout the year. He continuously helps the aged with their gardening, decorating and D.I.Y and never asks for any reward. Appointed as St. Patrick for the Luton Irish Festival several years ago, he delighted in dressing up in his special St. Patrick’s costume and help to bring smiles to everyone on St. Patrick’s Day. Tony is also a key member of the Luton Irish Pipe Band. Down the years, Tony also became a player, referee and great supporter of Gaelic games. Tony’s selfless contribution to the life of the community has indeed been outstanding and he also has a wonderful sense of humour!
Tony was nominated by Frank Horan who calls him “my community hero”.
21. WENDY WALKER
Wendy is Chair of the Hightown Stakeholder Groups. She has challenged the police in order to make anti-social behaviour in Hightown to be their number one priority. Wendy has been working tirelessly in the ward for a number of years to try and make her community safer and more respectable for children and families living locally.
Wendy was nominated by Cllr Jacqui Burnett.
22. ZOE WRIGHT
Zoe joined Lealands High School as a Design and Technology Teacher in 2004 and in 2005 Zoe started to teach Lauren Beck. This is when Zoe’s passion and commitment to her field began to really shine through. Lauren’s predicted GCSE was estimated to be a grade E, this was said to be due to Dyslexia and Lauren’s lack of confidence. Zoe’s belief in Lauren’s abilities, however were unconditional. Zoe did not only give outstanding care and support to Lauren, but to all the students taking her class. She offered all pupils the same dedication and the same self belief. Zoe made herself available to students 24/7 whilst their final GCSE projects were being made, and even went into the school in her holidays so that the students had access to vital equipment. She gave up her evenings most nights until 7pm to go through coursework and products. Zoe’s commitment to her level of teaching is unbelievable. She provides all her students with encouragements, motivation and self confidence in what they can achieve.
After originally being predicted a grade E in Graphic Products, Lauren then received a grade A in her exam! This was with the help of Zoe’s support and encouragement. Lauren then went on to receive the Pattendon Award 2010 for Graphic Products, out of over a thousand pupils, for her outstanding work. Zoe has inspired Lauren to take her passion for design further and she is now studying for her BTEC National Diploma in Fashion and Clothing and still Zoe makes herself available if Lauren requires support with her college work or advice. Zoe is one of the most dedicated, passionate and caring teachers and this is reflected in her students and their achievements.
Zoe was nominated by Lauren and Karen Beck who are extremely grateful for Zoe’s help.