Last week, on the evening of Thursday 26 January, 180 guests gathered at a gala dinner and dance to celebrate the winners of the Barnet Group’s Community Awards. The nominations for these awards have been submitted by Barnet Homes and Opendoor Homes residents, staff, volunatary and community partners from across Barnet who wanted to acknowledge those who have made a positive impact in their communities.

​​​​​​​Tim Mulvenna, CEO of The Barnet Group said, “It was brilliant to be able to attend our recent Community Awards in person, it was the first time since Covid that we have all been together to celebrate the extraordinary work of some our residents and also to thank our contractors for the support they give through their Social Value. None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for our organising committee of volunteers on the night, and a special thank you to our Community Engagement team of Deborah Beckford, Tim Blanc, Charmaine Carr and Andrzej Perkins. The winners, and all those nominated really make a difference in their communities and help make Barnet such a great place.”

The Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Alison Moore said, “It was a real pleasure to join residents, voluntary groups, officers and the sponsoring contractors for the Barnet Group Community Awards, celebrating all the amazing contributions of a room full of amazing nominees. I had the chance to talk to lots of them during the evening and hear about the difference they make to our communities. It was really inspiring to meet all the nominees and an honour to be asked to present awards to all the winners. Congratulations to everyone!”

The winners were:

Good Neighbour – Geraldine Haran: For always going the extra mile. Geraldine gave care packages to isolating children and families during Covid, she always shops for other neighbours, looks after communal areas, and volunteers at her local church. Her nominator described her as ‘a ray of sunshine’.

Geraldine Haran pictured receiving her award said, ‘I was shocked to be nominated by one of my neighbours in Finchley. I feel a bit overwhelmed at winning this award – it’s a lovely gesture and wonderful celebration!

Group of the Year – Bread n Butter: A project which supports people in Barnet to gain the skills and confidence to be able to cook simple, healthy and tasty dishes at home.

Pictured: Filomena Komodromou, Vicki Williams, The Mayor of Barnet, and Natasha Walter.

Filomena said, ‘We are delighted to have been awarded ‘group of the year’, it means so much to us to be recognised for the work we do. Knowing that we are making a difference within our local community is what drives our passion’.

Voluntary Sector Group or Charity of the Year – Unitas: A charity which engages with young people to provide sports, arts and crafts and a wide range of other activities. They support over 700 young people every week in Barnet.

Jennifer Parris-Buckley, Youth Engagement & Community Partnership Manager, “Just hearing the name Unitas, I froze! I could not believe it. It shows all the hard work by members of staff have not gone in vain. Thank you to the parents and young people for attending Unitas, without you this would not be possible.”

Michelle Allen, Enterprise Coordinator, “It was such a privilege to attend with my colleagues and young people from Unitas. How awesome to be invited to an event and be able to be around such inspiring organisations and then bring back the awards for Voluntary Sector Group/ Charity of the year. Thank you to those that nominated and voted for Unitas, we truly appreciate it.”

Volunteer of the Year – Shaun Sherrick: Shaun works tirelessly organising the Barnet Walking Football Team, which has 140 players who are up to 86 years old. It’s not just football, they have a walking group, curry club and a cycle group too.

On receiving the award Shaun said “On behalf of everyone at Barnet Walking Football Team I am incredibly proud to win this award, we work very hard in the community because it’s just something we do. A recognition is wonderful because everybody puts so much effort in.

Social Value Contractor of the Year – Masher Brothers: They went over and above for an elderly tenant who had lost everything. They supplied him with all the white goods to his kitchen and some furniture, all to their own cost. Masher Brothers have also carried out a full refurbishment of the One Stop Shop which is used for a school on the Grahame Park Estate; again, bearing all the costs of the refurbishment. They devoted their own time to support residents at Grahame Park, and donated vouchers to struggling families at Christmas. All in all, they’ve shown great social value.

Dan Allen of Masher Brothers said, ‘As a company, we are honoured to have won Barnet Homes’ Social Value Contractor of the Year award. Our wonderful team is committed to improving the lives of Barnet’s residents, and they will continually strive to do so.’

  • Young Volunteer of the Year – Shanice and Candice Howell: Shanice and Candice – 19 years old – are twins, who live on the Stonegrove estate. Over the summer holidays they gave up their time to volunteer at their local youth club to help support children and young people living on their estate.
  • Covid 19 Inspirational Person of the Year – Denise Lazarus: Denise has been an outstanding volunteer in 2022, continuously contributing to the Covid-19 Vaccination programme in Barnet. She has committed over 200 hours of her time (and counting) to support Gateway Chemist, located in Finchley, with their vaccination process. From checking in patients to managing waiting areas and assisting with patient flow, Denise has maintained a welcoming, friendly and professional atmosphere for everyone at the pharmacy.

The Barnet Group Community Awards was sponsored by

For photos of the evening, please see below 

It’s not too early to start thinking about our 2023 awards! Our community heroes make a difference throughout the year, not just during the nomination period. So, if there’s someone or a group you know that is deserving of recognition, visit our website in March to get your nominations in​​​​​​​.