‘It gives me great pleasure to announce these incredible winners of the Barnet Homes 2021 Community Awards. After another year in which the Covid-19 pandemic has had a real effect on the people of Barnet. Once again, our community has stepped up to support their neighbours, going above and beyond to make sure everyone is as safe and as well as possible. Warmest congratulations to everyone!’
Tim Mulvenna, CEO The Barnet Group.

FUSE youth project leader, Harriet Boamah and her team of seven part-time staff have been providing support to children and young people that live in the Grahame Park, West Hendon and Stonegrove estates. They do this through provision of youth clubs, after school drop-in centres and free hot meals, trips away, a homework club, and support to families most in need with essential food supplies. FUSE were the winners of our Voluntary Sector/Charity Group of the Year Award (pictured above).

Harriet explained, ‘The statistics on social deprivation on the Grahame Park Estate speak for themselves. The local food banks serve more than 400 people a week. We’re all playing our part in the community with others such as Living Way Ministry, Unitas, and Youth Realities. Although the Grahame Park estate is not much to look at, there is actually a lot of community cohesion going on here.’

Good Neighbour Award goes to Anne Flynn, manager and resident at Little Larkins, a sheltered housing scheme in Barnet for twenty-four tenants aged between 62-86.

On receiving her award Anne said, ‘While most of the residents are independent and do their own thing, when Covid started, nine of us formed our own bubble. I took care of the needs of this vulnerable group during a difficult time. And we’re all still here!’

Winner of the under 25s Volunteer of the Year award is Zakaria Boutafala. Zakaria said, ‘I volunteered at my local foodbank run by the Burnt Oak Womens group. It was such an eye opener to help and just have a little chat with people every week and to see them have a smile under their masks – really made me happy and honestly proud to volunteer.’

Group of the Year winners are The Barnet Football Walking Team. The Barnet Football Walking Team has 140 players aged between 54 to 86 years old, they come along weekly to play in a safe and healthy environment. It’s not just football, they’ve been recognised for their charity work for Mind in Barnet, the Dementia Club Barnet and with local food banks.

On winning the award, Coordinator Shaun Sherrick said, ‘Thank you to Barnet Homes for this award. Our slow-paced version of the beautiful game helps to keep our members mentally and physically fit. If anyone would like to join this active community football group, please email barnetwft@yahoo.com

This year’s Covid-19 Inspirational Person winner is Shanker Modha. Shanker is an accountant by day for the musical industry, and in his spare time, he’s a singer supporting the Brahmin community of Hindus in north London.

When the first lockdown happened in March 2020, Shanker decided to provide after funeral prayer services on Zoom for bereaved families that had lost family members to COVID-19. Shanker explained, ‘I bought a zoom licence and have continued supporting families for the past 2 years, we’re still reaching 500 people weekly.’

Social Value Contractor of the Year
Here at the Barnet Group, we continue to be grateful for the ongoing support we receive from our contractors year on year, especially with their annual sponsorship of our Community Awards and their investment into our Covid-19 Recovery Community Fund that assists us in supporting our customers and service users. This year a number of our contractors continue to go above and beyond in supporting us, our communities as well as providing great customer service in our building, maintenance, and fire safety works. We received a number of nominations from colleagues for the outstanding work from the following contractors: Vallectric, WG Wiggington, Quinn London, Re-Gen.

This year’s winner of our social value contractor of the year goes to Quinn London Ltd.
Sizi Sibanda, Social Values Manager of Quinn London said, ‘QLL are incredibly pleased to accept the Social Contractor of the Year award from The Barnet Group! Over the past year we have been able to partner with local organisation BOOST who were able to employ nine local people into positions across our business and we are working on replicating this model for local employment across all large projects. We are looking forward to delivering more social value in the community by further engaging with local initiatives and local schools next year.’