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Pride of Waltham Forest Awards

Pride of Waltham Forest Awards

Published: 29 September 2022
Filed under: Stories of the Forest

We are celebrating the best in our borough with our Pride of Waltham Forest Awards, and we want you to get involved. These awards will acknowledge and thank the people in our communities who go above and beyond, whether they're the quiet heroes or the stars of their local neighbourhood.

We're accepting nominations for the following awards:

  • Leader's Civic Award
  • Waltham Forest for All Award
  • Stronger Waltham Forest Award
  • Community Sports Club of the Year
  • Health and Wellbeing Champion of the Year
  • Local Business of the Year
  • Community Culture Award
  • Mayor's Public Service Hero
  • Climate Champion
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Voluntary and Community Sector Organisation of the Year. 

It might be a café owner who always puts a smile on your face, or a neighbour on the WhatsApp group who loves to spread cheer. Maybe it’s a football coach who never misses a Saturday, or someone who cares for your relative with real compassion. Maybe it’s your best friend who has supported you through everything, or maybe it’s you! We welcome self-appreciation too.

Nominating helps celebrate those residents who been a constant source of strength and kindness throughout this tough time.

Nominations closed in October 2022. Stay tuned for announcements around the award-winners in early December. 

Leader's Civic Award

This category recognises a person with long-standing service to their community over many years. It will award a true champion of Waltham Forest, whose contributions to their community have been comprehensive and long-lasting. They will have forged close ties with communities of their area to make a decisive impact over many years.

The award is judged by the Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Cllr Grace Williams. She will be especially looking for nominees who have: worked across communities to help residents thrive together; gone above and beyond to improve quality of life among those most in need; or worked to specifically improve access to facilities, services and social groups for traditionally under-represented groups.

Waltham Forest for All Award

This award recognises outstanding cross-community work by an organisation or group. It is open to groups whose projects or activities have worked across multiple separate community or faith groups in a way that has brought these groups closer. Judges will look for examples of teamwork that led to residents from different cultures creating with each other and learning from each other.

Nominees might include organisations whose projects brought together different community groups to carry out an essential public service, like public health advocacy. They might include clubs, sports groups, regular events or community services which specifically aim to bring together different groups to learn from each other.

Stronger Waltham Forest Award

This award recognises the community group or business which, despite national adversity or hardship, have gone the extra mile to support their local community. Through a difficult few years of pandemic, lockdowns, overseas conflict and a cost of living crisis, many Waltham Forest organisations have remained a beacon of hope for their communities. Judges will be especially interested in nominations which demonstrate significant impact on communities most in-need.

Nominated organisations might have quickly changed their operational model to help their service users or customers in a crisis, they might have found an innovative way to help, or maybe they strengthened community spirit by sticking to their ‘business as usual’ despite setbacks.

Community Sports Club of the Year

This category recognises a Waltham Forest community sports club that brings people together, significantly contributing to community cohesion, wellbeing and sporting success. Judges will be looking for outstanding examples of recreational activities that are held regularly (at least once per month) and help people come together to relax and better enjoy life. They will be especially interested in entries which have had a significant impact in making their sport more accessible to underrepresented communities. They will also be interested in entries with significant and impactful track records during the pandemic, such as nimble return to service once rules allowed, or innovative activities during lockdown to keep members engaged and active.

Nominees might be a children’s cricket team, or a darts team for over-50s. They might meet at a skate park, bowling green or climbing wall.

Health and Wellbeing Champion of the Year

This award recognises an individual that has gone above and beyond to improve health and wellbeing of residents. They will have provided exceptional service and demonstrated outstanding dedication to the community, either as part of their paid work or through voluntary activity. Their efforts will have had notable impact on public health, whether mental or physical.

Nominees might have helped combat loneliness, improved vaccine uptake, or eased access to services. They might be working as part of a wider group or organisation or in their own capacity. Their efforts might be in the form of advocacy, advice, public or private practice, or research.

Local Business of the Year

This award will recognise the business which can demonstrate the most significant impact made in their market sector and local community. Judges will be interested in the ways in which businesses are different to their competition, and their potential for growth. The business must have been trading since April 2022.

Examples might be businesses that have gone above and beyond in generating employment opportunities for residents, contributing to keeping the borough safe, and introducing innovative ideas in the sector.

Community Culture Award

This award recognises the individual, group or organisation which has made the most notable efforts to bring residents together through cultural/artistic activities. The activities may entail music, dance, drama, the visual arts, or any other cultural or artistic practice. Judges will be especially interested in work among disadvantaged groups, and where collaboration is shown between public services, the cultural sector and children and young people.

Nominated residents or organisations might be an established venue, or they might be an artist working alone. Their work might take place across the borough or in a specific location.  

Mayor's Public Service Hero

This award recognises a person working in the public sector who has gone above and beyond their normal duties. They will have provided exceptional service and demonstrated outstanding dedication to their work. They will be someone who embodies civic pride and will have made a tangible difference to their community, neighbourhood and Waltham Forest as a whole.

Nominees could be from across the spectrum of public services, including teachers, police officers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, care workers and social workers.

Climate Champion

This award is for the individual, group or business who has made the most significant efforts to make Waltham Forest a greener place to live. This should entail practical action and real outcomes. 

As examples you may have set up a new green community initiative, planted or cared for a vital habitat, encouraged and supported the uptake of active travel, or changed behaviours in support of the climate change agenda. 

Volunteer of the Year

This award recognises a volunteer who has gone the extra mile to benefit the local community and make a difference to the borough. Volunteers can be operating on behalf of any organisation which serves Waltham Forest, especially the residents most in need of support. Judges will also be interested in volunteers who have inspired others to contribute their time.

Volunteers might contribute any number of hours per week. They might work in a team or by themselves – perhaps they help combat the climate emergency, loneliness, or public health crises. Maybe they give their time at a local cultural/community hub or picking litter.

Voluntary and Community Sector Organisation of the Year

This award recognises a Voluntary and Community Sector group or organisation which has best supported Waltham Forest residents.

Judges will be looking for examples of exceptional teamwork and initiatives that have done something outstanding to support and empower our residents. Maybe this was through grassroots projects working with the community, community events, or ongoing activities/services offered to residents.

General criteria

  • Nominated people must currently live in Waltham Forest, and nominated organisations must be based in Waltham Forest.
  • You cannot submit multiple nominations for the same person for the same award (though you can nominate different people for the same award, and the same person for different awards)
  • Winners will be chosen by a panel of community experts and senior Council leaders.
  • Awards will be given based on residents’ contributions since our last award ceremony in 2019, but historic contribution to the community will also be taken into account. The Civic Award is an exception to this, as it recognises long-standing service to the community.
  • The Council’s organisational partners are eligible to be nominated.