Pride of Waltham Forest Awards

Text reading 'The Pride of Waltham Forest Awards 2023' on a purple background
Published: 7 September 2023
Filed under: Stories of the Forest

The Pride of Waltham Forest Awards are back for 2023! We can’t wait to once again celebrate the superstars of our borough, and we need your help to find them. Nominations are now open.

The Awards shine a light on those people who go above and beyond to help others, and who make Waltham Forest a great place to live. Whether it’s a sports group that goes out of their way to be inclusive, a local business that gives back to the community, or a neighbour who brings their street together: we want to hear about them. 

You can nominate anyone for an award, a friend or family member, a neighbour, your hairdresser, or someone from your local café, as long as they live in the borough.  

This year, the categories are: 

  • Leader’s Special Recognition Award 

  • Mayor’s Public Service Hero 

  • Environment Champion of the Year 

  • Local Business of the Year 

  • Health and Wellbeing Champion of the Year 

  • Volunteer/s of the Year 

  • Community Culture Award 

  • Safe Streets Champion of the Year

  • Young Person of the Year 

  • Carer of the Year 

  • ‘My Neighbourhood’ Champion of the Year 

To nominate someone for a Pride of Waltham Forest Award, fill in the nomination form below, explaining why your nominee deserves to win.

Nominations will be open until Monday 9 October and the awards ceremony will be held on 5 December.

Category Information

Leader’s Special Recognition 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. 

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. 

Environment Champion of the Year 

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 and enjoy. 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.   

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. 

Health and Wellbeing Champion of the Year 

This award recognises an individual who has gone above and beyond to improve the 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. 

Volunteer/s 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 operate 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 litter picking. 

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. 

Safe Streets Champion Award 

This award recognises residents or groups who have worked to keep our communities safe by improving safety on our streets. This might be through volunteering, training, working together with others, or running a community group where residents can access support.   

Maybe an individual has set up a neighbourhood watch, helped neighbourhood officers understand pressure points, or helped to promote police liaison sessions. Whatever shape their efforts have taken, they have helped to make Waltham Forest’s streets safer for everyone.   

Young Person of the Year 

This award will recognise a young local young person between the ages of 8 to 17, who has made a difference to their peer group or wider community, through volunteering, outreach or engagement.   

They may have volunteered locally in their neighbourhood, taken part in community initiatives, got together with their friends to tackle an issue they’ve recognised, or quietly made a difference in the lives of their neighbours.   

Carer of the Year 

This award recognises a person who has taken on a caring role within their family, friendship group, or wider community.   

Their caring duties might include things like administration, socialising, food shopping, or personal care. This person may have gone above and beyond to deliver a high standard of care and make a difference in the life of the person or people they care for.  

This can include paid and unpaid carers. 

‘My Neighbourhood’ Champion of the Year 

This award is to celebrate an individual, business or community group that has made a real impact on their local neighbourhood. This could be through providing support to neighbours, starting a residents’ group, or being the person who leads in tackling neighbourhood issues on behalf of their community.  

The nominee will have been a passionate champion of their local neighbourhood and made a difference in the lives of the people around them. 

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 2022, but historic contributions to the community will also be taken into account. The Leader's Special Recognition 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.