Members of the community who dedicate their time to showcasing local areas, transforming the environment and improving the lives of others have been honoured at Merton Council’s Excellence Awards this evening.
Liz Sherwood, in the centre at the back, with school children in Morden Park.
In her role as secretary of the Morden Park and Playing Fields Association, community champion Liz Sherwood, pictured above, organises regular group litter picking days and teaches school children about the importance of being responsible for their litter.
She is involved in a number of community groups and events including as a trustee and committee member for the Morden Fun Day, working with the Friends of Mitcham Common, and extending the Abundance Fruit Day initiative from Wimbledon into Mitcham and Morden.
Chris Larkman collects his award from the mayor of Merton, Cllr Brenda Fraser
As a carer for her mother, Ms Sherwood said community events such as litter picking enable her to get out of the house for a short time and do something worthwhile. She said: “Life is difficult for carers. If I didn’t get out of the house to do things like this I would be stuck inside. I enjoy getting out into the fresh air and keeping everything looking tidy.”
She added: “It’s nice to be recognised but I don’t deserve it. There are other people who have been doing a lot more than me.”
Chris Larkman helped set up the Raynes Park Association to represent businesses and residents. The role has now been taken on by former councillor, Chris Edge.
As chairman, a voluntary role, he worked closely with the council to improve Raynes Park for everyone. Chris helped Raynes Park High Street to be placed second in London as part of the Great British High Street Awards in 2015 and champions the area’s popular Christmas event, now in its fifth year. On finding out about his award, he said: “I thought it was really nice and wondered what it was for! I really appreciate it.”
Merton’s Clinical Commissioning Group’s chairman Dr Andrew Murray, above, has been recognised for his dedication to improving the health of Merton’s residents and working in partnership with the council. Judges recognised that as a GP, Dr Murray always puts his patients first and were impressed by his international work. Dr Murray has a special interest in healthcare in the developing world, setting up a community health worker training programme in Myanmar.
Steve Childs has been honoured for his work as executive headteacher of Melbury College which is made up of the SMART Centre, Melrose School, Merton Medical Education Service and the Alternative Education Service.
He has been recognised for his excellent work in a number of areas including chairing the Schools Forum.
All of the award winners are honoured for their outstanding contribution to the Merton community. The Excellence Awards were held in Mitcham this evening (Thursday 17 November.)
Leader of the council Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “I’d like to congratulate our worthy winners of the community contribution awards. The dedication of volunteers and members of the community in Merton is second to none and their tireless work helps the council make Merton a great place to live, work and visit.”