Civic Recognition Awards

2024 winners

Congratulations to our 2024 award honorees! Explore the categories below to view the winners and their remarkable contributions.

Civic Recognition of Voluntary Service by Young People

Ashton Martin

Ashton was nominated as a very impressive and inspiring member of
his local community. During lockdown, he would go out every day
litter picking in his street, which has now extended to the local park,
neighbourhood roads and surrounding areas. He does this several times
a day, whatever the weather and has provided bins from his own money
at key locations for the public to use. The person who nominated Ashton
said that “He really is a shining example of a young person and we are
proud he is our neighbour!”

Callum Lake

Moved by the sight of homeless people in his local area, Callum asked
his parents if they could prepare an extra portion of dinner each
night to give to a local homeless person, to which they readily agreed.
Callum then spoke with his form tutor at school and arranged a big
donation rally before Christmas. Callum was nominated for this award
by Porchlight, who first encountered him when they came to his school
to collect the vast number of donations to his rally, many of which were
then distributed to the Stepping Stones project in Bexley. He quietly goes
about all that he does, not seeking recognition or reward – still giving
the extra portion of dinner each night to the homeless and donating his
pocket and special occasion money to Porchlight. All on his own initiative,
Callum is truly making a difference.

Chase Best

Chase is a young leader with a number of different Scout groups
within Bexley, giving up his own time to help out at these groups and
developing new skills that he uses to enrich the development of younger
Cubs and Scouts. He is the youngest British Legion Standard Bearer
in the Country, representing the Legion at two events in North Cray.
Notably, he has also given up his weekend to clean the Commonwealth
war graves in St Mary’s Church, Bexley. Chase is an inspiration to other
young people within the Scouting movement.

Civic Recognition of Voluntary Service by Adults

Karen – Citizens’ Advice

Karen has volunteered for Citizens Advice for 29 years as a receptionist
and admin person. She is one of the first faces that most clients see.
Her quiet resolve ensures the service runs smoothly – whether it be
answering the phone, answering the door or welcoming clients. She
is an integral part of the team and, without volunteers like Karen, the
service would not survive.

Derek Beaney

We received two nominations for Derek, which is fitting recognition
for his over 40 years’ service to Scouting and 25 years support of
Neighbourhood Watch. With his leadership and passion as Scout
Leader, he has provided particular support to children with additional
needs and led a group for 8 years for children with disabilities. Derek
was also a member of the founding Neighbourhood Watch Bexley
Committee and played a prominent role in developing a strong
Neighbourhood Watch that now includes over 25 houses. Despite
his own health issues in recent years, Derek always remains at the
forefront of community events.

Alf Hall

Flight Sergeant Alf Hall has been a dedicated member of the RAF Air
Cadets since 2002, becoming a volunteer at 1227 Sidcup Squadron.
Throwing himself into facilitating opportunities for cadets, he has had
a sustained positive affect on the lives of the young people he has
worked with. He regularly volunteers his time at fundraising, social and
ceremonial events and supports Bexley‘s civic events. Managing this
alongside anti-social shifts in his own working life, he strives to get the
best from his cadets, ensuring they can access all the opportunities
available to them.

Lucy Percival

Lucy has been a leader at 3rd Barnehurst Brownies and volunteered
within Guiding for over 28 years. She organises regular activities
for her Unit and takes part in activities within the wider District.
Previously District Secretary, she is currently a Division Administrator
and makes contact with potential new volunteers to ensure that
Guiding remains strong for future generations of Bexley children. Lucy
was nominated for the unassuming way she has gone about all her
roles over many years and always being willing to help others.

Bexley Archaeology Group (BAG)

BAG was formed in 1979 and since then, a small group of amateur
and professional archaeologists has been consistently and quietly
dedicated to discovering and preserving the rich and historically
important archaeology of Bexley. BAG excavates sites around the
borough and has uncovered a vast array of artefacts including:
neolithic arrow heads, Roman ceramics, Medieval earthenware,
Tudor pottery, Victorian champagne bottles and buttons from WWI
uniforms. BAG arranges history events for the local community and
volunteers work tirelessly and passionately to ensure Bexley’s physical
and social past is preserved for future generations.

Maureen White

Maureen has voluntarily run a youth group in the borough for over
40 years – Riverside Twirlers - and has seen the group through
the toughest of times, including the Pandemic. The group has had
great success including girls representing their country at European
and World level. She is the backbone of the group and deserves
recognition for her passion for engaging young people in group
activities within the borough, developing confidence and team

Karen Tricker

Karen has been a leader within Girl Guiding for over 50 years, starting
as a young leader with 1st Bexley Guides. She has been Assistant
County Commissioner, Unit leader and Outdoor Activities advisor in
that time as well as a trainer for other leaders. She has been a key
person in a range of county wide events, enabling many young people
to access opportunities and experiences that might otherwise not
have been open to them.

Karen Stewart

Karen has been a leader with Girl Guiding for just over 30 years.
As leader of 3rd Crayford Brownies since 1997, she has given
the girls who have passed through that unit many opportunities,
obtaining grant funding to enable them to enjoy many experiences
when cost might otherwise have been a barrier to their
participation. She has been a Residential Adviser, training other
leaders to be able to take their units away and is the Girl Guiding
First Aid Trainer for Bexley and Bromley, which means that all
meetings and events are able to take place having a person with
the required first aid qualification present.

David Edward Barber

For many years – definitely over 30, but records do not go back
far enough to recognise his full length of service! – David has
been integral to Orchard Allotment Association. His selfless
dedication has seen the allotment flourish into a wonderful
community. Not only has this delivered fantastic health and
wellbeing benefits, but he has helped to foster a sense of
camaraderie amongst allotment holders and their families, always
willing to give advice and support and helping to nurture a
wonderful green oasis that benefits every member.

Sharon Egan

This award is being collected by Sharon’s family in her honour, as
she very sadly passed away in Summer 2023. She was nominated
in recognition of her remarkable contribution as a local resident,
who dedicated more than 20 years for the betterment of the
Sidcup community. She brought inspiration, enjoyment and
lots of fun to many local children, working and volunteering at
a local primary school, dance School and Rainbows. Rainbows
saw Sharon’s biggest contribution, where she was both assistant
leader and leader at a number of local units, devising tasks
and challenges to guide and shape the future of young Bexley
residents. It is though this that her spirit lives on through her
positive and lasting influence she had on the children of Bexley.

Men Matters Group

Men Matters Group has been operating for five years but has had a huge
impact in that time. Noticing that many men within their community
were experiencing mental health issues and family breakdowns during
the lockdown, Brigitte and Lovemore Bere have been working to provide
assistance to men in their community in need of help. They have created
a safe space where men could be listened to without judgement,
signposting and connecting them to services to provide support for their
physical and mental health, domestic abuse, and financial difficulties.
Their services play a crucial role in supporting men, particularly in the
north of the borough, who so often may not reach out for support.

Alison Hope

Alison has been a Guide leader for over 50 years, opening the first
Ranbow unit in Lamorbey in 1991. She has been District Commissioner
for Lamorbey for 5 years and the District Treasurer for many more, as
well as being a mentor for new leaders, readily passing on her valuable
experience and knowledge. Alison’s service, support and dedication to
Guiding, especially in Lamorbey, is immeasurable. Without volunteers like
Alison, the potentially thousands of girls she has supported would not
have had the opportunity to experience Guiding.

Lee Curtis

Affectionately known as ‘Mole,’ Lee has been volunteering in Scouting
since 2001. He became the first Explorer Scout Commissioner for the
area and, in 2014, he was appointed to the lead volunteering role of
Bexley Scout District Commissioner, providing opportunities for over
2000 youth members supported by 650 adult leaders. He has been
instrumental in growing and developing Scouting in Bexley – re-opening
a Scouting group in the Thamesmead area being just one example. He
has overseen provision of many events and activities across Bexley, while
proactively supporting and managing the adult leadership teams and has
given outstanding service to Scouting.

Richard Gillespie

Richard has been involved with Scouting for 38 years, being Chair of
the Trustees of the 1st Crayford Scout Group. He has successfully
raised funds so that the Group can function at its fullest, including
trips abroad. He is a well-known figure in the local community and an
excellent ambassador for Scouting, encouraging and supporting the
Group to participate in many local community events and has provided
distinguished service.

Dawn Keleher

Dawn has recently retired from an important role in Scouting after 21
years’ service. She has volunteered at many groups over the years and
shared her knowledge and experience with new leaders as their training
advisor. As volunteer badge secretary since 2017, she was the key
person ensuring that all the 1800 or so young people and their leaders,
got the many thousands of badges they earnt enjoying the wonderful
experience of Scouting. She was nominated for the outstanding service
she has provided to the movement.

Nicholas Tully

Nicholas has been involved in Scouting for 25 years, holding several
leadership roles within local groups. The knowledge and experience he
has gained meant he became an integral member of the Bexley Scout
District Leadership team and was tasked with recruiting new young
people and leaders to a local unit, which went very well. Nick is currently
a Nights Away Advisor for leaders all over the district and a member of
the Appointments Panel working with new leaders as they learn their
new roles. His roles have ensured that many young people and adults
have benefited from all Scouting has to offer.

Adam Pugh

Active in Scouting for 23 years, Adam is currently part of the leadership
team of 1st Erith – Slade Green – Scout Group. When the Explorer
Scouts was introduced for 14–18-year-olds, Adam opened a new unit
for this age group in Erith. He has also played a key role in the successful
Bexley Scout District Gang Show ‘Capers,’ encouraging young people
to have the confidence to take to the stage but also helping behind the
scenes with production and rehearsals. Adam was nominated for his
outstanding service.

Lynn Mills

Lynn has been supporting the 3rd Barnehurst Scout Group since the late
1980’s as a member of the Executive Committee. She volunteered to be
the treasurer of the group and has maintained the accounts meticulously,
being re-elected to the role each year. She ensures that all Scouting and
Charity Commission guidelines are met and that there are sufficient funds
to ensure the Group’s ongoing success. Alongside this, she is always
willing to advise, assist and take part in any activity. Local Scouting is
lucky to have someone like Lynn’s tireless support.

Andy France

Andy has been volunteering with the 8th Bexleyheath Scout Group
since 2000, first as part of the leadership team and then as leader of
the Scout section. He has seen many young people pass through the
troop, who have all benefited from the fun, adventure and challenges
he has provided. He has encouraged Scouts to take part in many events
organised within the District and been involved in running many camping
and other outdoor activities, allowing young people to achieve their full
potential by developing important life skills.

Vivienne France

Vivienne has volunteered with the 8th Bexleyheath Scout Group
since 2000, joining the Beaver Scout Leadership team. She has been
committed to ensuring the Beavers have fun and enjoy the huge number
of activities she has helped to provide. She has nurtured a love of
Scouting amongst them, meaning many have moved on to the older
sections. She is also a key member of the Group’s Trustee Executive,
which oversees the running of the Group.

Daniel Born

Daniel has been involved with Scouting for 25 years, volunteering to
become a Leader with what is now known as the Old Bexley Scout
Group. After having a short break to be with his family, he rejoined the
Group and has continued to assist in the provision of weekly meetings
and many outdoor activities, enabling many young people to learn life
skills and achieve their full potential. His enthusiasm and passion for
Scouting has now led to his two daughters also becoming leaders.

Kirsty Regan

Kirsty joined the Leadership Team of 1st Crayford Scouts in 2000
and took over the running of the troop from her Father in 2004,
when he became the Group’s overall leader covering all sections. She
has remained in this role ever since, involved in running the weekly
meetings, organising camping adventures and other outdoor activities
and challenges. She has also encouraged the Scouts to join in local
community events such as the Crayford Fun Day and now manages all
the various administrative duties of the Group too.

Timothy Bermingham-Shaw

Timothy first volunteered with the Beaver Scout Colony with the 12th
Erith Scout Group at Our Lady of the Angel in 1999, taking over as unit
leader two years later. This has involved weekly meeting planning and a
variety of wide-ranging activities, fostering a love of Scouting that has led
many young people on to the older sections. Whilst continuing with his
Beaver leadership, between 2019 and 2024, Timothy also took on the
leadership of the whole Scout Group. He still remains with the Colony
Leadership team using his knowledge and experience to support the
other volunteers as they develop into leadership roles.

Alison Brazier

Alison has been a stalwart member of the 4th Barnehurst Scout Group
at St Martin’s for over 25 years and has supported the Group in many
ways. This has included being a member of the Cub Scouts Leadership
Team – assisting with the running of the weekly programmes and many
other events and activities organised for the Cubs. She is committed and
enthusiastic about ensuring the Cubs thoroughly enjoy all their activities
and adventures, and as a result will have enabled many young people to
achieve their full potential.

Bexley Parkrun Team

Each Saturday morning at 9am the team are out at Danson Park
organising a 5km parkrun for people of all abilities. At the time of the
team’s nomination, over 557 Parkruns have taken place, often with over
400 participants each week. It an incredibly well-run and loved weekly
event, making a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of
Borough residents.

Sue Davies

Sue has been volunteering with Girl Guiding in Welling and Bexleyheath
for 25 years. In that time, she has run a Brownie Unit and taken on the
role of a Guide leader as well as a Rainbow Unit. She has picked up the
mantel of District and Division Commissioner, been a mentor of many
and supporter of everyone. The person who nominated Sue said she is
so well loved by all the girls passing through her Unit and because of her,
hundreds of women and girls have found a safe space that challenges,
excites and has allowed them to grow.

Andrei Mendis

Andrei has achieved a remarkable 23 years’ service to hockey in the
Borough and even longer service at his club – Bexleyheath and Belvedere
Hockey Club – of which he is an active member, spending a number of
years as the club’s Youth Development Officer. Since 2001, Andrei has
also been a valuable member of the Bexley Hockey Development Group,
providing hockey opportunities for young people in the Borough. During
this time, he played a big part in setting up coaching camps, tournaments
and running the local pathway to County representation. His passion for
the sport has been an inspiration to local young people in his club.

Julie Stanning

As Head of Bexley Music – part of London South East Academies Trust
- for more than 25 years, Julie has gone ‘above and beyond’ in her
quest to make music accessible to all. During this time, Julie must have
taught thousands of Bexley children, equipping them with confidence,
team working and many other social and life skills, as well as a love and
appreciation of music and the wider arts that gives a wonderful platform
for their future endeavours. Julie’s enthusiasm and commitment to our
communities have been some of the key drivers behind Bexley Music’s
success. The recent performance by Bexley Music Primary Choir as part
of the King’s Christmas message in December 2023, is testament to her
many achievements, for which she deserves special recognition.

Civic Recognition of Outstanding Achievement

Jean Shiels

The person who nominated Jean called her their ‘Unsing Hero’ and a
‘Care Ambassador.’ For over 50 years, Jean has volunteered, fundraised
and supported those in need as a way of giving back to the community
that supported her during a difficult time in her own life, when her
husband suddenly passed away leaving her with a young family.
Alongside her career as a nurse, Jean has balanced this alongside
volunteering, raising over £40k for various charities in that time. She now
volunteers two days a week supporting isolated older people and training
care workers and volunteers. Although she has her own health issues,
this never stops Jean from keeping going and making a huge difference
to the community she serves.

Frank Mann

Sadly, Frank very recently passed away at the age of 101, so his award
is being collected by his two Nieces in honour of his memory. Very
well-loved within the Sidcup community, Frank would knit blankets for
the local community and every week, would play the piano to entertain
residents attending the Place of Welcome at St John’s Church, Sidcup, a
group providing friendship and support and a welcoming environment.
He was an inspiration; never wanting to bother anyone but always
thinking of others and wanting to help them. He will be very much
missed by all.

Rauf R Denktas Turkish School

Established in 1996, the School is a voluntary Turkish language and
cultural centre for everyone in Bexley, including non-Turkish students.
It provides lessons every Saturday from 10am-3pm, including sport
and dance. Formal qualifications in Turkish are offered. It is completely
self-funded and provides valuable social activities for parents while
children are in class, enabling both integration and cultural education. All
Committee members are volunteers and provide a very valuable service
to Bexley residents.

Chris Hill

Chris lost his twin brother to an accidental drug overdose back in 2014.
Knowing that his brother had experienced mental health difficulties,
addictions and homelessness, Chris knew he needed to stop this
happening to anyone else. He used his own experiences to write a
book about his and his brother’s lives growing up together and, having
overcome his own addictions, developed and wrote the ‘7 Day Beat my
Addiction Plan’. The plan is available free of charge and Chris started up
the first local support group in 2015/16 to teach this model in person.
The group is still going strong and many others have followed. Alongside
this, Chris has helped a local homeless charity to raise over half a million
pounds and organised and participated in many events to raise money
and awareness for mental health, addiction and homelessness, setting
up the Rob Hill Foundation dedicated to his brother’s memory. He gives
talks locally and nationally, established the ‘Back to Kindness’ rucksack
distribution to those living on the streets and this year, is running the
length of the UK over 30 days to raise money and awareness of the
Foundation’s aims. The run will begin on the 10th anniversary of Chris’
brother’s death.

Bexley Music Primary Choir

Part of London South East Academies Trust, Bexley Music provides a
wide range of musical opportunities to people of all ages in the Borough.
The Bexley Music Primary Choir was chosen to perform as part of the
King’s Christmas message in December 2023. The 35 children came from
four primary schools across Bexley – Bedonwell Junior School, Belmont
Academy, Northumberland Heath Primary School and St Fidelis Catholic
Primary School. The choir was accompanied by a young vocal soloist,
harpist and flautist. The performance was aired globally on Christmas
Day to over 20 million people in 50 Commonwealth countries. As a result
of the Choir’s appearance, Bexley Music has received many enquiries
from parents and young people wanting to get involved in the many
musical activities on offer, which is making music more accessible – a key
ambition for both London South East Academies Trust and Bexley Music.
The Choir was a credit to Bexley Music and the Borough and deserves
special recognition for this once in a lifetime event and their continued

Ilkay Zihni Chirali

Always active within the Turkish community since moving to Bexley
in 1968, in 1996, Mr Chirali and a small group of friends established
the Bexley Turkish Day Centre and weekend Rauf R Denkas Turkish
School in Blackfen. He is still actively involved to this day, the Day
Centre providing much needed friendship, community integration and
advice to retired and senior citizens as well as food, drink and weekly
entertainment. He has given his time continually and freely to the local
community since 1996 and is an outstanding example of a local person
who has greatly contributed to the wellbeing of others in the borough.

Katy Shubotham

Katy’s nomination form perfectly sums up why she is being given this
award. Her nominator said that “She is a shining star in Welling” and
that because of her support “People feel that they are worthy and that
they have a purpose.” Whether it be heading the weekly team of litter
pickers around Welling Town Centre, creating safe spaces for people
with mental health problems, or overcoming her fear of heights and
undertaking a charity abseil to raise funds for a new kitchen, it’s clear
that Katy’s volunteering is a huge asset to the local community. In 2023,
over 300 people received Christmas toy and gift hampers and there
are over 200 active clients of the food bank she heads up. Not only a
fantastic leader, she coaches and mentors others so that they too are
inspired to be active in the community.

Karen Larkin

Karen has been nominated for her volunteering within the charity
Centrepieces, founded in 1999, which promotes mental health recovery
through the arts. It provides an opportunity for people to participate
in arts activities and to exhibit and sell their work. It helps adults in the
community who have mental health issues to improve their wellbeing
and achieve better social inclusion through art. Often going above and
beyond to ensure that everyone within the charity gets the help they
need to progress, she was nominated by one of the adults supported by
the charity who wanted Karen’s unwavering support and commitment to
all artists to be recognised.

Can you help us find a local hero?

The Council has three Civic Awards Schemes to recognise voluntary service to the community and outstanding achievement.

The schemes cover civic recognition for:

  • Voluntary Service by Young People - aged under 18
  • Voluntary Service by Adults - aged over 18
  • Outstanding Achievement - all ages

The awards

Civic recognition under the three schemes will consist of:

  • Civic Recognition of Young People - A certificate signed by the Mayor
  • Civic Recognition of Voluntary Service by Adults - A certificate signed by the Mayor
  • Civic Recognition of Outstanding Achievement - A certificate signed by the Mayor and an engraved glass prism
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