London Borough of Barnet

Special ceremony honours Barnet's civic minded residents

Published Wednesday 28 March 2012

Seven Barnet residents who have made a significant contribution to borough life have been honoured at the council's annual Civic Awards Ceremony.

32 nominees for the Awards were recognised at a special ceremony at Hendon Town Hall, in The Burroughs, on Tuesday 27 March.

All of those nominated were presented with certificates by the Worshipful the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Lisa Rutter. The seven nominees judged to have made an outstanding contribution were presented with a framed vellum in recognition of their achievements.

The Mayor said: "The Civic Awards give us a wonderful opportunity to take a step back and appreciate just how much time and energy many of our residents give to helping others in the community. These seven individuals each enrich the life of Barnet in their own different ways.

"I  have been really impressed with the dedication and commitment these individuals have given to others over the course of a number of years. They are an inspiration to us all."

The seven vellum winners are:

Paul Baldwin
Paul has been recognised for his contribution to the disabled community in Barnet. Paul works in a voluntary capacity for a number of organisations including Chair of the Barnet Disability and Independence Steering Committee, and Director of the Barnet Centre for Independent Living (BCIL). He has contributed to the success of the Right to Control project by leading and supporting his peers at BCIL to participate in the project.

Vivienne Bentley
Vivienne was nominated for her tireless fundraising efforts for the North London Hospice. She is a member of the Hospice’s North West Support Group and is the chief organiser of the Big Fun Walk – the biggest fundraising event in the Hospice’s calendar. Vivienne has been involved with the event since its inception in 1995. It now attracts over 1,500 participants each year and last year raised over £155,000. Over the last 18 years the walk has raised over £1.6million.

Mr Lachhya Bahadur Gurung
Mr Gurung was nominated for his work within the Nepalese community. Currently serving as Chairman of the Burnt Oak Nepalese community, Mr Gurung organises language classes for Ghurkha veterans and their families, and helps newly arrived community members settle into the UK by helping them find a place to live, jobs and school places for their children. He also organises the annual Nepali community programme.

Dr Oliver Natelson
Dr Natelson has been recognised for his volunteering work with the Coppetts Wood and the Glebelands Conservationists. He has chaired the group for more than 37 years, managing the Coppetts Wood and Glebelands nature reserve with his team of volunteers every Sunday morning. As well as organising the annual May Coppetts Wood festival, Dr Natelson is also a bat specialist and lends his expertise to planning applications. Registered as partially blind, Dr Natelson works tirelessly for the cause between lecturing and giving talks on a wide range of subjects.

William Ibbotson
Mr Ibbotson was nominated for his dedication to the Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme (RSVP), giving guidance and support to people in need for over 20 years. Despite suffering from ill health he has built up a family of volunteers and his quiet guidance and care for those in need has never faltered.

Richa Karnani
Richa has received the award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Sangam Association of Asian Women in Barnet. Richa joined Sangam in 1985 on the cultural committee, helping to organise fundraising events, before being co-opted onto the main Board of Directors in recognition of her hard work. In 2007 she was elected President and chair of the advice centre, and has worked tirelessly ever since to help fundraise and increase Sangam’s profile.

Ursula Morrissey
Ursula has been nominated for her 41 years of service to education and the local community in Barnet. She is due to retire as Head from St Michael’s RC Grammar School after 14 years at the helm. As headteacher, Ursula transformed St Michael’s from average to being judged ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED for three successive years.

Contact Press Officer: Sue Cocker