02 / 12 / 20
We are delighted to announce our 4th annual London Faith & Belief Community Awards ceremony was a fantastic success, virtually bringing together diverse groups from over 32 boroughs and watched by over 500 attendees!
There were 40 winners on the night, each receiving a £500 prize, as well as recognition for additional community projects. The Judges’ Choices were also announced for the winners of the categories, reflecting on the diversity of the awards. The lively event had fantastic performances from the London Humanist Choir and the Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band – the latter had everyone dancing in their seats at home! – as well as the categories being announced by changemakers such as Baroness Florella Benjamin DL, Leon Kamhi, Sheila Gewolb DL, and Rev Richard Coles. The Rev Nims Obunge MBE was our host, keeping the mood buoyant with his upbeat energy. During the ceremony he shared choice quotes from our comments section, which was flooded with attendees celebrating the winners and applauding the performers, as well as noting the wide range of geographical locations – which included Iran, USA and Taiwan!
The Rev Richard Coles said “The work of London’s faith and belief communities plays an important role in the lives of so many people, and I’m delighted to see it recognised in this way. These awards highlight the many ways our diversity can be our strength, and that our different communities are a force for good.”
Baroness Floella Benjamin shared how “It’s fantastic to see and hear about so many people motivated by their faiths and beliefs to serve their communities and help those around them. This vital work is not celebrated enough, and these awards shine a much-deserved light on these local heroes.”
The awards ceremony is generously supported by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Greater London’s Council on Faith. Speaking live at the event, members of the Council David Dangoor DL touched on just how these organisations and groups play a vital part in seeking and supporting those most in need, and Sir Ken Olisa shared to the attendees:
“What you do is so important because you’ve shown that faith isn’t selfish. There are many organisations here tonight, though faith based, that are helping those not of their faith, who help those in need, those who are marginalised, and that is the power of not being selfish. Faith teaches us not to be selfish.”
The categories for winner showcased the sheer breadth of faith & belief frontline and grassroots involvement in our capital city. One winner from each category was invited to share an overview on the impact of the work they do, and each had a poignant message about the vital services they provide to Londoners.
Projects could be nominated for one of the 7 categories: promoting inclusion, supporting women, improving access to services, interfaith relations, inspiring youth, health & wellbeing – and a new category for this year, community resourcefulness in response to Covid-19. Over 108 projects were considered, but they were whittled down to 40 award winners, 58 recognised projects and 4 outstanding individuals, guided by a judging panel chaired by Bushra Nasir CBE DL.
Phil Champain, Director of the Faith & Belief Forum, said: “London’s faith and belief groups play a crucial and often overlooked role in supporting their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people in need of additional support, which means that the services these groups provide and their role in helping people stay connected has been even more important than before.”
We would like to thank so many of those involved, especially the Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Greater London’s Council on Faith and all the award winners for the work they do. Special thanks to our hardworking F&BF Team especially Jessica Hazrati, Siobhan Anderson, and Nick McDonald, whose tireless vision brought this awards ceremony together.