Croydon’s fourth annual Community Civic Awards celebration has recognised the efforts of those individuals and organisations who volunteer their time to help others and unite the borough’s communities.
All of the finalists who attended the awards ceremony at the Arnhem Gallery, Fairfield, were drawn from more than 150 nominations made earlier in the year by members of the public. They included fundraisers, volunteer carers, people who volunteer in spite of the personal difficulties they face themselves, organisations that promote volunteers, and young volunteers.
The lifetime achievement award this year went to Squadron Leader Retired Peter Skinner.
Since joining the Air Training Corps as a cadet in 1950, Sqdrn Ldr Skinner has served with RAF Volunteer Reserve and, as a member of the Volunteer Reserve (Training) Branch, specialised as an instructor in air navigation and aircraft recognition, teaching cadets O level air navigation and meteorology.
Climbing through the ranks, he became the commanding officer of 714 (Selhurst) Squadron and later CO of 565 (Rayne’s Park) Squadron, before joining the Surrey Wing staff team as the public relations officer and being promoted to squadron leader. While the PRO, he started a monthly Surrey Wing newsletter called The Acorn.
He retired from the RAF Volunteer Reserves in 1993, becoming a civilian instructor and joining 97 (Croydon) Squadron, where he has remained since.
He still volunteers and is currently in charge of aircraft recognition, aero-modelling and teaching numerous classification subjects.
Other award winners were:
Fundraiser of the Year Fatima Beeson
Carer of the Year Lucille Montgomery
Young Volunteer of the Year Alex Seaman
Civic Life Award Dr Robert Sleight
Personal Achievement Award Dorothy Johnson
Volunteer of the Year George Campbell
Voluntary Group of the Year Croydon College Unicef Student Steering Group
Opening the awards ceremony, the Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Patricia Hay-Justice, said: “This evening we celebrate the achievements of people who have dedicated their lives to working for their chosen charity, people who are tireless in campaigning to improve their communities and those who have made huge personal sacrifices to care for a loved one.
“Thousands of people volunteer in Croydon every year, and they enhance the community in which we live, work and visit. Tonight, we have the crème de la crème of those volunteers in this room, and we are delighted to recognise their tremendous efforts.”
Judges examined each entry and scored achievements against criteria designed to identify those people who had gone further than others and made a real difference to their community.
The awards were sponsored by AIG, The Croydon Partnership, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association and Axiseurope.
Pictured, left to right: Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice; Anthony Middleton, AIG; Squadron Leader Retired Peter Skinner; the Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Patricia Hay-Justice; Lawrie Nicoll, AIG.