Local charities which help with mental health among Orthodox Jews, support for LGBTQI Muslims and combatting youth violence were honoured at an awards ceremony.
Individuals from the Eastlondonlines area who have made a positive difference were recognised in the London Faith & Belief Community Awards at the Royal Society of Medicine. Each winning project was given £500 to bolster their work.
In the Health and Wellbeing category, the winners were from Croydon and Hackney. First up was the Croydon Association for Pastoral Care in Mental Health (APCMH), based on Bingham Road; the charity aims to help those suffering from mental health problems.
The other winner was Chizuk, based in Stoke Newington, a mental health organisation which specialise in providing support for Orthodox Jews, but also provide support to other groups and are part of the Hackney Faith Community Network.
A spokesperson for Chizuk told Eastlondonlines: “We’re absolutely thrilled; this means so much to us… we’ve been operating for twenty-four years… we nearly shut down in 2015.”
In the Peace and Reconciliation category the winners were Tower Hamlets and Lewisham-based. Imaan, an LGBTQI support charity based on Mile End Road, recently celebrated its twenty year milestone.
Faizan, a trustee for the charity said: “We’re totally thrilled to be recognised for advancing reconciliation between the Islamic faith and gender identity/sexuality. This wonderful award from the Faith and Belief Forum is another significant step in our quest to gain rights and acceptance.”
The other winner Power the Fight, based on Drakefell Road, aims to empower communities to end youth violence.
Ben Lindsay, Founder and CEO, told Eastlondonlines: “It’s a tremendous honour to be presented with this Peace and Reconciliation Award by the London Faith and Belief Awards panel. To be recognised for the work we do so early in the charity’s existence shows that Power the Fight are on the right path in helping to mobilise faith groups, promote peace, build resilience and empower communities to be part of the solution in combating youth violence.”
Finally, in the Supporting Women section, there was another win for both Croydon and Tower Hamlets. The Selam Conversation, on Normanton Road, is an English language class run by and for women.
Natasha Burt, the group’s teacher, said: “We are so delighted about the recognition that this award gives our classes. As we are all volunteers, it is an acknowledgment of hours of hard work, as well as the value of promoting women’s education at every level.”
The Women in Mosques Development Programme, in Tower Hamlets, also received the award. The programme is designed to accelerate the development of female leaders to become the mosque trustees, committee members and centre managers of the future.
Phil Champain, the director of the Faith & Belief Forum, said: “At a time when there is so much division in society, it is more important than ever to celebrate those who work to bring people together. The individuals and organisations celebrated at the London Faith & Belief Community Awards provide vital services that often go unrecognised. Their work helps ensure that people of all backgrounds and beliefs feel welcome and safe in this great city.”