15 November 2019
Volunteers from across Kensington and Chelsea had their invaluable work recognised at the seventh annual Community Champions conference.
Held at Kensington Town Hall, the event brought together volunteers, co-ordinators and partners to share ideas, hear from inspirational speakers and receive awards for their efforts.
The Champions are community-based individuals who give up their time to run health campaigns, activity groups and fun days to promote health and well-being across the borough.
Speaking to a packed audience in the Great Hall, Notting Dale Community Champion Marianne Alapini said: “It’s very enriching working together with other Champions to make life safer, healthier and happier for our beloved community.
“I meet so many beautiful and inspirational people. Please everybody, join the Community Champion programme.”
This year’s conference had a Celebrating Diversity theme and featured a series of round-table discussions, including on reaching and welcoming different genders, sexualities and ethnicities and those with disabilities, mental health issues or dementia.
Kensington and Chelsea Mayor, Cllr Will Pascall, was also on hand to present awards to Champions from programmes across the borough.
Golborne Maternity Champion Jaya Alvarez, who teaches post-natal yoga at the Venture Centre, added: “There is something so beautiful and humbling about the nature of being able to give without expectation.
“If you are giving back without expectation, I would go so far as saying that it’s an act of unconditional love – a type of giving that will help you overcome pain and become a forgiving person.”
Kensington and Chelsea Community Champions gave up 3,894 hours of their time between April 2018 and March 2019, with 5,563 people attending 534 separate sessions.