Local Community Champions Are Honoured

Excellence awards honour those who help transform our area

Members of the community who dedicate their time to showcasing local areas, transforming the environment and improving the lives of others have been honoured at Merton Council’s Excellence Awards.

Community champion Liz Sherwood helped extend the Abundance Fruit Day initiative from Wimbledon into Mitcham and Morden. In her role as secretary of the Morden Park and Playing Fields Association, she organises regular group litter picking days and teaches school children about the importance of being responsible for their litter. 

She is also involved in a number of community groups and eventsAs a carer for her mother, Ms Sherwood said community events such as litter picking enable her to get out of the house for a short time and do something worthwhile.

She said: “Life is difficult for carers. If I didn’t get out of the house to do things like this I would be stuck inside. I enjoy getting out into the fresh air and keeping everything looking tidy.”She added: “It’s nice to be recognised but I don’t deserve it. There are other people who have been doing a lot more than me.”

Wimbledon GP and Merton’s Clinical Commissioning Group’s chairman Dr Andrew Murray has been recognised for his dedication to improving the health of Merton’s residents and working in partnership with the council. Judges recognised that as a GP, Dr Murray always puts his patients first and were impressed by his international work. Dr Murray has a special interest in healthcare in the developing world, setting up a community health worker training programme in Myanmar.

Chris Larkman helped set up the Raynes Park Association to represent businesses and residents. The role has now been taken on by former councillor, Chris Edge.As chairman, a voluntary role, he worked closely with the council to improve Raynes Park for everyone.

Chris helped Raynes Park High Street to be placed second in London as part of the Great British High Street Awards in 2015 and champions the area’s popular Christmas event, now in its fifth year.

On finding out about his award, he said: “I thought it was really nice and wondered what it was for! I really appreciate it.”

Leader of the council Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “I’d like to congratulate our worthy winners of the community contribution awards. The dedication of volunteers and members of the community in Merton is second to none and their tireless work helps the council make Merton a great place to live, work and visit.”

November 25, 2016

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Liz Sherwood, in the centre at the back, with school children in Morden Park