Thursday, 30 September 2010

Redbridge Carnival a big success - Now Redbridge's biggest event:

My Daughter Hannah the Carnival Mascot with UK Bollywood Ambassador Honey Kalaria.

The stunning Sofia Hayat Carnival's biggest act this year!

Honey Kalaria's dance academy caused a real stir!

We ended the event with a Fire Dance!  By Elektra!

Here are three video links to our the Redbridge Carnival project that I have been working on for the last 5 years:

This year's event took place on the 11th and 12th September 2010 - If you did not make it this year do join us next year during the 10th and 11th September 2011.

More info on London Peace Week Awards....

Juliet my wife as we stood on the balcony of City Hall overlooking London Bridge

Looking glamorous but the wait made us extremely nervous!
City Hall got us really dizzy!
After the ceremony we celebrated the award!

The event was spectacular and well organised

Pastor Nims the chairman of the Peace Alliance was correct when he said "there were no losers at the event" and everyone there had a positive story to tell about their community work.

Our friends celebrated with us!
Wonderful views of London Bridge at night from across and above.

Enjoying the moment till the end.

Awesome image by the bridge.

Loyal friends are few and far between,

Father Francis Ackroyd presented me with my Trophy.  He is also from Ilford and will be working with me on a Peace week event this Saturday.  Come along to Vine United reform Church Riches Road from 14:00 - 18;00 and meet with us.

Here is what the Event Organisers said:

Boris Johnson praises community champions at London Peace Awards
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, this evening praised the brave and selfless Londoners who volunteer their time, skills or expertise to contribute to the safety and well-being of their community.
Speaking at the London Peace Awards, which were held at City Hall to mark the London Week of Peace (19th – 26th September), the Mayor honored Londoners of all ages, cultures and backgrounds who have demonstrated a commitment to creating peace, cohesion and positivity in the capital. The awards mirror Boris Johnson’s strong commitment to promoting volunteering across the capital and raising the aspirations of young people.
The Mayor presented the Londoner’s Peace Award (the Mayor’s Award) – for the individual who has made the most outstanding contribution to their community - to Patrick Regan, founder of XLP, an inspirational organization which engages with gang members, police and politicians to fight poverty, support education and serve hundreds of young people.
The winners of the other awards are as follows:
        • Community Safety Award: Decima Francis founded ‘From Boyhood to Manhood Day Support Programme’ – a project which has been delivered to over 20,000 young people who were either excluded or at risk of being excluded from school and society at large.
        • Diversity Award: Michael Kosmas founded the NXG project – which now reaches up to 5,000 young people - to mentor young people of diverse cultural backgrounds.
        • Bridge Builders Award: Wilson Chowdhry is Chairman for the Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch Association and solves community anti-social behavior by acting as an interface between communities, ASBO and Police Teams in Redbridge.
        • The Young Persons Award:  Darwin Bernadrdo founded NUTMEG, a community based organization helping young people to realize their potential through numerous events which engage hundreds of young people.
        • Developing Real Examples and Mentors (DREAM) Award: Nilesh Badiani - a key player of Sai School of Harrow, a free weekend institution for children and young people from ethnic communities which promotes human values.
        • Volunteer Award: Kay Oldroyd founded the Black Youth Achievement CIC in 2008, which promotes the positive aspects of young black people and hosted the first ever Black Youth Achievement Awards in November of 2009.
        • Community Engagement Award: Michael Smith is an inspirational man who has been an immense catalyst for change in the community. His work Word 4 Weapons is a Christian based organization which involves putting knife bins in key places where people turn in their weapons. To date almost 800 knives have been binned.
        • Parents Peace Award: Mimi Asher. Having started a project in her home, Mimi now uses a community hall to persuade people involved in gang culture in the estate to realign their life choices.
        • Turnaround Peace Award: Chris Syrus is an ex-offender, poet and writer who mentors young offenders and young people in care.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said:
‘In altruistic spirit, the Peace Awards celebrate the achievements of those who generously give their time and talent to making London a more harmonious and happy city. The initiatives which are championed by the Week of Peace help cut crime, build bridges between different faiths and cultivate a feeling of solidarity. I am proud to be involved in this exemplary event and I thoroughly recommend all Londoner’s get involved in the voluntary work it inspires.

Rev. Nims Obunge MBE DL, Chief Executive of Peace Alliance, said:
‘In times of economic hardship, it is ever so important that we encourage and celebrate those who give themselves selflessly to create a better society. We all have something no matter how small that we can give back to improve where we live, work or play.

The London Week of Peace and the Peace Awards marked their tenth anniversary this year. The London Week of Peace, which began in Haringey in 2001 and has grown to incorporate all 33 London boroughs, was set up by the Peace Alliance with the aim of organizing initiatives which increase community cohesion, reduce crime and raise awareness of community safety issues. The GLA provides funding for three key events across the week: the Peace Awards Ceremony, the Peace Debate/Multi-Faith Forum and the volunteering project.

Redbridge's first larger scale London Peace Week Celebration!

Wilson handing out free panic alarm to an Eastern European gentleman who had previously been mugged in a purported racially aggravated incident.
Rick from the ELCF checking out the food that his organisation provided for eating.
Rick loved the food so much he came back for more!
Scores of people kept us busy

This homeless man with a bruised and cut face joined us in our peace meal and took a panic alarm.  He advised us of the bullying and persecution he is often subjected to.

Redbridge Carnival Queen Kajul Pahl and Princess Anum Anaib encouraged people to join us in Town centre.
"This is how you prime the Panic alarm"
Rick loves photos!

Carnival Queen Kajul encourages those in Ilford's "Mall" to join us.
A most accessible and diverse event.
Rick from ECLF and Mal from the RNWA enjoying the event with visitors.
Young and old mourn the loss of a young life.
The memorial was crammed with well wishers sharing the pain of the Mahmood Family.
Parvin Mahmood lays a new wreath for her lost son.
People form up as we set up for the memorial speeches.
Superintendent John Sweeney joins Parvin Mahmood and Anne Oakes-odger in setting up a memorial.
Anne Oakes-lodger read a poem written by Kashif's sister Zainab Mahmood
A 1 minutes silence allows people to reflect on the futility of knife crime.
John Sweeney talks of the needless waste of such crime, he was the chief officer involved in the murder case of Kashif Mahmood.
Riffat Rizvi - the mother of Sabina Rizvi lost to gun crime spoke of the hurt it caused her family.

Alex Chowdhry from the British Pakistani Christian Association talked on community cohesion, togetherness and the need to bring change from within ourselves.
Elizabeth from Sizanani Africa spoke of the need for peace.
Elizabeth really stirred young people hearts and encouraged them to join her group.
Wilson reminds young people that there is much they can do to help in the fight against violent crime. 

Whilst Parvin Mahmood spoke the Carnival Queen and court at our event were great ambassadors for our Borough.
Young and Old, Black, White and Asian - united against crime.
Father Ackroyd from Vine United Reform Church joins the Redbridge Carnival Queens after a successful event.
Rick has been busy all day trying to get in pictures - this time we got his banner in!
Rick with Karen Campbell (RNWA) and Elizabeth (Sizanani Africa)
Our thanks to ECLF for funding this project they deserve the profile - well done Rick!
The unsung heroes - Juliet my wife cooked for people all day and Ash Chowdhry did most of the setting up.  These two members of the BPCA were committed to make the RNWA event a real success!
The Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch Association is a group dedicated to reducing crime and supporting Neighbourhood Watches in the London Borough of Redbridge.  This year on the 5th Anniversary of the demise of 'Kashif Mahmood' in youth knife attack, they held a peace barbecue. 

The barbcue took place in the Car park of Vine United Reform Church opposite the notorious subway in which the fatal knife crime attack took place.  Father Ackroyd from the church supported the vent by providing free drinks, while the East London Community Foundation paid for the food and the flyers after a funding application was successful.

The mother of Parvin Mahmood held a memorial at 16:30 that as hosted by Wilson Chowdhry of the RNWA.  Guest speakers included:

  • Parvin Mahmood (mother of Kashif Mahmood stabbed to death in 2005)

  • Anne Oakes-Odger (Chairperson for - her son was stabbed to death in 2004)

  • Riffat Rizvi (her daughter Sabina was shot outside Croydon police station in 2003)

  • Superintendent John Sweeney (Chief officer involved in murder case for Kashif Mahmood)

  • Alex Chowdhry (Chairman BPCA)

  • Elizabeth Kayembe (Sizanani Africa - a group focused on building the capacity and skills of minority groups)

  • Bushra Tahir (Awaaz)

  • Rick Pataky (East London Community Foundation)
Our thanks to Mal and Karen Campbell of the RNWA, Juliet Chowdhry, Ash Chowdhry from the BPCA, Father Ackroyd from Vine United Reform Church for their help.

Over 400 people attended the barbecue and at least 100 people joined us for the memorial.  The event had a rich diversity with people of many faiths, creeds, cultures and other diversities.  Over 10 individuals put their names forward for initiating Neighbourhood Watches and we handed out free crime prevention devices to all visitors.  Gifts included:

  • Multifunction Panic alarms with torches

  • UV pens to label property

  • Tamper proof stickers for vehicle tax discs

  • Leaflets on crime prevention

  • All good removed from vehicle stickers
Over 25 homeless people came and they joined in conversation with other visitors.  It was pleasantly surprising, to see how welcoming everyone was to this vulnerable community.  One gentleman with bruises on his face talked of the bullying and persecution he is subjected to on a daily basis.  All the homeless visitors expressed concerns about theirs safety following the two murders in one year within the Buckingham Road cemetery.  It was small solace but we gave all of them panic alarms, which they gratefully received and many of them shed tears of gratitude, which was a really touching moment for all concerned with the organising.

The event was brought to a close at 18:00 and our group returned to their homes tired but exhilarated at having held and participated in a wonderful event that served great purpose. 

Finally the moment you have all been waiting for the poem written by Zainab Mahmood (sic):

If you think missing me is hard, then you should try
missing you.

Missing you could turn from pain to pleasure, if I knew
you were missing me too

They say when you are missing someone that they are
probably feeling the same, but  I don’t think it’s possible
for you to miss me as much as I’m missing you right

Within you I lose myself….

Without you I find myself

Wanting to be lost again.

Love is missing someone whenever you’re apart,

But some how feeling warm inside because you’re close
in heart.

If I never met you, I wouldn’t like you. If I didn’t like you
I wouldn’t love you. If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t miss
you. But I did, I do, and I will.

Love Zennie

Wilson receives Peace Award from Boris Johnson!

Father Francis Ackroyd, Wilson Chowdhry, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Pastor Nims Obunge of the Peace Alliance.

In a packed arena on Wednesday 22nd September 2010, Wilson Chowdhry Vice Chairman of the BPCA was awarded the "Bridging Communities" Category in the London Peace Awards. 

The Peace Alliance introduced the awards with the following statement:

"The Award winner has been a proactive leader in his community inspiring many with his courage and bravery. Acting as an interface between communities and the Police and ASBO teams his work has helped address issues of anti social behaviour and helped foster community cohesion in his Borough. He is Chairman of the Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch Association and Founder of the Redbridge Carnival."

If you want to see a video of the award ceremony just click on the link below: