Honouring Community Champions at the BA Awards

On Thursday I attended the British Airways Community Champions Awards, hosted at the Houses of Parliament. The event celebrated the achievements of 38 Community Champions for their outstanding contributions to local community life, as nominated by their MPs. I was delighted that the two constituents I had nominated, Victor Farmer and Mark Jones, were both successful winners of the award. I first met Mr Farmer at a Battle of Britain celebration. He is a former RAF pilot, who is now in his 80’s but is still actively, energetically and consistently campaigning and raising money for the RAF association – having raised thousands and thousands of pounds in the last 25 years. I also nominated Mark Jones for his dedication to young people in Tandridge. He holds a number of positions in the community, including being a School Governor, a sitting member of the Caterham Carnival Committee, organising the Annual Music talent festival, Defest, and being a founder member and Chairman of Ridge Radio – a not for profit organisation which encourages work placements and work experience for local young people. Nominating just two people was extremely difficult as there are many in East Surrey who would qualify as a local community champion. But both of these people are pillars of their community and truly local community champions, and I am delighted to have played a part in recognising their achievements. At the event, the winners were each awarded a pair of tickets to the London 2012 Olympic Games by British Airways chief executive Keith Williams and Olympic Gold medallist Denise Lewis. Photo courtesy of Chrysoulla Kyprianou