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HomeNewsA night at the House of Lords to celebrate CACT’s achievements

A night at the House of Lords to celebrate CACT’s achievements

Charlton Athletic Community Trust’s (CACT) annual award ceremony, sponsored by ITRM, took place at the House of Lords on Thursday 12 October, hosted by CACT Vice President Lord Michael Grade of Yarmouth.

The CACT Awards is a celebration of the organisation’s wide-ranging programmes across South East London and Kent and the achievements of its participants, staff and partners from the past year.

Katy Turton, who is a client on the Early Intervention in Psychosis programme for people who have suffered an episode of psychosis, kicked off the evening with a speech about how CACT’s mental health provision has helped her on her own journey.

She then introduced Lord Grade, who announced that measured CACT’s social value across the local community as £49.6 million. This means £9.52 of social value is created for every £1 CACT invests in its community.

The first award of the evening was Participant of the Year Under 18, sponsored by University of Greenwich. The winner was Harry Steptoe, a member of the youth service CACT delivers on behalf of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Harry has been involved in Young Greenwich for 5 years now, an active member of Avery Hill Youth Hub, where he also volunteers teaching other young people how to cook as well as giving them the opportunity to play a variety of sports.

When asked about what Young Greenwich means to him, Harry said:

“It’s basically made me who I am. It has taught me how to respect people, how to be with people. It just feels like a family around you.”

When asked about Harry winning the award Poppy Ring, Outreach Manager at University of Greenwich, said:

“Harry’s award today really shows the strength of the partnership between the University of Greenwich and Charlton Athletic Community Trust. It’s great to see that Harry displays so many of the values that we value at the University of Greenwich and particularly his commitment to things like sustainability.”

The winner of the Participant of the Year over 18 award, sponsored by Adams & Bowles Wealth Management Ltd, was Jeremy Bah.

After arriving in the UK from Freetown, Sierra Leone aged 14 with no formal education, Jeremy exceeded expectations in his GCSEs, receiving top marks. He then independently researched CACT’s Post 16 Football & Education Academy and decided it was the programme for him.

Jeremy had a fantastic attitude towards learning throughout his two years on the programme and finished the course with a distinction grade.

Michael Lawrence, CACT’s Post 16 Football & Education Academy Manager, said:

“Jeremy deserves this award because he has overcome a lot of challenges, he’s embraced the programme with us at Charlton Athletic Community Trust and he’s done it with a massive smile on his face.”

The Partner of the Year award, sponsored by KW Developments, was won by B Young Stars. B Young Stars works together with Young Greenwich to extend the youth service’s provision to include personalised learning programmes as well as sports activities.

Abdi Mohamoud, CEO of B Young Stars, said:

“When I was started B Young Stars I didn’t think I’d ever be in the House of Lords and receiving an award.”

The next award of the evening was Programme of the Year award, sponsored by RSK, which was won by the Mental Health Provision. CACT offers an activity-based mental health programme, Early Intervention in Psychosis, in partnership in Kent with Kent & Medway NHS & Social Care Partnership Trust, Shaw Trust and Porchlight, and in South East London with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust.

The provision also includes the Up & At ‘Em programme for over 65s with a mental health diagnosis and the Next Steps residential trips for those at an advanced stage of their recovery.

Alan Ryder, RSK’s Managing Director, said on the night:

“I feel incredibly humbled to listen to the challenges that they [winners] have put up with and dealt with and overcome. I take my hat off to all of them.”

The winner of the Sir Maurice Hatter Outstanding Contribution to the Community award was Peter Murkin. Peter has been part of the Extra Time Hub, a social club for over 55s, since its launch in 2017 and has been attending regularly ever since. Peter has always been welcoming to new members of the group and does what he can to make them feel comfortable. Alongside this, Peter has been working as a host for Charlton Athletic on a matchday for over 20 years now meeting and greeting guests.

Outstanding Staff Contribution, which was sponsored by former Charlton Athletic chairman Roger Alwen and his wife Heather, was won by Billy Holdsworth, CACT’s Short Breaks Coordinator. Billy joined CACT full-time four years ago and works across a variety of the Early Help and Prevention programmes including the Charlton Upbeats, Short Breaks disability provision and outreach work.

If you would like to help support the vital work of CACT, please consider becoming a Friend of CACT by setting up a regular donation today.