8/28/2015

Balsall Heath host third Heart of Gold awards


The Balsall Heath Heart of Gold awards.

Balsall Heath Forum hosted the third Heart of Gold awards ceremony and welcomed more than 350 people from all backgrounds and faiths at the Balsall Heath Church Centre.

Balsall Heath Forum hosted the third Heart of Gold awards ceremony and welcomed more than 350 people from all backgrounds and faiths at the Balsall Heath Church Centre, which was at full capacity.
There were also local councillors, police officers, housing officers and various organisations that were part of the audience
The event began with entertainment from Clifton School pupils before eight winners picked up awards.
Abdullah Rehman, of Balsall Heath Forum, said: “These individuals are not just thinking about themselves but about the wider neighbourhood and deserve to be commended and applauded as our local heroes with Hearts of Gold.”
Guests included Tariq Jahan who lost his son in the 2011 riots.
He said: “It was beautiful to see the community working together from all backgrounds and it really inspired me.”
Birmingham Mail editor David Brookes, who helped present the awards, said: “Twenty-five years ago the Balsall Heath Forum saw residents from different backgrounds and representatives from various organisations and religions coming together with one aim in mind: To build a better Balsall Heath. Today, all around the neighbourhood there are examples of how that intrepid group has made a difference to people’s lives.
“It was a privilege to be asked to present the awards to the unsung heroes of Balsall Heath.”
Among the winners were Naseam Kaid, a volunteer for Streetwatch, who regularly patrols the streets to make sure people in the neighbourhood are safe and free from any harm.
Saeeda Bi runs CATS – an organisation which specialises in looking after and caring for children with special needs.
Shokat Ali has a long track record of helping. In the early 90s he was part of the Street Watch campaign and helped get rid of vice problems in the area. He went on to become a councillor and is still active in the community.
Maisie Dill volunteers at the women-only Sahelli Gym helping to encourage them towards a healthier lifestyle and comes to all residents meetings. She also helps with local gardens and recently got involved at the Old Print Works on Moseley Road, starting an arts and crafts project.
Betty Jones takes a keen interest in the area’s cleanliness and safety issues. She also attends all residents’ meetings and gives valuable advice.
Beryl Haskins has served the Balsall Heath Church Centre for the past 30 years, giving up her time to hold arts and crafts classes at the day centre run by the church and actively helps run the church’s cafe.
Cristina Pinero Maese was recognised for organising many clean-ups in the area. She is also chair of Tindal Residents’ Association.
Makhdoom Chishti has contributed towards many community activities and helped to open the doors of the Central Mosque to welcome people from all backgrounds. He has also worked for St John Ambulance.
To nominate someone for The Heart of Gold 2014, call Abdullah on 0121 446 6183.
* Pictures provided by Peter Cole, editor of Balsall Heathan.