Bethnal Green reverend and founder of Neighbours in Poplar among community safety award winners

A REVEREND who organised a peace march when the English Defence League visited Tower Hamlets and the woman behind the Neighbours in Poplar charity were among the winners at the council’s community safety awards.

Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman presented individuals, community groups and council workers with awards to recognise their work in tackling crime, drugs and anti-social behaviour.

The ceremony took place at the Town Hall in Mulberry Place on Monday.

Winners included Reverend Alan Green of the St John on Bethnal Green church in Cambridge Heath Road for his work as chair of the borough’s No Place for Hate forum and Inter-Faith forum.

Sister Christine Frost who founded Neighbours in Poplar, based in Wade’s Place, in 1968 runs programmes to help vulnerable people in Tower Hamlets and received a MBE in 2008.

Both were presented their awards by Police Borough Commander Paul Rickett.

The best voluntary project award went to the Amaal Girls Project, based at the Osmani Youth Centre in Vallance Road, which helps young women to learn about issues such as substance misuse, sexual exploitation and domestic violence.

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Khadeja Begum, who volunteers with the project, said: “It’s great that the programme has been recognised for the work it is doing for girls in the community.”

Eliza Begum, also of the project, said: “We want to give the girls new experiences so that they stay engaged and safe.”

The borough’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team which works with addicted adults and supports them into treatment was judged the best public sector project, along with the borough’s Early Intervention and Prevention team.

Awards for outstanding contributions were given to Saifur Rahman, a senior youth worker with the council’s rapid response team and Kevin McHale, a former court manager at Thames Magistrate Court.

He developed the Thames Serious Domestic Violence Court, a joint project between Tower Hamlets and Hackney which was launched in 2009.

Mr Rahman, who presented a number of awards, said: “The innovation, partnership work and bravery of our winners make a real difference to levels of safety in Tower Hamlets.”