The Pillar Community Innovation Awards program is now in its 10th year of sharing stories, inspiring people and recognizing those who are making the London community brighter.
In a shared statement from co-award chairs Harry Joosten and Kathleen Murphy, the stories generated by the nominees speak to the spirit of volunteer service and the accomplishments of a “truly inspirational” group of individuals and organizations.
“While one purpose of these awards is to recognize them,” according to the statement, “Pillar also hopes to stimulate and motivate the rest of us to follow their lead and expand on their contributions, each according to our own capacities and passions.”
At an announcement on Aug. 30, three finalists in each of the four award categories — Community Innovation, Community Leadership, Community Impact and Community Collaboration — were unveiled.
Award recipients will be announced at the awards ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at the London Convention Centre.
Award recipients will receive $2,500 to be directed to their registered charity of choice and a custom-designed award. They will also have their names engraved on the perpetual plaque in the Hudson’s Bay Passageway at the London Central Library.
Details and tickets are available at www.pillarnonprofit.ca.
- Parkwood Institute Outpatient Acquired Brain Injury Program
To manage the year-long wait list, the team created a number of innovative treatment groups and educational resources to improve timely access to care at Parkwood and in the community.
Founded in 2009, SafeSpace is a local organization run by volunteers and peer mentors with lived experience of sex work operating a drop in centre in the evenings to provide a safe environment.
- TVDSB’s GENTLE Reception Centre
Guided Entry to New Teaching and Learning Experiences is a response to the challenge of managing school intake for an unprecedented surge of arriving Syrian families displaced by political, social and economic crisis in their homeland.
- John Leitch
Through his work and volunteerism Leitch consistently strives to make the London community safe, vibrant and full of opportunity for everyone.
- Rachna Sharma
As a youth leader Sharma works to empower others to become involved. Her leadership and dedication to create sustainable changes in underserved communities is inspired by personal experience.
- Shelley Yeo
Yeo’s leadership spans the sector as she is widely known and is respected as a community leader. She has made positive contributions for addressing issues of homelessness, poverty, domestic violence, family services and more.
- Coming Out Over Coffee – Family Service Thames Valley
The COOC Support Group started in response to the lack of groups open to LGBT communities’ individuals seeking support to come out to friends, family, neighbours and co-workers in a safe environment.
- Pathways Skill Development and Placement Centre
For more than 25 years, Pathways has helped individuals in the community overcome multiple barriers to find meaningful employment through job services, placement, skill development programs and social enterprises.
- The Rotary Club of London
By providing support across dozens of organizations, Rotary inspires groups to be innovative and launch initiatives that address the gaps in the community.
- Intergenerational Choir Project: Alzheimer Society of London & Middlesex, Medway High School and Sisters of St. Joseph
The intergenerational nature of the collaboration brings together youth, seniors and those suffering dementia.
- London and Area Works
This collaboration builds upon multiple partner strengths, and provides co-ordinated, broad marketing support for employment, training and education organizations.
- Syrian Family Programming
A collaboration with Cross Cultural Learner Centre and the Boys and Girls Club to provide day-time programming for newly arrived Syrian refugee families and children.