Peterborough MPs honour 'Coronavirus Community Champions' in parliament

Peterborough’s two MPs have honoured a number of the city's ‘Coronavirus Community Champions’ in a special awards ceremony in parliament.

By Ben Jones
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 4:49 pm
Shailesh Vara MP with his Coronavirus Community Champions.
Shailesh Vara MP with his Coronavirus Community Champions.

All of the attendees were invited to parliament on Thursday (May 19) for a ceremony that brought together Coronavirus Community Champions from across Cambridgeshire to recognise where they had provided exceptional support to their community during the pandemic.

The ceremony included a personal message from the Prime Minster.

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Paul Bristow with rhe Peterborough Coronaheroes admin team.

Mr Bristow said: “During the pandemic I was amazed just how the people of Peterborough came together and supported one another. With the Peterborough Telegraph, we organised an initiative to recognise some of these heroes. I took a small group of them to Westminster to a reception organised by all Cambridgeshire MPs to say thank you.

“Zillur Hussain, Atiq Rehman and Richard Bastow were three people who stepped up at our City’s time of need. It’s wonderful they have been recognised as local heroes.

“They weren’t the only ones. I have Peterborough reception planned for October where I shall invite all my heroes to show off the best of Peterborough to the rest of the country.”

North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara meanwhile, nominated Southfields Primary School, in Stanground and Elton Village Stores.

Atiq Rehman (third from left) on a previous charitable venture with the Children of Adam charity.

Southfields Primary School was nominated for providing food parcels to self-isolating families, as well as the hard work of their pupils and staff throughout the pandemic. Mrs Laura Martin, Headteacher for Southfields Primary School, and Mrs Yolanda Steward, Senior Assistant Headteacher, represented the school at the awards ceremony.

Mr Stephen Higgins and Mr Ravi Mathu from Elton Village Stores attended the ceremony and were nominated for making deliveries to vulnerable residents at no extra cost and for ensuring that elderly residents were consistently supported.

Mr Vara said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome Community Champions from North West Cambridgeshire to Parliament.

“Throughout the pandemic, I have seen countless acts of selflessness and generosity, with many local individuals and organisations going above and beyond to support their neighbours and communities.

Zillur Hussain with his awards at the Pride of Peterborough awards 2021.

“This awards ceremony is a way of providing just a few of those thoughtful individuals and organisations with recognition for their efforts during this difficult time.

“I would like to warmly congratulate Southfields Primary School and Elton Village Stores on their awards, and I thank them on behalf of North West Cambridgeshire for their outstanding support to our communities.”

Speaking after the event, Mrs Martin said: “It was an honour to represent the pupils and staff of Southfields Primary School at the Awards Ceremony in Parliament. They all worked exceptionally hard throughout the pandemic, and I’d like to thank Mr Vara for this award which recognises the efforts of the whole school.”

Mr Higgins also commented: “We really enjoyed our visit to Parliament, and would like to thank Mr Vara for inviting us. The Awards Ceremony was a lovely event, and it was a pleasure to meet other Community Champions from across Cambridgeshire.”