Eight very special citizens of Bolton were recognised at a special awards ceremony.

The inaugural 2023 Faith Based Civility Bolton Honours Lists took place this month at Bolton Town Hall.

The awards are designed to celebrate those who have 'gone the extra mile' in showing acts of kindness to help their fellow Boltonians.

The awards were attended by the Mayor of Bolton Cllr Mohammed Ayub.

The Bolton News: Gulnaz Brennan accepting award

Dr Ronnie Chikwama, Chair of Faith Based Civility in Bolton, the organisation behind the awards said: “It is people like these who make Bolton what it is today.

"Civility is about understanding the need of our community and doing something about it.

"Award receivers are true ambassadors for Bolton. You are the true meaning of civility.

"Bolton thrives on people like you. I heartily congratulate you all.”

Award recipients:

Gareth Bradbury - founder of Bolton Community Kitchen.

Gareth died in December 2023 and his partner Tracy McNulty and their son Jay McNulty accepted the award giving recognition of the work he and his team of volunteers do by “providing food and drinks in a warm and safe environment to Bolton’s elderly, vulnerable and homeless”.

Gulnaz Brennan - Journalist, author, and businesswoman, and the founder of SheInspires. Gulnaz is a powerhouse of energy, who together with her sisterhood of equally determined women are driven to create, introduce and deliver a growing list of activities that “ensure that life opportunities [are] available to everyone”.

Daniel Sukula – Founder of Be The Change Youth Project to create an innovative and engaging approach to youth service, committed to helping young people reach their full potential and build a better future for themselves, in a safer community.

The Bolton News: Kim Jaye accepting award with caption.JPG

Cllr Linda Thomas - The award was collected on her behalf by Leader of Bolton Council Councillor Nick Peel. Cllr Thomas who is committed to her own local community of Westhoughton where over the years she has gone from running a community playgroup, to serving as governor of two local primary and the local high school and Bolton College. She also finds time to volunteer with local charities especially those that share her “unwavering commitment to empowering and uplifting women and that champion inclusivity, diversity, and social justice”

Billa Ahmed - one of the founders of Homeless Aid UK, set up by a group of friends across the UK. His award was accepted by Cllr Rabiya Jiva, the Council Executive Member for Stronger Communities on his behalf. Homeless Aid deliver life-changing, grass roots level services to the growing number of street homeless, rough sleeper, hidden homeless and food bank users in the UK.

Mandy Jelenje - She is a Bolton Community Champion, through her Tili Tonse Project and as a storyteller, regularly weaving a magical spell on the child in all of us at events around the borough, at Bolton Library, Bolton Black History Month and other local community events. But she is so much more than this, she cares deeply about the African Diaspora, women, girls, Africa and in promoting interfaith ideas.

Chantelle Mapuranga – Project Manager of Being There responded to the inequalities in today’s civil society exposed during the Covid 19-pandemic that highlighted the disparities in social service provision for BAME communities when viewed against provision for other service users, especially in Bolton.

Kim Jaye - has risen to the challenges faced by becoming severely sight impaired at the age of 30. Rising against the odds, trusting that her “ability in cooking is not compromised”, using this talent to explore “the beauty of cooking whilst relying on her other senses to sight, taste, touch, smell and even hear(ing) to create , test, write about and publish books that are not only created for those living with sight impairments in mind”.She also uses her time to host dinners and volunteer in the charity sector to raise funds, she then donates entirely to charities providing equipment, services, and support to sight impaired people in local communities.

In handing out the personalised hand-crafted scrolls to each of the recipients the Mayor said: "As Mayor of Bolton I am delighted to have been asked to say a few words to recognise and appreciate the good work that takes place in Bolton on a daily basis. Bolton has a long and proud history of being a melting pot of diverse cultures, backgrounds and beliefs and it’s this rich tapestry that makes us strong and vibrant. It is organisations such as yours which make Bolton a great place to live, you make a real impact to the lives of people in Bolton.”

The awards ceremony was organised by Noelene Gillatt of Bolton Civility and thanks to the sponsors of the event, the Gillatt family and Grace Health and Social Care Ltd. Special credit goes to all volunteers and delegates who attended on the night.

Bolton Civility exists to promote a culture of Respect, Love, Peace, Kindness, and Safety for all humanity. The IFBCI – Bolton Initiative Civility Awards will now be an annual event that recognises ‘acts of kindness’ in the community.-