Orthodox Hackney volunteers honoured

By Jessica Elgot, September 21, 2010

Three strictly Orthodox Hackney charities have received awards from Hackney Council for Voluntary Service.

Children's disability charity Step-by-Step won a Adiaha Antigha Community Achievement Award for contributions to well-being. Step-by-Step runs activities for more than 100 disabled youngsters with problems ranging from cerebral palsy to Down's syndrome in Hackney, Barnet and Haringey. Its programme includes swimming, ice-skating, horse riding and Sunday clubs and summer play schemes.

"We see such a change in people who use our services," said project manager Chippy Flohr. "We have seen children take their first steps in the swimming pool and blind children ice-skating alone. This is the first award we have ever won and it means a lot because we were nominated by our users."

Talking Matters, providing counselling services for the Charedi community, took the contributing to faith communities award.

Founder Jose Martin said: "We keep below the radar and we don't tend to advertise our one-on-one services.

"Most of the people we get are self-referred so it's an honour to be recognised.

"We have had great success in counselling in the last 10 years. We work a lot with anxiety issues and we often see this in the children of Holocaust survivors because their parents passed down their unresolved issues to their children."

Bikur Cholim D'Satmar Trust took a prize for services to the elderly. The charity provides meals, care, support and domestic help to those with serious illnesses.

The awards are held in memory of HCVS founding director Adiaha Antigha, who died in 2006.

Last updated: 12:57pm, September 21 2010