Leisure Centre manager named 'hero of Havering' for BBC community award
- Credit: Everyone Active
Harrow Lodge Leisure Centre manager has been picked as Havering's hero for his contribution to the community during the pandemic.
The project, hosted by the BBC, asked London councils to nominate a lockdown hero in their borough – someone who has made a significant difference to their community in this difficult time.
Tom Fletcher, area contract manager for Everyone Active leisure centres in Havering, worked with the local authority to set up a support hub at Hornchurch Sports Centre - which has been replaced by Harrow Lodge - in March last year to meet the needs of the local community with the outbreak of Covid-19.
With support from the council and a selection of furloughed colleagues, Tom set up a socially-distanced and Covid-secure warehouse that operated seven days a week in order to provide food and PPE packages to Havering residents in need.
The team at Hornchurch Sports Centre has facilitated the delivery of more than 3,000 food packages and over 500 PPE deliveries to shielding residents, local food banks, care homes and key workers.
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Tom said: “I feel so humbled to have won this award. Although it was a particularly challenging period, it was an honour to be able to support the local community and make a difference.
“I am so proud of the teams at both Hornchurch Sports Centre and Havering Council who worked so well together to set up and operate the support hub.
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"It was fantastic to be able to utilise the centre during its closure and help the local community through such a difficult time for everyone.”
Tom has won the award for the borough of Havering and was interviewed last week by Vanessa Feltz at BBC radio London. He is now shortlisted for the BBC London’s Make a Difference Hero awards.
This recognition follows another achievement for Tom, who was also awarded Havering Council’s Chief Executive’s Contribution to Community award last week.
Cllr Damien White, leader of Havering Council, added: “Tom has made such an incredible difference to the lives of our most vulnerable residents during the pandemic.
“Tom represents the best of us and has true Havering spirit."