Last night the "cream of Croydon" gathered at the Hilton hotel in Purley for the annual Croydon Champion awards.

Now in its 15th year, Croydon Champions celebrates the very best the borough has to offer in a wide range of categories, recognizing everything from bravery to business acumen, courage to charity work.

Arrivals were greeted with a drinks reception in the hotel foyer accompanied by the sound of violinists from Royal Russell school.

After the nominees and guests filed through to the main hall to sit down to a buffet dinner, the ceremony got underway with a warm welcome from the evening's host, former Croydon Guardian editor Nicholas Hitchens.

Mr Hitchens, who himself recently moved to Croydon, said it was an "honour" to be returning to host the awards.

In among the prize-giving the audience were also entertained by performances from two Brit School students, Zola Bridgey and Isaac Strange.

Altogether awards in ten categories were handed out on the night, including gongs for parent of the year, charity volunteer, and community work.

Speaking towards the end of the evening, current deputy and future mayor of Croydon, Wayne Trakas-Lawlor, said those gathered in the room were the "cream of Croydon.

He added: "We're all mighty proud of you".

Your Local Guardian:

Below is a full list of Croydon Champions 2015 winners, and some of the best photos from the night.

Parent of the Year

Winner: Nicola Sullivan

Highly commended: Toks Timson

Commended: Sasha Handley

Your Local Guardian:

Nicola Sullivan, who was named parent of the year after being nominated by her brother, Thomas


Winner: Di Layzelle (Croydon College)

Highly commended: Kate Magliocco (Harris Primary Academy Kenley)

Commended: James Stagg – (Harris Academy South Norwood)


Winner: Sensible Garden

Highly commended: Thornton Heath Community Action Team

Commended: Croydon Panathlon

Young Person

Winner: Neelam Shah

Highly commended: Faith Price

Commended: Humza Shahzad

Act of Bravery

Winner: PC Alex Hannah

Highly commended: Kevin Beatt

Commended: Alfred Green

Arts and Entertainment

Winner: Tim Eveleigh

Highly commended: Ally McKinlay

Commended: Adrian Winchester


Winner: Dennie Smith

Highly commended: Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison

Commended: Purley BID

Charity Volunteer

Winner: Camilla Bowry

Highly commended: Adele Rutledge

Commended: Claire Lewis

Your Local Guardian:

Charity volunteer winner Camilla Bowry, who has sent thousands of second-hand shoes to Syrian and Iraqi children languishing in refugee camps

Child of Courage

Winner: Melody Driscoll

Highly commended: Scarlett Hewitt

Commended: Aaron Bigord


Winner: Ian Thompson

Highly commended: Roger Fisher

Commended: Madia Rahman

Your Local Guardian:

Ian Thompson, who was named community worker of the year for breathing new life into St Jude's church in Thornton Heath