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Resilient Barry – Birmingham Local Hearts Award

Last night, Wednesday 21st October 2009, Barry Toon’s unfailing commitment to volunteering and community was recognised with the presentation of the Birmingham Local Hearts Lifetime Achievement Award.

For over 40 years Barry has worked tirelessly to improve the local community of Bournbrook and the general well-being of his neighbours.  He manages the Bournbrook Community Safety Project, which through such things as window locks and alley-gating schemes makes a practical difference to the lives of local people. He is also a committee member of the TARA Neighbourhood Forum.

For the last 3 years, Barry has worked closely with the Birmingham Resilience Team to dramatically improve the ability of: individuals, families and communities to respond effectively to major emergencies.  Barry strongly believes that it is not good enough to just rely on the emergency services and the council. He sees community resilience, where neighbour supports neighbour, as being equally important in ensuring that the impact of emergencies is minimised.

Huge strides have been made since the early days when Barry, along with Sandra Cooper, David Treadwell, Pat Sheriden and others first met.

The Birmingham Communities and Neighbourhoods Resilience Group is being held up nationally as an example of how to ensure community resilience is built within; neighbourhoods and faith, disability organisations etc. Barry’s award is in part a reflection of that hard work.

It was also heart warming to see that Maureen Murphy was also nominated for the Birmingham Local Hearts Lifetime Achievement Award.  Maureen’s dedication and commitment to her local community is outstanding and yet Maureen still finds time to be a key community representative for the Birmingham Resilience Team.

Barry receiving his award from the Lord Mayor

Barry receiving his award from the Lord Mayor

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