The Mayor of Southwark
The Southwark Civic Awards 2024
The Southwark Civic Awards celebrate our roots as London’s most historic borough by conferring the liberties of the three metropolitan boroughs from which The London Borough of Southwark was formed in 1965 - Bermondsey, Camberwell and Southwark.
We also want to recognise exceptional contributions to civic, community or family life by individuals, businesses, projects or organisations in the geographical areas they once covered. Those nominated for one of these awards may have given a lifetime or many years of service or made an exceptional contribution to civic and community life in the previous year (2023).
Apart from the rarely-conferred Honorary Freedom of Southwark, the Southwark Civic Awards are the most prestigious the council can make, with only a handful of citizens awarded an honour each year.
The Liberty Awards
Category 1: The Liberty of the Old Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey
Category 2: The Liberty of the Old Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell
Category 3: The Liberty of the Old Metropolitan Borough of Southwark
Category 4: The Young Citizen of the Year Award
Category 5: The Southwark Together Award
Category 6: The Climate Champion Award
Category 7: The Mayor's Discretionary Award
What are we looking for?
With this awards scheme, the keywords are ‘active citizenship’ and ‘exceptional achievement’. We are in search of people, projects, organisations and businesses worthy of being singled out and publicly recognised for their generous use of time, ideas, energy and resources for the betterment of others.
We are also looking for shining examples of civic mindedness, personal courage, or service to family or community that is above and beyond the ordinary. In support of Southwark Council’s delivery of the Public Sector Equality Duty, we encourage nominations of people from diverse backgrounds.
We want the recipients of these awards to know that the difference they have made to the lives of others, or indeed the life of the borough, is recognised at the highest level. Examples may include, but are not restricted to:
- outstanding personal service to the young or the elderly
- a community organisation or person that has improved the lives of many
- a project or event that has helped to build bridges between cultures and communities
- an act of personal courage or generosity
- innovation in business or the improvement of the local economy
- enhancement of the borough’s culture, heritage and reputation
The Young Citizen of the Year Award
This award will recognise the exceptional community spirit, generosity or civic mindedness of a youth or young adult under the age of 25 in any part of the borough. As with the ‘liberties’, you may nominate a young citizen who has contributed several years of service to community or family life, or has made an outstanding contribution in the previous year alone (2023). The recipient of this award must be a Southwark resident.
The Southwark Together Award
This Civic Award celebrates those who work over and above the call of duty to promote equality, diversity and inclusion, enable good community relations, tolerance and understanding. This award recognises an individual, community group or organisation that has made an outstanding contribution to enabling Southwark to be a more integrated, tolerant, welcoming, safe and inclusive borough, which values its rich diversity. Building on the work of Southwark Stands Together, the award celebrates great practice to promote equality, inclusion and good community relations.
Nominations can be made for individuals’ voluntary activity or community group, organisation or business which is based in and/or benefits the Southwark community.
The Climate Champion Award
The Climate Champion Award recognises the commitment and contribution to tackling climate change and reducing carbon emissions in the borough. We already see fantastic work going on throughout the borough from individuals to organisations and businesses. This award is a way to recognise outstanding work in this area and those who are champions in the fight against climate change.
We are looking for nominees who are having an impact in the borough and working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We particularly welcome applications from nominees who are taking action, which also promotes social justice.
The Mayor’s Discretionary Award
Southwark's First Citizen, Councillor Michael Situ, exercises his personal judgment in granting this award. It may go to those already honoured with a Liberty, Young Citizen of the Year, Southwark Together or Climate Champion Award. This discretionary award recognises an individual, business, project or organisation in any part of the borough that has made the most outstanding contribution to community life, in being singled out for outstanding achievement.
The Awards Ceremony
Awards will be presented at a civic celebration on Wednesday 22 May 2024 at Southwark Cathedral when the new Mayor of Southwark will be elected and formally installed. Each recipient will receive an ornate scroll of honour from the current Mayor of Southwark or a past Mayor.
Eligibility and exclusions
The council welcomes nominations for any individual whose unpaid voluntary activity is unrelated to, or is additional to, the nominee’s current employment. We also welcome nominations for any community group, organisation or business which is based in and/or benefits the Southwark community.
Serving elected members of Southwark Council may not be nominated but they may freely nominate others. Employees of Southwark Council are also excluded from being nominated, unless it is for unpaid voluntary activity, which is unrelated to or is additional to their current employment. Council employees may also nominate individuals, projects or organisations.
As the Southwark Civic Awards 2024 does not supersede any earlier scheme, previous recipients of equal or greater awards in the scheme may not be nominated. Those who received a Letter of Commendations in the past may, however be nominated.
Recipients of awards in other council-operated or supported award schemes such as Housing Heroes or Southwark Stars may be nominated for Southwark Civic Awards.
Final decisions on an individuals, business, projects or organisations to be honoured with an award will be made by the council’s Audit, Governance and Standard’s Committee, except for the Mayor’s Discretionary Award. They will be supported in their decision-making by four co-opted members of the community, voluntary or business sector.
Page last updated: 01 December 2023