Residents association chairman Martin Donnelly is a community champion
11:00am Friday 21st September 2012 in News
The chairman of a residents association who helped save a community centre has been nominated for the Croydon Champions community champion award.
Martin Donnelly, 47, chairman of the Forestdale Resident Association (FRA), volunteered to become chairman of the residents committee in 2007, when the FRA and community centre on the Forestdale estate were facing bankruptcy and closure.
Over the last five years, the shipping manager and trader has worked with a small team to not only preserve both the FRA and the community centre, but also to turn around their finances.
Mr Donnelly who has been involved with the association for over 10 years, was nominated for the award by vice chairman Mark Trompeteler, who wrote on the nomination form: "He has done this in a quiet, unassuming and uncomplaining way with little or no public acknowledgement or thanks.
"He has done all this as well as working full time with increasing employment demands, a very busy family life and as well as being the treasurer of a local parent teacher association.
"He is a real local community champion, whose quiet, modest and unassuming way would mean like many others in the borough, his invaluable contribution to a local community charity has gone unnoticed."
Speaking of his nominations, the father-of-two said: "I am taken aback, it has got me a bit emotional. It is just one of those things you do and I just get on with it.
"It is nice to get the recognition. It has been slow and a hard struggle at times, but we have turned it around and we are now holding our heads above water."
Nominations for the Croydon Guardian's Croydon Champions awards have now closed. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on November 8.