Trust Thamesmead has announced its own New Year's Honour, bestowing the honour of Life President on Ted Claridge, who is universally recognised in the community as ‘Mr Thamesmead'.
Mr Claridge moved from the east end of London to Thamesmead in 1976 and since then has worked tirelessly for the local community.
He has raised thousands of pounds for young people's charities, was instrumental in improving leisure facilities, including Thamesmere Leisure Centre, for local people and has been a staunch supporter of local organisations for more than three decades.
Trust Chair Vic Grimes said: “Ted's commitment to the public is well known. He has been a loyal and valued Vice-Chair to the Trust for the past ten years and the position of Life President is a fitting tribute to him, it is a celebration and recognition of his contribution.”
Mr Claridge, who recently celebrated his 85th birthday, was elected a Freeman of Greenwich in 1996, primarily for his work in and for Thamesmead. He has also been Mayor of three London boroughs; Shoreditch, Hackney and Greenwich.
As he took on his new role at Trust Thamesmead Mr Claridge paid tribute to his wife Pat saying: “Pat has stood by my side since coming to Thamesmead and she, too, has made a significant contribution to my work,” adding “I may have gone from the powerhouse but I'm still on the near outside and believe you me I shall be looking in.”