Catalyst colleagues receive royal recognition

Two members of the Catalyst team received royal recognition as part of the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

David Truesdale, area director, and Santosh Kanwar, Southall Day Centre manager, received an MBE and British Empire Medal (BEM) respectively for services to the community. David co-founded the Leys Community Development Initiative (Leys CDI) in 1992 and has supported Blackbird Leys through a variety of changes and exciting projects. Santosh started working as a volunteer at Southall Day Centre when it first opened and has helped it grow into a hub for the community.

These honours are the icing on the cake for what has already been a successful year for David and Santosh. Southall Day Centre celebrated its 35 anniversary in April and Catalyst celebrated 20 years of working in partnership with Oxford at the start of May.

David Truesdale said:David Truesdale

‘It’s fantastic to receive this honour. What has been achieved in Blackbird Leys is not just down to me, I am just one in a large group of people, I’m delighted to receive this on behalf of my fellow staff and trustees at CDI. Leys CDI has had something of a hand-to-mouth existence over the years so it’s great to be recognised. During the 10 years I’ve been chair we’ve had some real success stories and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.”

Santosh cropSantosh Kanwar said:

‘I’m really thrilled and honoured to receive this award.

‘When I started working at Southall Day Centre 30 years ago as a volunteer, I never imagined it would be a lifetime commitment. But the plain fact is that it is a fantastic place to work in and I haven’t lost my appetite for the work.

‘I feel privileged to lead a wonderful and committed team and would like to share this award with them.

‘I would like to thank the people who nominated me. And I would also like to thank my line Managers, Rod and John, for their immense support over the years.’

A huge congratulations to David and Santosh for this fantastic achievement.