Muswell Hill inclusivity charity wins prestigious award from Archbishop of Canterbury – and now looks to expand

Bernice Hardie (left) and Celia Webster - co-founders of Wave. Picture: Maria Ventricelli

Bernice Hardie (left) and Celia Webster - co-founders of Wave. Picture: Maria Ventricelli - Credit: Archant

Inclusivity charity Wave is celebrating after its founders Celia Webster and Bernice Hardie were given a prestigious award by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Muswell Hill-based Wave – which works to run events like Wave Cafe and Wave Church where young people with disabilities and those without are encouraged to spend time together and “do things with each other, not for each other”.

On June 30, Bernice and Celia were honoured with the Langton Award for community service as part of Archbishop Justin Welby’s annual “Lambeth awards”.

Now, the duo are hoping to use the award to build momentum and inspire others to both join Wave in Muswell Hill, and to think about setting up their own groups elsewhere.

Bernice told the Ham&High: “It’s a wonderful acknowledgement and affirmation for us, particularly when the going gets tough. And it’s been tough for many people living with children and young people during lock down.

“It gives us a lovely boost and a bit more exposure, and it’s come at a good time. Generally we are looking at how we can take what we’ve got in Muswell Hill and expand it to other areas.”

In April, Celia told this newspaper how Wave had become a “community lifeline” for locked-down families.

During lockdown, with its in-person community activities on hold, Wave has used social media and video conferencing to great impact. This has seen daily Zoom calls building friendships, online yoga classes, and an expansion of a support network over WhatsApp for parents who may have found lockdown as carers particularly tough.

Most Read

Celia added: “It’s great to get that recognition and we hope some people might be inspired to join Wave.

“During Covid-19, people have really pulled together and been helping each other. Perhaps now that a lot more people may have experience social isolation, there will be more people thinking about those who feel like this more regularly, and they might want to come along.”

Both women made clear this was an award for the whole community. Bernice said: “The award i for everyone else in the team who have been working hard day in day out.”

Wave – which stands for “we’re all valued equally” has been running in Muswell Hill for more than a decade.