90 days ago
Huge congratulations to Celine Lutzu, finance administrator manager at UCL, who was recently awarded the Freedom of the City of London. The award is one of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies in existence today, and is believed to have been first presented in 1237!
Celine, who has worked for Sodexo for 19 years, was awarded the honour to celebrate her work in her local community in Aldgate, London.
Alongside her busy role at UCL, Celine plays a key role in her housing association, regularly organising family events for Christmas, Easter, Halloween and in summer, and also assists with a weekly after-school group on Fridays for under 10s and their parents.
“I started doing activities for my own children and some of their friends in the housing association,” explained Celine.
“One my neighbours, John Fletcher, is a Common Councilman of the City of London and he saw me doing this and asked me to do it officially for the housing association. One of his contacts then arranged the use of the community hall for my activities and also a grant to cover the costs of crafts, decorations and refreshments.
“We now get up to 50 children and their parents getting involved in the activities we arrange. It has really brought the community together and given people a chance to get to know their neighbours.”
And if that didn’t keep her busy enough, Celine also volunteers as a Beaver Scouts leader, leading a group of 24 six to eight year olds every Thursday evening and sometimes at weekends.
Celine was nominated for the Freedom of the City of London by John and Henry Jones, Deputy for City of London, in recognition of all the great work she does in her community.
In January Celine received an email inviting her to a ceremony at the Chamberlain’s Court at Guildhall on Monday, 4 March to receive the Freedom of the City of London.
“It was a complete shock but I was very happy to receive this great honour. The ceremony itself was really interesting - we learnt about the history of the Freedom of the City and about our fellow Freemen, including Florence Nightingale, Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela.”
Pictured: Celine at the Guild of Freeman event celebrating International Women's Day
On Friday 8 March to coincide with International Women’s Day, Celine was invited by the Guild of Freemen of the City of London to a networking event to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage, where she met politicians, OBEs, MBEs and Paralympians.
“The Freedom of the City is a centuries-old honour that gives people the right to trade, to work and own land. I can even cross London Bridge with sheep, if I wanted! It’s a privilege to continue this tradition.”
Well done, Celine - keep up the amazing work!
At Sodexo, we encourage everyone to be like Celine and help support the local communities we serve every day. You can help! Why not volunteer with Stop Hunger this year?
Every Sodexo employee can take up to three days paid leave to support a charity aligning to Stop Hunger’s aims. Click here to see how you can get involved. Be inspired. Volunteer. Tackle hunger!
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