Winners of this years Parliamentary Taxi and Private Hire Awards announced

pd website mohamed ewasha mariusz zabrocki simon lightwood mp

The winners of the 2023 Parliamentary Taxi & Private Hire Awards were announced this week, with prizes going to drivers judged to have made outstanding efforts in charity work, community support and sustainability.

The Awards were launched in 2019 by Daniel Zeichner MP, then chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Taxis, to celebrate those taxi and private hire drivers who make a big difference in their communities by going ‘above and beyond’ for the public.

Drivers are nominated by their local MPs, and the awards are sponsored by ride-hailing company FreeNow. This year’s winners were:

pd website mohamed ewasha mariusz zabrocki simon lightwood mp
L-R: Mohamed Ewasha, Mariusz Zabrocki, Simon Lightwood MP

FreeNow Award

Mohamed Ewasha – at the age of 74, Mohamed has run the London Marathon and various half-marathons to raise thousands of pounds for a number of charities, including Independent Age.

pd website matt westfall, simon lightwood mp
L-R: Matt Westfall, Simon Lightwood MP

Charity Award

Matt Westfall, a London cabbie, set up a scheme to take essentials to people living in makeshift camps on the Ukrainian border with Poland before taking some of them on to safe places. He recruited the drivers of six other cabs, one car and a van to join his cause, raising more than £11,000 to fund the effort.

Hero Award

Simon Davies also made several trips by car to Ukraine in the past 12 months in order to deliver aid to those in need, as well as engaging in a great deal of fundraising.

pd website kareem ismail, simon lightwood mp
L-R: Kareem Ismail, Simon Lightwood MP

Climate & Sustainability Award

Kareen Ismail invested a substantial amount of money in an electric taxi and continues to raise awareness of the need for battery-powered cabs and PHVs in London.

Community Award

Muhammad Delwar Uddin applied to be an NHS volunteer at the start of the pandemic, picking up and delivering prescriptions from the local pharmacy to patients. Three years on, he continues this work. He has made hundreds of trips during this time and plans to continue supporting the NHS.

Richard Holden MP, the Department for Transport (DfT) minister responsible for taxi and PHV policy, congratulated all 39 drivers nominated by a Parliamentarian or Member of the London Assembly for an award. His Labour shadow Simon Lightwood MP presented the trophies.

FreeNow’s UK general manager Mariusz Zabrocki said: “We truly believe in supporting drivers and showcasing their key role in society, especially those who make a real difference in people’s lives daily. It is an honour to be involved in these awards for the fourth year running.”

Daniel Zeichner said: “I started these awards four years ago with the goal of highlighting those who go the extra mile in the community to make people’s lives just that little bit easier. Over the years, we have met some incredible people who have gone ‘above and beyond’ in their role to support people both in the UK and abroad. These Awards are all about celebrating the contribution of the UK’s 330,000 taxi and PHV drivers to their local communities – and far beyond them.”