Each year, the Chairman of Council hosts a special evening to thank fellow Councillors and their families for their help and service to the community. It is also the evening in which EFDC recognises the special contributions of local people to our community, culminating in the Citizen of the Year Award.
The Epping Forest District Council Civic Awards 2006 and reception, held at the Prince Regent Hotel on Thursday 23 March 2006, was opened by Toastmasters Robert Pursell and Howard Robbins.
As guests arrived at the reception, they were received by the Chairman of the Council, Councillor Brian Sandler and his wife Brenda, and entertained by music provided by the Epping Forest Band.
Guests included Lord Petre, the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Eleanor Laing MP, representatives from the emergency services, as well as Mayors and Chairmen from neighbouring Councils, that are affectionately known as “The Chain Gang”.
The guests proceeded to the hall where there were short presentations from representatives of the Chairman’s charities, Deborah Hall from Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs and Richard Cowie from St Clare Hospice. As the guests ate dinner, they were entertained by music from the pupils of West Hatch High School.
Winners of the Epping Forest District Council Grants in the Arts and Sport
The first Bursary winner, 16 year old Anthony Camillo from Waltham Abbey is an extremely talented young musician from Waltham Abbey. He was awarded a part scholarship to the junior department of the Academy of Music and his dream is to continue his studies at the Academy and become a concert pianist. His arts bursary of £1,000 will go towards payment of his Royal Academy fees, music books and piano maintenance.
Jessica Sparke, also from Waltham Abbey received The Epping Forest Sports Leisure Bursary of £1,500. The 18 year old has already made her mark as a representative of Great Britain at the World Cross Country Championships in France, World Junior Championships in Lithuania and the World Club Championships in Bosnia, and she recently received word of her inclusion in the England Team due to fly to Japan in April for the World Junior Cross Country Championships. Her gruelling schedule of competition is matched by an equally gruelling training programme, with intensive training six days a week including 600 sit-ups each day. The bursary goes towards the cost of travel expenses, medical support and massages as she competes abroad.
There were three other young people, Rebecca Cass, Elaine Thomson and Paul Beales who also received Epping Forest District Council grants in the arts and sport, but were unable to attend.
Winners of the Community Service Medals
Next were the Community Service medals that are awarded to the men and women of the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services. Simon Galloway, a member of the Essex Ambulance Service was described as an outstanding member of staff who has been particularly recognised for his selfless work over many years in the community including his work as a first aid trainer in local schools and his support for Crucial Crew.
Geoff Marler served across the Loughton, Ongar and Harlow areas working for the Essex Fire and Rescue Service. It is his voluntary work with troubled young people who display their problems through fire setting, that he is most highly regarded. He was described in his nomination as the `most reliable and trustworthy of friends and colleagues`.
Inspector Tom Mitchell from Essex Police is the former Community Policing Team Sergeant based at Loughton who most recently won thoroughly deserved promotion to the rank of Community Policing Team Inspector with his transfer to Epping. In his nomination, Divisional Commander Andy Adams paid tribute to the high regard in which this officer is held not only by his colleagues but also by partner agencies and people in the communities he is so proud to serve.
Nominees for the Epping Forest District Citizen of the Year 2006
Peggy Davis from Loughton has been involved with the care of animals through the Essex South West Branch of the RSPCA for more than 40 years. Many animals have benefited from her efforts, whether through fundraising for the Homeless Dogs Fund or her day to day care of dogs that have been cruelly treated, lost, abandoned, fallen sick or whose owners can no longer care for them. In her nomination it was estimated that some 23,000 dogs have been re-homed and owners helped to pay for essentials such as vet`s bills through Peggy`s efforts. Unfortunately Peggy could not attend the ceremony.
Janet Green from Chigwell Row was nominated for her fundraising work on behalf of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the support she has given to sufferers and their families over many years. In her nomination, Janet`s fundraising works were described as unceasing but her personal touch in the care, sympathy, and understanding she shows also clearly means an immense amount to the sufferers and their families.
Derek Berwin from High Ongar has worked tirelessly on behalf of Ongar and District War Memorial Hospital, the Royal British Legion and the annual Poppy Appeal. The 60th anniversary celebrations of the end of the Second World War last year meant a great deal to Derek and his Royal British Legion colleagues. Derek took on a central role in the organisation of the military parade and the involvement of a whole new generation of young people for whom the sacrifice of the war years might otherwise seem a world away from their present lives.
Tim Dolan has been nominated for work as founder and manager of `The Box`, a converted shop in Epping that is now a safe and entertaining place for the town`s young people to meet and socialise. Tim has been an active member of the community as a Drug and Alcohol Referral Worker and as a member of the local Church. He recognised the tension that was building in Epping between the town`s young people who had little more to do than hang around the streets and some older residents who were inadvertently disturbed or intimidated by the large groups. The Box was Tim`s practical answer to the problem and in his nomination said that Tim decided to `put his own neck on the line` in a courageous and unselfish act, to help the town`s young people.
The community of High Ongar is blessed with many residents who give their time and energy on behalf of others. Peter Richards is a member of the Royal British Legion and worked on the remembrance celebrations in High Ongar. As a Military Policeman, Peter served his country in many parts of the world, from Northern Ireland to Berlin and Singapore. Since coming to live in High Ongar he has become a member of the Parish Council and still keeps in contact with his old comrades as well as raising money for ex-servicemen`s charities.
In 1997 Vivian Chipperfield’s daughter Claire suffered a terrible injury and fell into a coma for six weeks. After the accident, Viv brought Claire to Chigwell Riding Trust. Trust Manager, Debbie Hall wrote: Viv came to see if we could help and needless to say we took Claire on straight away. I have watched both of them very closely over the past nine years and the improvement in Claire is unbelievable. This is largely due to the dedication and grit that Viv seems to have. Not only has Viv structured a busy daily programme to improve Claire`s quality of life but she has done a tremendous amount to help fundraising for our organisation. I would say that Viv is `perpetual motion`, never thinking about herself, always working for Claire and Chigwell Riding Trust.
Deborah Hall has been involved with Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs for many years, overseeing a transformation of the centre and a huge expansion in the scope and range of its work. Her work is dedicated to the young people with special needs and the animals that she loves but she is also able to inspire all those around her. The Trust depends upon voluntary contributions and one of her proudest moments must have been the opening of the rebuilt riding centre by the Princess Royal in 1998 thanks in large part to Debbie`s efforts to win Lottery funding. Her nomination says: Her enthusiasm to help disadvantaged people by teaching them to ride and by employing them as volunteers or paid staff to give them a heightened sense of self has changed the lives of many people.
Awarded to Janet Green, Derek Berwin, Peter Richards and Deborah Hall.
Awarded to Peggy Davis and Tim Dolan.
Winner of the Epping Forest District Citizen of the Year 2006
The winner of the Epping Forest District Citizen of the Year 2006 is Vivian Chipperfield. Debbie Hall added: Viv is an extraordinary lady with endless energy. When I look back to when I saw Claire for the first time after her accident, when she was unable to walk or talk and then look at her now, generally without a wheelchair, with very good speech and riding independently, I know this is due to Viv`s dedication. I could not think of a more deserving recipient of your award.
During the evening, guests were asked to take part in the Chairman’s charity prize draw with prizes being kindly donated by local businesses. Just over £2,000 was raised and donated equally between the Chairmans charities, Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs and St Clare Hospice of Hastingwood.
Epping Forest District Council would like to thank not only the outstanding individuals who were nominated for the awards, but also the countless thousands of other people living and working together in our community contributing millions of selfless, generous and kind acts that so many people give without thought of reward every day. Putting aside for a moment the pretty villages, vibrant towns and beautiful countryside, it is the people of the District that make it such a marvellous place in which to live.