Communities, partnerships and young people feature in Civic Awards

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Countrycare, Older people, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community

The Epping Forest District Citizen of the Year 2013 is Diana Collins of Theydon Garnon. Jaymey McIvor from North Weald was named Young Citizen of the Year when the Annual Civic Awards were presented at Gilwell Park on Friday 15 March.

Citizen of the Year 2013 Di Collins and Young Citizen Jaymey McIvor with District Council Chairman, Brian Rolfe at the Civic AwardsThe evening hosted by the chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Brian Rolfe was dedicated to the many thousands of  volunteers who work behind the scenes and often without recognition across the district.

The awards were covered live by the Epping Forest Guardian with local reporter Zoie O’Brien tweeting as each winner was announced.

Presentations took place in the presence of Lord Petre, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Christopher Palmer-Tompkinson, High Sherriff of Essex and Eleanor Laing, Member of Parliament for the Constituency of Epping Forest. Young people, partnerships and community spirit featured strongly in the awards with presentations also going to Youth Councillors Olivia Tinker, Carina Sander, Ella Foster and Hamzah Qadri.

Epping Forest Youth Councillors at the Civic Awards 2013High Commendations where received by Alan Burgess from Roydon, Keith Campen of Loughton and John Duffell of Epping, each of whom has contributed significantly to the welfare of the district’s young people.

Other presentations were made to council stalwart Richard Morgan and the retiring Chief Executive of the Scouts Association, Derek Twine CBE.

Councillor Rolfe presented his latest contributions of £1,500 each to his Chairman’s Charities, The Dream Factory and Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs as well as raising another £1,070 during the course of the evening.

Deborah Hall of the Riding Trust and Linda Clark of The Dream Factory receiving cheques of £1,500Speaking of his experience as Chairman of the Council,  Councillor Rolfe said: ”

Anyone driving through the district can see we are blessed by the forest, the countryside, our towns and villages. But what they don’t see are the hundreds and thousands of people shaping and building our community through kindness, patience, consideration and compassion for others.

These people usually don’t have titles. They don’t often publicise what they do and they can be very hard to spot. They go about their business quietly and often without reward. They don’t expect any recognition.

But these people are the life-blood of our district. As a family turns a house into a home, they make Epping Forest a community. That’s why it is so important to protect, nurture and recognise the invaluable work they do.”

Guests listened as Master of  Ceremonies Robert Persell described some of the work carried out by Di Collins, who is better known in her former capacity as Leader of Epping Forest District Council. Among the credits for her voluntary work were support for Epping Forest College, local PCT health services, the League of Friends for St Margarets and Abbeyfield, the NSPCC, RNLI, Red Cross and Jubilee Lodge in Chigwell. Di’s house is frequently used as a venue for fundraising events.

Congratulating Di Collins on her award, Councillor Rolfe said: “Di, I think you are a marvellous choice as our Citizen of the Year. It seems incredible, knowing the time and commitment you have made to the District Council for so many years, that you found the time for so many other roles. The Civic Awards is one of the few nights in the year when we put politics aside and I think this award for all your other contributions is absolutely fantastic.”

Councillor Rolfe continued: “I hope Di will not mind me saying this, the Citizen of the Year tends to be a slightly older person. But one of the things I love most about the Civic Awards is the focus on our younger citizens. I would like to congratulate our four Youth Councillors, Hamzah, Carina, Ella and Olivia.

High Commendation Keith CampenThe establishment of the Youth Council some years ago now, was one of the best things I think this council has done. I know that Di Collins was strongly in favour of its foundation. Anyone who thinks our young people can be a soft touch or don’t care, should spend an hour or two with the Youth Council as our new Chief Executive Glen Chipp and our Member of Parliament Eleanor Laing have both done recently. The Youth Council is an impressive and formidable group of young people.

High Commendation Alan BurgessAnd what can one say about Jaymey McIvor – our new Young Citizen of the Year?  What an incredible young man. Jaymey is a credit to himself, his family, his school and our district. While we can produce young people like Jaymey, the future is assured.

And it is important to stress that while Jaymey and our other young award winners may have been singled out, they represent a much larger group of young people. I am sure Derek Twine, as someone who has dedicated his private and professional life to our younger generations will agree, High Commendation John Duffellour community is blessed by the rich contribution our young people make.

I don’t know if it was a co-incidence or something deeper, but the spirit of mutual support and respect between the generations seemed to flow through tonight’s awards. Alan Burgess, Keith Campen and John Duffell, have each in very different ways made such a large and positive impact on the lives of our younger people.”

Epping Forest District Civic Awards 2013 winners

Epping Forest District Civic Awards 2013 Front L-R Councillor Richard Morgan – Distinguished Service, Diana Collins – Citizen of the Year, Derek Twine – Distinguished Service. Back L-R Carina Sandler – Youth Council, Alan Burgess – High Commendation, Hamzah Qadri – Youth Council, Jaymey McIvor – Young Citizen of the Year, Councillor Brian Rolfe – Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Kevin Haywood – Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, John Duffell – High Commendation, Keith Campen – High Commendation, Ella Foster – Youth Council, Olivia Tinker – Youth Council

Quiz raises £1,000 for local charities

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Media, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Over £1,000 was raised for local charities at the chairman’s annual charity quiz at Theydon Bois Village Hall on Friday 8 February 2013.

Teams from across the district entered the annual event in aid of Chairman Brian Rolfes chosen charities, raising £1,066 for the Dream Factory and Chigwell Riding Trust. The quiz included rounds on the Sky at Night, 1963, celebrities and music lyrics.

The Grand Slammers emerged victorious for a 4th successive year following a nail-biting tie-break with the Caterpillars. The Miss Worlds won best dressed table, coming as beauty pageant contestants.

Chairman Brian Rolfe said: “Thank you to all who came along and joined in the fun, I had a great evening. We raised over £1,000 for my 2 chosen charities which will help support the great work they both do.”

Youth Plus in Ongar win Youth Project of the Year Award 2012

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Civic events, Councillors, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Playschemes, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

Epping Forest Youth Council organised the third Youth Project of the Year Award at the Civic Offices in Epping on 30th October.

YPOTY Award Winners 2012
YPOTY Award Winners 2012

The evening was a celebration of youth work and voluntary work for the benefit of young people in the community. The Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Brian Rolfe, presented the awards and commended the work of all the youth projects across the district.

Youth Councillor Ella Foster said, “One of the main issues we hear is there isn’t anything to do for our age group so, once again, the Youth Council set about locating local youth projects to put them on the map.  This year we found 16 youth projects running in the district. ”

Youth Councillors personally visited 14 of the 16 youth projects over a three month period. Ella  explained, “When visiting each youth club, we assessed the atmosphere in the centre, the opportunities to learn; we looked at the location, disabled access and street lighting. All of these factors we feel are important for young people. Where possible, we then returned to each project to meet with staff and discuss our findings. This was really helpful as it gave us the opportunity to feed back and listen to their future plans”.

Winners trophies were awarded to three projects for their outstanding youth work. They were; third place, The Box in Epping,  secondly place “We Don’t Do Bored” in Waltham Abbey and first place went to Youth Plus in Ongar who were formally crowned the ultimate winner of the Youth Project of the Year Award 2012. Youth Plus also won the award in 2010!

Five projects received a 5 star ‘Centre of Excellence’ Awards: XL Youth in Buckhurst Hill, Fusion in Loughton, The Box in Epping, We Don’t Do Bored in Waltham Abbey and Youth Plus in Ongar.

Healthworks in Waltham Abbey, Limes Farm Youth Centre in Chigwell, Theydon Youth in Theydon Bois, X Bus in Debden and the mobile Youth Bus each received a 4 Star award.

The Loughton Youth Centre in Loughton, ignite , St Mary’s Church, Loughton, New Images WAY 2000 in Waltham Abbey each received a 3 Star award.

The Space in Loughton won a 2 Star award. 

Youth Plus YPOTY Winners 2012
Youth Plus Youth Project of the Year 2012 Winners receiving their trophy from Chairman, Brian Rolfe

Brenda Rugeley from Youth Plus thanked the Youth Council for the amazing award and for organising a really inspiring evening; “We all really enjoyed meeting everyone tonight and learning about other projects. It has been a re- energising experience! We all so enjoyed the evening when you visited us at Youth Plus and our members had the opportunity to talk to you, show you around, and tell you about our group. Young people with learning disabilities can often feel isolated from other young people and in the community, and cannot easily access the activities that other young people do. Youth Plus was set up 13 years ago to help to address this situation. We now have a membership of 125 young people who have an opportunity to make friends and with the support of parents and volunteers they can arrange to take part in activities that they would normally not be able to do.

Everyone here is welcome to come over to the Ongar Youth Centre to see what we do. We would also love to have you come and do a spot of volunteering for us. We would be pleased to keep in touch and join in with any of the other groups in anything that is going on. We are so thrilled with this award.”

Youth Councillor Jaymey McIvor said “Youth Plus in Ongar is an excellent centre for young people with learning disabilities, they run an extensive programme of activities for their members, they are involved in their local community and develop opportunities for their members to engage and embrace them. They rely on volunteers, so please contact Youth Plus if you are interested in volunteering with this group.” 

Youth Councillor Catie Barry  went on to explain “Our map promoting all youth projects in the Epping Forest district has been updated for 2012, and this is available from schools, libraries, clubs and Epping Forest District Council Information Points. You can also download a copy of the map by clicking on the image below:

Chairman hosts outdoors civic event

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Democracy, Our attractions, Volunteering opportunities, Young people, Your council

The Chairman of Council, Councillor Brian Rolfe hosted an interesting and thought provoking morning of activities at the Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning attended by Mayors and Chairman of Council from around Essex and surrounding London Boroughs.

Chairmen and women at Lambourne End Centre
Chairmen and women at Lambourne End Centre

The centre is a fantastic 54 acre classroom which gives participants the freedom to create the right atmosphere for learning. Through tailored programmes it provides the opportunity for people to develop and stretch themselves whilst enjoying a fun experience in a welcoming and informal environment in which they can feel truly valued.

Each of the civic guests attending took part in a sensory walk, completing various activities to use their senses including a blindfold walk, smelly cocktails and listening activities or archery with good training ensured by the end of each session that everyone had hit the target!

Chairman and guest brave the zip wire
Chairman and guest brave the zip wire

The chairman and guests are pictured just before they braved the centres zip wire.

The event provided an excellent opportunity to promote the centre and its facilities already in use by many other public organisations.

Councillor Rolfe said: “I chose the Lambourne Centre for my civic lunch because this facility is situated in the heart of my ward. The centre offers both adventurous activities and opportunities to learn about animals and the environment on our farm. They utilise all 54 acres of the site through the different activities and have different rooms and buildings for groups to use. I hope my guests today will see the magnificent work that is provided at the Lambourne End Centre by a very dedicated and professional team.”

2013 Citizens of the Year campaigns are underway

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Epping Forest District Council Citizen of the Year 2013 poster

The search is on to find the Epping Forest District Council Citizen of the Year 2013 and Young Citizen of the Year 2013.

Do you know someone who has shown outstanding courage, or has done something of great benefit to you or your community?  Perhaps someone who has shown extraordinary commitment, energy and effort in their particular field or towards achieving a particular goal?

If that person is a resident of the district, why not show your appreciation and nominate them for Epping Forest District Council’s accolade, a Citizen of the Year Award?  The Citizen of the Year 2013 and the Young Citizen of the Year 2013 will receive their awards at the Annual Civic Reception in March 2013.

The Young Citizen of the Year Award is presented annually to a young person, aged 11-18, in recognition of an exceptional contribution to the Epping Forest community.

Youth Councillors Jaymey McIvor and Sam Cascarina promoting the Young Citizen of the Year campaign poster

If you know someone who fits the bill and deserves to be recognised, fill in a nomination form and make sure it reaches the Civic Offices by Friday 30 November. 

The forms can be obtained at Council Information Desks at Epping, Loughton or Waltham Abbey and Buckhurst Hill Parish Council Information Centre, or by contacting Pat Seager at the Civic Offices on 01992 564427 (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday only) for the Citizen of the Year or Di Butler on 01992 564365 for the Young Citizen of the year. Alternatively, you can download each of the forms using the links below.

 Download Young Citizen of the Year 2013 nomination form

 Download Citizen of the Year 2013 nomination form

Olympic hero returns

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Olympics, Our attractions, Out and about, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

Gold medallist Etienne Stott was welcomed back to Waltham Abbey for the unveiling of a commemorative London 2012 shield.

Etienne and his partner Tim Baillie claimed Britain’s first ever Gold in the Men’s C2 Canoe Slalom at the Lee Valley White Water Centre at the beginning of August with Richard Hounslow and David Florence taking Silver in a memorable afternoon of sport.

Etienne joined civic leaders from Waltham Abbey, Epping Forest and Broxbourne on Monday 17 September 2012 for the official unveiling of the commemorative shield on Highbridge Street Roundabout. District and Town Councillor, Liz Webster who is also Mayor of Waltham Abbey had the honour of cutting the ribbon.

The shield is symbolic of the co-operation between Broxbourne and Epping Forest councils. John Gilbert, Director of Environment and Street Scene for Epping Forest paid tribute to his colleagues at Broxbourne for their generosity in agreeing to the LOCOG funded shield being placed on the Essex side of the boundary. Both councils worked closely together with Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and LOCOG during the development of the Lee Valley White Water Centre.

The White Water Centre was the first the first new Olympic venue to be completed. Opened to the public before the Games, the Centre is open again for rafting and canoeing on two purpose built courses.

Councillor Brian Rolfe, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council said: “London 2012 has proved to be the finest summer of sport most of us can ever remember. It was a great privilege to meet Etienne and see the gold medal close up. Lee Valley White Water Centre is a fantastic facility and the British success in the C2, where we took Gold and Silver, was one of the most memorable afternoons of the Games.”

The Shield is embossed with the image of the town’s most famous historical figure, King Harold, believed to be buried within the grounds of the Abbey. Henry VIII also features along with civic and Olympic symbols of the present day.

Norwegian weekend

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, North Weald Airfield, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Your area, Your community

It was my privilege as Chairman of Epping Forest District Council to meet some highly distinguished people over the weekend of the 7 to 9 September. The spirit of friendship between the people of North Weald and Norway continues to shine.
Norwegian Wings over North weald fun day and fly in

The bond is enormously strong. The surviving Norwegian veterans are now old men but the love they feel for our country lives on in their children and grandchildren. 70 years ago they were a band of brothers from a small country held in tyranny. They found refuge at North Weald and kindred spirits in the people of our small Island also fighting for our lives.

I began for the first time to understand something of the importance North Weald holds in the hearts of the people of Norway. I was reminded of the famous poem, ‘The Soldier’ by Rupert Brooke who lost his life in the Great War that was supposed to end all wars.

Chairman Brian Rolfe ready for take off.If I should die, think only this of me;
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

To our friends from Norway, North Weald is also the corner of a ‘foreign field’, a symbol of their national pride and character in adversity. I was immensely proud to have shared some of that spirit with them and to call them friends.

Councillor Brian Rolfe
Chairman of Epping Forest District Council

Associated stories

A story published by the Telegraph about a veterans final visit to North Weald – Spitfire pilot, 91, makes one final mission

Norwegian weekend – remembering the fallen

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Councillors, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Your area, Your community

Generations and communities came together at the Norwegian memorial in front of North Weald Airfield Museum on Sunday morning, 9 September 2012.

Veterans and members of the serving armed forces, friends and families paid their respects as Major General Finn Kristian Hannesstad, Chief of Staff of the Norwegian Air Force laid the first wreath in remembrance. Councillor Cyril Hawkins, Councillor Brian Rolfe and Mayor Ole Hjartoy of Bodo represented the civilian communities of North Weald, Epping Forest and Norway.

A flypast was performed by vintage Vampire and T-33 jet-fighters.

Norwegian weekend – memories and celebration

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Epping, North Weald Airfield, Ongar, Our attractions, Out and about, Your community

Memories of some sad times, adversity, friendships and happy moments were rekindled on Saturday 8 September 2012. Veterans from Norway arrived with serving senior military officers and civic leaders at the civic offices of Epping Forest District Council at the start of a busy day.

Councillor Brian Rolfe, Chairman of Council welcomed his opposite number Mayor Ole Hjartoy of the Norwegian city of Bodo at the steps of the Civic Offices. Speeches and presentations reaffirmed the ties of friendship between two communities forged in war.

Epping brought back memories for several of the veterans who escaped their own country to England in the dark days of World War II, Their struggle continued under the banner of the Royal Air Force in their small Hawker Hurricanes from North Weald.

Veterans recalled many happy hours spent in the Thatched House, Epping to which they would cycle, although they searched in vain for the Carpenters Arms which has since made way for modern development.

After years of closure, Epping Ongar Railway looked spectacular in bright sunshine as the Veterans and guests continued their trip down Memory Lane. A ride on the train from North Weald Station to Ongar included a short break with high demand for ice-cream and cool drinks as temperatures hit the high twenties. North Weald Station was a familiar stepping off point 70 years ago. Veterans smiled as they recalled trips to London for some R and R.

Veterans, civic leaders and top-brass continued to enjoy the hospitality of the welcoming residents of North Weald. At North Weald Airfield younger group of volunteers who arrived in the Norwegian Royal Air Force Hercules on Friday were hard at work, putting the final touches to the refurbishment of an historic revetment. These fortified aircraft bunkers protected Hurricanes, Blenheims and Spitfires from aerial attack by the Luftwaffe.

The particular revetment was used by 331 (N) Squadron. A dedication and the unveiling of a memorial stone brought from Norway took place at sunset with a guard of honour provided by the ATC as well as standard bearers from Norway and the Royal British Legion.  Arthur Moreton of North Weald who was instrumental in organising the events of the weekend spoke movingly in response to a fine speech Cato Gunhfeldt on behalf of the volunteers.

The Squadron bar was renamed ‘The Norwegian Wing’ in honour of the guests. The evening ended with a surprise presentation to Alan Crouchman of The Squadron and Epping Forest District Council’s Airfield Operations Manager Darren Goodey, in recognition of the special efforts made by them and their teams in support of the Norwegian visit.

Memorial stone

A plaque attached to the revetment memorial stone reads

“This Stone, brought from Norway and erected on September 8th 2012 commemorates the 70th anniversary of 331 (N) and 332 (N) Squadrons commencing operations from RAF North Weald in May and June 1942.

The two squadrons became known as The Norwegian Wing, operating from North Weald until the end of March 1944.

The revetment was used by 331 (N) Squadron’s A-Flight”


All the bells rang in Epping

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Olympics, Our activities, Out and about, Your council

Chairman Brian Rolfe with the Matching Bell RingersLondon 2012 was rung in in style at Epping Forest District Council’s Civic Offices this morning at 8.12 am.

Chairman of Council, Councillor Brian Rolfe and his wife were joined by the Vice Chairman of Council Councillor Mary Sartin and her husband, The Matching Handbell Ringers and staff to ring bells to welcome the Olympics.

Councillor Rolfe said: “I was delighted to start the ringing for this momentous occasion. I wish Team GB lots of luck and I am sure they will do the country proud.”

View more on the All The Bells website.