The annual Epping Forest District Council Civic Awards Reception 2007 took place last night at the Prince Regent Hotel in Woodford Bridge. The event is to thank fellow Councillors and their families for their help and service to the community and in which EFDC recognises the special contributions of local people to our community, culminating in the Citizen of the Year Award. For the first time, the civic award presentations were being filmed for webcasting via the Epping Forest District Council Website.
The guests were received by the Chairman of the Council, Councillor Mrs Ann Haigh whilst being entertained by music performed by Anthony Camillo, a 2006 arts bursary winner, pupils from St John`s Music School and Alice Manthorpe-Saunders.
The evening was presided over by Toastmaster Robert pursell with the awards beginning with the Leisure Bursaries, grants specifically for young people with an emerging skill or ability in the Arts or Sport.
Thirteen year old Lauren Smith from Waltham Abbey and fifteen year old Emma Hollis from Theydon Bois are exceptionally talented members of the Epping Forest Swimming Club. They represent the District at events up and down the country, achieving bronze, silver and gold medals at national junior level. Lauren is part of the World Class Development Programme while Emma is just a few seconds off the required qualifying times. Their goal is to represent their country in London at the Paralympics 2012 and received bursaries of £750 and £500.
Chloe Galloway from Ongar is ranked number one in her national age group for the triple jump. She is an outstanding and dedicated athlete who represents English Schools in the pentathlon, heptathlon and triple jump. Her goal is also to compete in the 2012 London Olympics. Chloe collected a cheque for £1,000 towards the cost of training, equipment, competition and travel expenses and is the winner of the Epping Forest District Council Sports Bursary Awards 2007.
Music provides the focus of our Arts Bursary Awards. Fourteen year old Johnny Mason from Buckhurst Hill attends Roding Valley High School. He takes piano lessons and, after obtaining very good grades, has been offered a place at the Guildhall School of Music. Johnny received a bursary of £500.
Alice Manthorpe-Saunders is twenty-three years old from Epping and is currently studying for a post-graduate diploma in baroque cello at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. As a member of the College Chamber Orchestra she recently played at the memorial service for the late leader of the House of Lords in Westminster Abbey. Alice intends to continue her studies at the Dartington International Summer School. Alice received a cheque for £1,500 and is the winner of the Epping Forest District Arts Bursaries 2007.
Two new awards were introduced in 2007 for people who have made special contributions to housing.
The Good Neighbour Award 2007 recognises the work of a Council tenant or leaseholder who has helped other people in some way. Mrs Margaret Tappenden has lived in North Weald for many years and recently moved into one of the Council`s sheltered housing schemes. She is a tireless good neighbour who enjoys helping other people. Rising early, she delivers the morning newspapers, helps several of her neighbours with their cleaning, laundry, ironing and shopping. On the social side she helps to organise and call bingo sessions and coffee mornings. If someone is unwell or needs support, she may call on them several times in a day.
The second new award is for Services to Housing. Mr Sid Miller is one of the founders of Epping Forest Housing Aid. With his wife he helped to set up the scheme and raised money to provide rent deposit guarantees on behalf of tenants who could not otherwise afford the first step into private rented housing. The scheme has grown from strength to strength, supported by Epping Forest District Council, the Churches National Housing Coalition and the National Lottery. Thanks in large part to Sid, the scheme has provided guarantees for 147 families so far with prospects to help many more homeless people in years to come.
Each year the Council invites the Police, Fire and Ambulance services to nominate a person to receive a Community Service Medal in recognition of the special role our emergency services play.
The first of our Community Service Medals for 2007 goes to a Firefighter nominated by the Essex Fire and Rescue Service. After 16 years based mainly in Harlow, Firefighter Peter Mountier joined the Command Team in 2003, taking on responsibilities for community programmes in Epping Forest. In particular, he has developed local youth and citizenship programmes described in his nomination as `unrivalled` throughout Essex. He has also done a great deal of work directly with young people through the Firebreak scheme, Duke of Edinburgh Awards and by visiting local schools to promote the fire safety message. However, he is equally happy working with elderly and vulnerable people whether putting up a smoke detector or giving general fire safety advice. He is described in his nomination as `reliable and enthusiastic with a positive, happy approach to life`.
The second Community Service Medal goes to Mr Gary Baines, a Paramedic with more than twenty years` experience. He holds awards for bravery and between 1998 and 2000 was part of the first team to fly with the Essex Air Ambulance. He has spent much of his career at Loughton Ambulance Station, instrumental in setting up the Community Paramedic scheme in partnership with the Epping Forest PCT. The role of the paramedic has developed dramatically and this officer has risen to every challenge with enthusiasm and professionalism.
Behind the uniformed officers of Essex Police is a group of dedicated and highly professional civilian officers. They provide the administrative and logistical support without which the Police could not function. Mrs Mary Murray is one such civilian who works as an administrator at Epping Police Station. In his nomination letter, Chief Superintendent Andy Adams said that since joining Epping Police in 1979, this lady has displayed exceptional dedication to her duties, supporting her operational, uniformed colleagues. She is always a cheerful and popular member of the team no matter what pressure she is working under. Mary often provides the public face of the Police, dealing with members of the public on the reception and taking phone calls. She also plays an important role assisting uniformed colleagues in investigations. She worked tirelessly last year to ensure resources were always available to support the Police investigation into the tragic murder in Theydon Bois and a dangerous murderer is now behind bars due in part to her efforts.
Two young people were short-listed for the the Epping Forest District Young Citizen of the Year for 2007. Both live in Waltham Abbey and both attend King Harold School.
Emily Smith is a Peer Helper at King Harold. She underwent a six week training course in active listening skills which she uses to support other students. She is heavily involved in school activities and developed parts of the school website specifically designed to help students looking for support and advice. She was a key member of King Harold`s National Anti-Bullying Week activities and throughout the last school year Emily regularly took part in school `clinics` set up to help younger pupils, working closely with staff, the school counsellor and pastoral year heads. Emily is described in her nomination as an excellent role model, team player and someone who will be missed by staff and students when she leaves King Harold. Emily Smith received a High Commendation.
The winner of the Epping Forest District Young Citizen of the Year 2007 is Mr Philip Pearson.
Philip Pearson was 2005/2006 Head Boy for King Harold School. In addition to his prefect duties, Philip was chairman of the School Council. Among the initiatives Phil helped to develop on the School Council were the Health Matters Conference and the Essex Police Youth Conference. He took on a major piece of research work on behalf of the PCT “ collating an important questionnaire and his participation in the Police Conference led to the award of a grant of £1,000 being made to King Harold School through the `Respect` agenda for `Safer Schools`. Phil is a terrific role model and he has set a great example to younger students.
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