Some of the district’s most remarkable people had their moment in the spotlight on Friday 15 March at Epping Forest District Council’s Civic Awards ceremony 2019 at the Marriott Hotel in Waltham Abbey.
Hosting the event Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Richard Bassett welcomed guests, including 2 Deputy Lieutenants of Essex saying: “There are so many people who do so much for this district and I am so proud to present the awards. My congratulations to all people nominated – you are all winners.”
In honour and celebration of their service, past chairmen who are still members of the Council, presented awards to each of the winners.
Citizen of the Year 2019
June O’Brien from North Weald, who runs the Evergreen Club for retired men and women at Pelly Court, Epping was named the winner of the prestigious Citizen of the Year Award.
She raises funds to keep the group going, ensuring all members, of which there are more than 70, have a pleasurable and fun-filled afternoon.
June regularly cooks for members, including Christmas dinner, and when she isn’t at the Evergreen Club can be found helping out with social events at the sheltered housing scheme where she lives.
Citizen of the Year 2019 highly commended
Peter King, is a volunteer driver and administrator at Epping Forest Community Transport where he has been since November 2007. He is a professional, caring, conscientious and highly motivated person and the passengers adore him
Peter Johnson, now in his 80s has devoted his later years to helping people who need to travel to and from hospital and medical appointments and who do not have their own transport. Although he himself is disabled it has not deterred him from serving his fellow citizens in providing valuable service.
Elizabeth Rawlings has been involved in charity work and fundraising for over 50 years, starting in the 60s when she began fund-raising to provide additional classrooms for children at Ivy Chimneys Primary school.
Geraldine Wilson. Geraldine has been a supporter of St Clare Hospice since 1990 and a volunteer fundraiser for over 10 years.
In 2014 she came up with the idea of a 5k Santa Run in December in Debden and it’s grown from strength to strength, raising more than £30,000 over the years.
Team of the Year 2018
The Roding Valley Parkrun volunteers were named Team of the Year 2019.
The Junior Parkrun volunteers give their time every Sunday to host a free running event for children aged 4-14.They turn up at 8am on a Sunday morning, set up the course, and perform the duties of time keeper, bar code scanner, finish token awarders and they wash hi-viz jackets too! All volunteers work during the week to make sure there are 18 people available so that the event can take place, in all weathers!
Young Citizen of the Year 2019
Jack Rush is a young scout leader with the 3rd North Weald Scout group. His citation said he is an outstanding role model in showing young cubs and scouts that they can do anything they want to, when they put their minds to it.
Young Citizen of the Year 2019 finalists
Twins Luke and Ben Austridge live in Chigwell and were nominated individually for their volunteering work at The Limes youth club.
Ben supports and mentors young people while Luke takes responsibility for tournaments and some of the activities at the group
Esha Gohil is from Loughton and volunteers at the Oakwood Hill Youth Club where she acts as a role model to all younger participants.
Community Service Medals
Detective Constable Jo Pilcher of Essex Police and Ryan Fitz-Gibbon of the Essex Fire and Rescue Service took these awards.
Presentation of Youth Council Cup
Stanimir Bakalov, Eleanor Nsofor, Rene Kent and Archie Flynn are the winners from among the current cohort of youth councillors.
Level Two Apprentice certificates
Amy Buckley, Sam Barrett, Lysandra Halmshaw and Jack Shrimpton received their awards on the night. Maggie Rankin, Mateo Pesci, Brandon Alford and Rob Harrison were also awarded certificates.
Rachel Ellis a promising young canoe slalomist is the winner of this year’s sports bursary of £1,000.
Michael Crean, Timotei Cobeanu, Erika Sviderskyte of Sense Assembly were the winners of the creativity award, receiving a £1,000 bursary towards the costs of developing and performing shows to continue the interaction with the Epping Forest community.