This year’s Civic Awards 2023 was held at the Civic Offices in Epping on Friday evening.
The awards recognise and celebrate people from across Epping Forest District who tirelessly work to support their communities.
Chairman of the Council Cllr Mary Sartin said:
There are so many people in the district doing good things and this is an evening to celebrate some of those people and their achievements, successes and unwavering dedication to the area and their communities.
During my time as Chairman of Council I have met some amazing people and heard about the wide variety of ways in which they serve their communities, giving freely of their time and energy.
We are also recognising and celebrating our emergency services who are always there when we need them.
Citizen of the Year
Our Citizen of the Year Award recognises just some of the Epping Forest people who go the extra mile to support their communities in so many different ways.
Winner of Citizen of the Year
Gill was a founder member of the Rotary Club of Roding where she served for more than 30 years, both as President and supporting club activities and fundraising.
She became a Trustee of Voluntary Action Epping Forest in 2010 and chair of the board in 2014 until she stood down in 2021.
She offered excellent leadership and guidance and showed great understanding of communities and their needs. She was passionate about providing solutions for those in need and had a big impact through her work for the PCT in commissioning children and young people’s services.”
Through her work with both Rotary and VAEF Gill has been a very active and committed supporter of local projects and communities and has made a great difference to the lives of many Epping Forest District residents.
Amy is a pillar of her local community. As an EFDC Community Champion she never misses a monthly meeting and shares information with other Champions on how to help those in communities across the district.
She is passionate about supporting less fortunate friends and neighbours and is an active member of the Residents Association on Limes Farm and has been active in setting up schemes such as the community café and bereavement café as well as working alongside EFDC to improve the area they live in.
Amy – a single mum – is passionate about sport and young people and she set up a youth football team called the Limes Farm Colts.
She also runs a charitable organization called ‘Pass It On’ which, using social media passes on children’s clothing, toys, and essentials for free to families in need.
Young Citizen of the Year
The Young Citizen of the Year Award is a highly prized and contested award and this year we had a number of outstanding nominations.
Winner of Young Citizen of the year
Lili is a student at Roding Valley High School and is a great ambassador for her school.
She mentors younger students, runs extracurricular clubs and leads on school productions. Lili also volunteers in the community at several groups, including 3food4u food bank, Buckhurst Hill Baptist church, and Music Theatre Essex, where she supports productions by sharing her technical theatre skills.
Lili’s passion is technical theatre production, and she has found work experience at Tiffany Theatre College, Six the Musical, ITV Starstruck season 2, Much ado about Nothing at Stratford East, as well as attending a Guildhall summer course specialising in lighting.
Eva has been nominated by a family friend, who describes her as ‘an outstanding young person with many qualities for someone so young yet so mature.’
Eva is socially adept, considerate, polite and a great ambassador for young people, going the extra mile to support a family during difficult times and becoming a favourite of her nominator’s extended family.
An incredible young lady she is an amazing role model to her fellow pupils at school and absolutely epitomises selflessness, integrity, and resilience.
Erika from Chigwell works tirelessly for the homeless and for those less fortunate than herself. Her last bake sale raised over £600 for charity. A BBQ in her garden last summer raised almost £700. The money paid for essential items for bags she makes up for homeless veterans.
Last Easter Erika organised an Easter egg collection and gave over 200 eggs to children on Limes Farm estate and a local children’s home.
Our district is proud and fortunate to have a very strong sporting community legacy and it is important to acknowledge some of our young people’s sporting achievements through Epping Forest District Council Sports Award.
Rebecca Gardiner from Epping is 15 years old and this year she has been selected to be part of British Cycling’s National School of Racing (NSR) programme 2022-23.
She is currently a student at Epping St John’s Secondary school in year 10 and got into cycling by following her older brother who joined Lee Valley Youth Cycle Club (LVYCC) around 8 years ago.
Rebecca still rides at, and races for LVYCC and is training six days a week at the moment.
Unfortunately, she was unable to be present to receive her certificate and a bursary of £300 as she was competing in a road race on Saturday.
Brianna Hansen-Hoare from Epping Upland, is a swimmer, starting when she was just a few months old and at 6 joining Harlow Penguins Swimming Club.
Through her swimming, Brianna gained a scholarship to Repton School in Derbyshire where she continues to go from strength to strength with her swimming. Brianna’s ambitions include swimming for her country and qualifying as a swimming coach.
Brianna received a certificate and a bursary of £200.
The creativity award is offered to young people and organisations that show promise and make creative contributions to the arts within our district.
Winner of creativity award
Philippa Anderson is a Level 1 Art and Design student at New City College.
She constantly goes above and beyond what’s expected of her, volunteering her skills to support others in the community. She has designed a D/deaf awareness poster for staff rooms in her college and offered to provide D/deaf friendly training to staff and sign language lessons to fellow students.
Outside of college Philippa is an active member of the Deafinitely Youth Theatre, the first deaf-led professional theatre company in the UK
Ultimately she wants to study graphic design at university so she can fulfil her dream of having her own business. Philippa currently shares a PC with the rest of her family and the award will allow her to buy a laptop of her own.
Philippa received a certificate and a bursary to the value of £1000.
Volunteer Team of the Year award
Team of the Year provides an excellent opportunity to recognise teams throughout the district that deserve special recognition.
Winner of Team of the Year award
Epping Playground Association
Epping Playground Association has done an amazing job fundraising for a new playground in Lower Swaines, Epping.
The association raised £176,000 through grants, donations from local businesses and individuals, as well as fundraising events.
The new playground serves a significant part of Epping including areas of social deprivation and is close to one of the town’s primary schools. It offers something for all ages from young children to young adults – including those with disabilities.
They identified a local asset in need of change and through their effort and fundraising have pulled the community together.
Community service medals
The emergency services play a vital role in protecting us all and it is our honour to recognise the work of these services, and the people behind them.
Terry Brennan joined the Ambulance Service is 1986 and has worked his entire career in West Essex mainly in the Epping Forest District.
He served as station supervisor at Epping Ambulance Station for around 10 years before moving to the role of Leading Operations Manager for West Essex.
Terry is due to retire in April next year after serving 37 years, however he plans to return on a part-time basis to continue to support his colleagues and community.
His experience is of great value, and we are thrilled that he has decided to continue in the ambulance service.
Unfortunately, Terry was unable to be with us on the night, Councillor Kaz Rizvi received the award on his behalf.
Mav Langdon has served in Waltham Abbey for several years, initially as a day-crewed firefighter.
But with the station converting to an On-Call Station, Mav stepped up, put himself through extra training and sought promotion so he could both stay and support the station, and create stability for new On-Call Firefighters.
His commitment to getting the best from the station for the community has not waivered and the hours he has worked have often been to the detriment of time spent with his family.
Mav’s commitment to Waltham Abbey Fire station has not only led to its continuing to deliver high levels of operational cover but also increasing community engagement work.
PC Marc Arnold
PC Marc Arnold joined Essex police as a special constable and has gone on to work in the Epping Forest district for the majority of his 20 years’ service.
He is a well-known and liked officer, working in the community policing team in the Debden area.
PC Arnold investigates incidents relating to hate crime and anti-social behaviour and with knowledge of the area he quickly identifies offenders and deals with them.
Marc has dealt with high profile crimes and obtained convictions. He has also recently been congratulated for his work with a vulnerable witness, supporting and reassuring them through the judicial process. Marc’s flexibility and support resulted in the conviction of an offender for a serious offence.
Youth Council Cup
Youth Councillors have a unique opportunity to directly influence decisions which affect their lives, from the promotion of activities for young people and personal safety awareness, to drugs education, youth volunteering and positive mental health campaigns.
This year’s Cup Winners from among the current cohort of Epping Forest District Youth Councillors:
Falak Hussain lives in Epping and is a student at Epping St Johns School.
Falak has shown outstanding commitment and drive, growing in confidence and taking on extra tasks to improve herself. As well as being an outstanding Youth Councillor, she volunteers for events such as the Dementia Fayre and Ride London. Falak is also the Youth Council Representative for Safer Epping.
Krish Gohil, a student at Debden Park High School lives in Loughton.
Krish has the highest attendance for 2022, with 24 out of 25 Youth Council meetings. He has grown in confidence since joining the Youth Council and took a lead in the Repair my Pocket survey to assess how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting young people. The survey went live in all secondary schools in January. Krish is the third member in his family to be a youth councillor.
Erika Skingsley attends Davenant Foundation School and lives in Chigwell.
Erika strives hard to do everything well and spends a lot of her time volunteering, fundraising for the homeless, supporting her local youth group and church and coaching football at the Limes Farm centre. Erika works hard in her school to promote the work of the Youth Council and is always willing to go the extra mile.
Scarlet Hinkley lives in Thornwood and is a student at King Harold Academy.
Scarlet is an outstanding team player; she is caring and kind to her peers and is hard working and gets any job done. Scarlet has grown in confidence since joining the Youth Council and is not afraid to voice her opinions and give young people a voice. Scarlet is actively involved in many community activities while caring for her mum.
Paarth Patel attends Davenant Foundation School and lives in Buckhurst Hill.
Paarth is extremely mature and hard working. He is confident, polite, and caring and a popular and highly respected member of the group. Paarth is confident in leading a project and committed to doing a good job. He is an excellent ambassador in his school, updating teachers on the work of the Youth Council.
Congratulations to all our winners
Council Chairman Cllr Mary Sartin said:
What a wonderful awards ceremony. Thank you to all our presenters for doing such a sterling job and to the winners and runners-up congratulations again. It is people like you that make the world a better place. Thank you for your selflessness, generosity and compassion.
Nominations open for the Civic Awards 2024 in September.
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