This year’s Civic Awards 2022 was held in the refurbished Civic Offices in Epping on Saturday.
Chairman of the Council Cllr Helen Kane said:
When coronavirus emerged back in March 2020, we were all awakened to the dedication and commitment so many frontline staff and community volunteers provide.
We were suddenly battling a ruthless, invisible enemy and on the front line were our doctors, nurses and paramedics, plus teams of critical workers keeping our shops open and stocked, our streets safe and our essential services running.
There are so many people in our district doing good things and who needed to be acknowledged and thanked for their achievements, successes and unwavering dedication to the district and to our community.
Cllr Kane highlighted the work carried out in setting up a donation hub for Ukraine.
In response to the conflict in the Ukraine, a donation hub was established at the Civic Offices. The inspiration behind the donation hub was Melanie Whitten. On seeing the devastation unfold in the Ukraine on our news outlets, Melanie was moved to do something positive to help those fleeing the invasion of their country. Melanie was the driving force in setting up the donation hub.
It is at times like this that you see how a community can come together and be united for a common cause. I was amazed by the donations and hard work that all the volunteers were doing.
Let us all hope that this conflict comes to an end very soon and maybe some of our donations will help those displaced or who have suffered loss.
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
During Covid Peter has been a stalwart of the vaccination centres in Epping Forest. One of the first to join up even though infections were rife in the community he put on his PPE and “carried on”.
Peter has played a really important role, welcoming patients, checking their appointments and easing their concerns.
He is an exemplary volunteer, ensuring vulnerable patients get the support they need such as wheelchair assistance, supporting social distancing, hand gelling, cleaning seats with disinfectant wipes and checking patients stay in the rest areas for the required time post injection for observation in case there is any reaction.
David provides a news service to the community through Everything Epping Forest.
On his own initiative, and while he was working as a journalist at the Epping Forest Guardian/Gazette, he set up the Abbey Church Appeal Fund raising over £12,000 towards the cost of repairing the church organ after it was damaged in an incident in 2003. He was subsequently presented to Prince Charles when he visited the church.
During the first Covid-19 lockdown he launched, through EEF, Coronavirus Volunteers which saw over 200 people register to help others with shopping, prescriptions etc.
David is membership secretary at Ongar and District Healthcare League of Friends and treasurer of Ongar Handicapped Club, as well as driving the club’s minibus for meetings and outings.
Certificate of Commendation
Sam works as manager of a care home for people with learning difficulties in Waltham Abbey and runs Abbey Performing Arts for the young people of Waltham Abbey, as a not for profit organisation.
She has worked in the care home throughout the pandemic ensuring residents’ wellbeing and quality of life are maintained.
Outside of work Sam has been running Abbey Performing Arts for around 10 years and her students have gone on to roles in the West End, gained entry to scholarships and university courses as well as auditioning for BBC films.
Sam is always willing to lend a helping hand and go out of her way for friends, family, the community and even complete strangers.
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
Erika is always looking for new ways to raise funds for charity. From tombolas to selling refreshments from her front door, nothing is too much trouble when it comes to her fundraising and many charities and organisations have benefitted from her commitment including Loughton Food Bank, Chigwell Riding Trust, a Leprosy Mission, Kenyan Street Children and of course her church.
Apart from her studies and fund-raising Erika also finds time to make up bags containing essential items for the homeless and attend litter picks around Chigwell and Grange Hill.
During the pandemic Erika made a real difference for many people who were self-isolating or just too frightened to leave their home, by doing their shopping and running small errands for them.
Amber supports and mentors younger students at Epping St John’s school, who are struggling emotionally, and many have improved their confidence thanks to her guidance, patience and support.
Amber also supports mental health charities, gives presentations to school assemblies on stress and is also planning LGBTQ training sessions for students.
William was born with a very rare genetic condition called Potocki-Lupski Syndrome or P.T.L.S. and motor and verbal developmental delay, but he has defied his disabilities and attends mainstream school.
An official poppy collector for four years William has spent many hours outside Loughton station and supermarkets, raising money for the Poppy Appeal and learnt first aid so he could be on hand on the side-lines of his brothers’ football matches.
Beth promotes equality and diversity within all races, genders and sexuality and strives to make a difference in her community, wants to make the world a better place and cares passionately for her environment and green issues.
She is currently leading a Key Stage 3 debating club, to support political education within Davenant Foundation school.
Beth is a peer mentor and a key member of the school council, heading up a campaign to make the school greener and our community a better place.
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.
Alfie started paddling at Stafford and Stone Canoe Club at the age of 12. He attended a few sessions and fell in love with the sport, especially Canoe Slalom. Alfie quickly went through the divisions – started at the lowest division and working his way to the Premier division in 2017.
In 2019 he earned a position on the Junior GB team and represented the country in the European and World Championships where he won a Bronze Medal in the team event and 6th place in the individual.
Shona,17 lives in Epping and has been running since she was 10. She has competed for several years now and most notably won a Bronze medal at last year’s English Schools championships 100m.
She has been invited to this year’s senior indoor British Championships to race over 60m. She is hoping to go to university and was recently successful in getting a place on the England Athletics Youth Talent Programme which aims to identify potential future stars.
Chiemela decided at an early age that she wanted to play football like her brothers.
Following trails at Chelsea, West Ham and Millwall, – where she was part of the team that won the Junior Premier League Develop Cup – Chiemela secured a place as a goalkeeper with Arsenal. Last September Chiemela also became a goalkeeper for Essex County and now represents the South East of England Region.
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
King Harold Academy’s Dance Company
King Harold Academy’s Dance Company is an extra-curricular dance group, raising the profile of dance in the local community.
The group aspires to enter national competitions, raising the ambitions of young people and highlighting creative career opportunities. In fact, the group, including 13-year-old Lily McGivern, has been the driving force behind the decision to upscale King Harold Academy’s BTEC Dance certificate to a full GCSE Dance qualification from September 2022.
In order to inspire younger generations, the group intends to deliver a tour of local primary schools in Waltham Abbey to encourage younger students to get active. This award of £1000 will allow the group to work with a former pupil and encourage more boys to take up dance and enjoy the benefits that such physical activity provides both mentally and physically.
Team of the Year award
Team of the Year provides an excellent opportunity to recognise teams throughout the district that deserve special recognition.
Winners of Team of the Year award
Epping Forest Community Champions
Community Champions are volunteers working together in towns and villages across the district sharing ideas and experiences from their communities. With training and support they bring their inter-personal skills and life experiences to a role designed to help transform the health and wellbeing of others in their communities.
These volunteers reach out to the local community promoting the uptake of services available; contacting people living alone or in need; undertaking campaigns to promote health awareness; collecting findings on specific health issues affecting the area such as loneliness and social isolation, physical activity, mental health and emotional wellbeing; encouraging healthy lifestyles and making referrals to exercise classes, to employment services, to local events and to transport links.
Voluntary Action Epping Forest Vaccination Volunteers
In December 2020 when vaccination clinics were set up in Epping Forest to combat Covid 19, Voluntary Action Epping Forest was tasked to recruit and coordinate a team of volunteer stewards to support NHS staff in vaccination centres.
These volunteers ushered patients to and from the clinic making sure visitors gelled their hands and kept socially distanced; found wheelchairs for those with mobility issues; ensured patients who needed carers had them with them, and generally provided a reassuring presence for those nervous of getting the jab.
Without these committed volunteers our frontline teams of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and practice managers would not have been able to vaccinate over 72% of the UK population in such a short space of time.
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.
Lucy Bailes began her career with the East of England Ambulance Service in September 2009. starting as a Student Ambulance Paramedic.
During the past 12 years she has shown dedication and commitment to the community of Epping Forest, along with supporting, mentoring and developing colleagues through their own clinical progression.
Lucy continues to develop her own clinical practice and is currently completing her Specialist Paramedic training in Urgent Care, which will allow her to support her patients further and provide an enhanced level of clinical care.
PC Andy Cook
Andy Cook joined Essex Police as a Special Constable in 1988 and after fifteen years voluntary service became a Police Constable in 2003.
PC 1474 Andy Cook joined the Epping Forest Community Policing Team in 2008, where he has served the areas of Theydon Bois, Abridge and Stapleford Abbotts.
In his nomination for the award a senior officer said: “PC Cook works for his community, he is dedicated to his beats and constantly looks for ways to protect them from crime, whilst safeguarding our vulnerable residents.”
In his spare time PC Cook also volunteers as a Police cadet trainer and in total has given over 33 years of police service to our district.
Youth Council Cup
Youth Councillors have made an indelible mark on Epping Forest District Council since they were first introduced in 2008. They are the voice of our younger generation giving the Council a new perspective on current issues.
Awarded Youth Council Cup
Martin Prinsloo, Sonny Bazzoni, Oscar Prosser, Finlay Wallbanks, Sammy Miller, Natalie Moffat, Aliza Zarras and Daniel Turner.
Youth councillors have dedicated time, on top of their studies, to the serious business of representing young people in the district – giving them a voice and introducing them to the importance of democracy.
Youth Councillors have a unique opportunity to directly influence decisions which affect their lives, and the projects they have worked on over the past two years range from encouraging activities for young people, conducting surveys on young people’s experiences during lockdown, promoting a positive mental health campaign, completing a family history project with Epping Forest District Museum and the very successful and informative youth conference on Climate Change.
Congratulations to all our winners
Chairman of the Council Cllr Helen Kane said:
To all our award winners – I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do within our community. Please continue and encourage others to follow in your vital footsteps.
In the words of Christopher Robin in Winnie the Pooh “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think!