Winner: Ellie Challis
Ellie is a paraplegic athlete who despite having lost her arms and legs to meningitis never gives up. This courageous 14 year old contracted the disease at just 16 months old, but has developed an ultra competitive and independent streak. Ellie competes for the Phoenix Swimming Club in Colchester.
At the Para National Championships in Manchester, she ended
2016 in fantastic form winning amongst other things 3 golds in
her classification for 50m Breaststroke, 50m Freestyle and
150m Individual medley. All her times were personal bests.
Then Competing a year later in 2017, she smashed the S2 class
50 metre breaststroke record, set 25 years ago in the Barcelona
Paralympics, by 1.4 seconds. She had a fantastic weekend,
taking four gold medals in total, winning the 50m breaststroke
and backstroke, the 100m freestyle and the 150m individual
medley. Again all the swims were brilliant personal bests and
regional records. Her father Paul told us that she is eagerly
looking forward to the 2018 British Nationals next month. Now
that she has been advanced to the British National Program,
who’s to say what she can achieve at a future Olympic swim.
Highly Commended: Tyler May
Tyler is involved in several countywide initiatives with the Essex Youth Service. As a member of the Young Essex Assembly and Vice Chairperson of the Maldon Youth Strategy Group she brings the vital voice of young people to a group of mostly adult professionals. She rarely misses a meeting, despite having to rush from her school dance class to attend at 4.30. Tyler also attends all the monthly meetings of the Mid-Essex Young Commissioners, often putting together all their notes, and the annual newsletter. As elected member for Maldon on the Youth Council she attends all of their meetings, which are held across the county, her attendance has been superb. Tyler has hosted a countywide event for schools where she spoke to over 170 students and their teachers. She attends Ormiston Rivers Academy in Burnham on Crouch.
Their achievement director said of her: "Tyler is an exemplary
student in every way who consistently pushes and challenges
herself to achieve, and is passionate about helping others."
Highly Commended: Millicent Glasgow
Millie was nominated by The County High School who describe her as follows:
"Millie is a hard working and thoughtful student who gives up so much for charity. She regularly cuts off and donates her hair to the Little Princess Trust. The charity makes wigs for children across the UK who are battling cancer and have lost their own hair. She is also a regular at Cancer Research events taking part in the Relay for Life and the Race for Life. In the last few years she has raised hundreds of pounds for them. But her personal contribution is the more poignant as she sacrifices her own appearance to help other children keep theirs."
Highly Commended: Jordon Cox
Jordon has had a year of battling against Crohns disease, which has involved a great deal of hospital stay. However he does not let it get in the way of his active life as he actively campaigns for the Crohns society. He is known as ‘The Coupon Kid’ for his work in helping people to save money and live wisely by using coupons. He has even managed to write a full-length book on the subject from his hospital bed and continues to inspire his followers by regular posts on social media.
Highly Commended: Georgina Riordan
Georgina suffers with cerebral palsy seizures, along with a list of other medical conditions. She cannot walk, read or write, yet despite these immense difficulties she manages to consistently help others. She is a fundraiser for PARC the children’s Charity, which has a Play and Recreation Centre, for children with special needs, in Great Notley. Most Friday’s Georgina will run a café and put the profit back into the charity. At her home, her last pop up café raised £245 for a friend who is fighting breast cancer. She also helps to raise funds for a special needs children’s home in South Africa and hopes to spend some time with the babies and children this year.