Jane Smith - Community Champion Winner

             Jane is the chair of the ‘Relay for Life’ team in Clacton, a volunteer led community event, which raises vital funds for Cancer research UK. There are 46 such events that take place across the UK. ‘Relay For Life’ Clacton can be proud of the boast that they were the biggest of the events this year in England and Wales. Not bad for a small seaside town in Essex! Led

by Event Chair Jane Smith, the committee, has worked tirelessly to grow

‘Relay For Life’ Clacton since its inception in 2010, their hard work and

dedication has certainly paid off. They live and breathe the charity all year

round, and never miss an opportunity to talk to people in their local

community about the event and the work of Cancer Research UK,

whether they are queuing up in the supermarket, or doing one of their

many bucket collections. Year after year, this community event keeps

growing; local people even plan their holidays around it! In its first year it

raised £24,500, just 9 years later in 2019 it raised over £172,000.


The total raised Since Jane and her team begun is over nine hundred

thousand pounds. At the event ball this year Jane excitedly said over the

microphone ‘this time next year Rodney, we will be millionaires’ 

John Rowles - Highly Commended

For over fifteen years John has worked non-stop in trying to unite the fractured          community. He has been instrumental in making the future regeneration of  Purfleet a reality. Thurrock Council have, at last, approved outline planning for a one billion pound regeneration scheme. John and the community forum have worked tirelessly over the past four years to bring this scheme to fruition.  As well as chairing the forum John is a trustee of a charity working in the area, to support children and young people from toddlers to teenagers. All of this whilst he and his wife continue to act as foster parents to many children.

Sarah Brown - Highly Commended

             A few years ago Brightlingsea outdoor

           swimming pool was neglected and expected to close. Thanks to the hard work of local people and town councilors, the pool was taken over and given charity status. Brightlingsea Lido was formed, all work done on a volunteer basis by a team of trustees. Sarah is one of these trustees. She has devoted an incredible

amount of time and effort in order to get the pool back up and running in

2018.  Thanks to the success of that first summer season a cafe has now

been developed. The lido is now a safe place for the community to visit,

as well as a great family environment, providing swimming locally in a

beautifully maintained 50 metre outdoor pool.  Promoting a healthy

wellbeing and a great community spirit, the lido is a blessing to the town

bringing in tourists from miles away.  

Sarah Browns nominator, Lizzie Merrell says:

“Sarah has so much drive and passion. She personally devotes at least 20

hours of voluntary time every week to keep the establishment running.

She is humble, modest and works very hard, receiving not a single penny.

All of the trustees have put enormous effort into this project, but Sarah is

the face that we see working every day, sometimes as a lifeguard and

devoting serious hours to make sure the lido survives and makes

Brightlingsea such an amazing place to live.” 

Paul Wilson - Highly Commended

Paul’s heart attack in 2010 left him unable to continue working at        power stations as an Electrical   Engineer on heavy-duty transformers. Paul, more used to a busy working life, started volunteering with CHARMS, The Essex Therapy Centre. He uses his skills every Friday operating the Hyperbaric Oxygen system. He is also a volunteer for Chelmsford Centre for the Blind. He is a volunteer Marshall for both the ‘Walk of Life’ and the ‘Santa Fun Run’  fundraising for Farleigh Hospice. Paul is also a fundraising volunteer for Essex Air Ambulance. Paul and his friend Mick regularly run quizzes to raise funds for charity.  Performing, without charge, for ‘Support 4 Sight’ and a residential home. Paul is a member of the ‘Chelmsford Men's Shed’ where, with other members, he collects  unwanted pallets to transform into things such as garden benches and planters  that bring money back into the organization. Paul also helps to provide a weekly lunch  for homeless people. His nominator Dr. Benjamin Newman Wright said: Paul is someone who should be recognized for his ability to cope with a serious health condition while giving all he can to others. He goes the extra mile to undertake so many charitable roles”.


Aidan Kelly - Highly Commended


              Aidan, a serving Metropolitan Police Officer, works tirelessly within the voluntary sector for a number of charitable organizations and community groups as well as the PARC organization, the specialist Play And Resource Centre in Braintree, where his son, Luke attends. Aidan has raised many thousands of

pounds for PARC, he has run, cycled, abseiled from ridiculous heights and

organized a great number of events, most recently a successful big band



He is also heavily involved with local heritage groups, one of which is

building a steam train from scratch, helping to raise much needed funds

for them, as well as other charity and preservation groups.  Aidan is active

in his local church, and a qualified football referee, always available to

help local youth teams in order that the kids get an opportunity to enjoy



His Nominator Mark Allen said: "I am frankly in awe of this man and

would love to see his efforts recognized, he deserves it in recognition of

the help that he, his family and other families have received."





Other Supporters

Anglia Ruskin University Chelmsford