Winner: Tess Griggs

Following her own battle with Meningitis,

as an adult, Tess heard of a boy ‘Eddie’

whose family needed help to get him

through treatment. From this successful

relationship she founded Little Edi in

2016 to support children and families

desperately in need. Since the

outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK, The

Little Edi Foundation has worked

quickly and tirelessly to respond to the

needs of  communities across Essex.

They offer vital support to those most at

risk and  vulnerable. Children and

young people are at the heart of Little Edi, they focus their efforts to protect

the safety and well-being of disadvantaged and ‘at risk’ children. Tess is very

caring and is always there for the families especially those in refuge. 

Highly Commended: Mike and Liz Thomas

For ten years Mike and Liz have opened the

lovely garden in Brentwood to the public, raising

funds for many charities including, among

others, British Red Cross,  Saint Francis

Hospice and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Together with the help of their daughter, who

ascended Machu Pichu and trekked the Great

Wall of China,  they have raised a total of more

than £25,000. This year they opened the garden  

for the National Open Garden Scheme, they had

320 adult visitors and raised

over three thousand pounds. The Aston Group of companies of which Mike is

Chairman brought the total donations to over five thousand pounds by match

funding the proceeds made on the day. Their nominator Richard Barker

said By sharing their garden and serving tea and cake they have

raised a significant sum for good causes and shown that even an acre

of land can become a little oasis”.



Highly Commended: Tim Neobard

Tim is the founder of Essex Hackspace a charity dedicated to meeting the educational computer needs of school children. The organisation is predominantly a community run workshop for people to share knowledge and tools. Since the second lockdown, student’s learning needs are predominantly accessed online. To fill the gap of laptop shortages, Hackspace called upon the community to donate their redundant laptops and iPads. They stripped, cleaned, repaired, and added the Windows 10 program, to enable students to access their online activities. All work  was carried out by volunteers and Hackspace Trustees. They also raised funds to purchase items. They distributed equipment to the most needy vulnerable families, through schools, social workers and others, they have been able to  reach over one hundred placements and people.


Highly Commended: Ben Adams

Ben has helped to re build Corinthians football club from a sadly neglected state    into a phenomenal family club. All done on a shoestring, by encouraging and   engaging local help. Now the club has, in every sense of the word, been upgraded.  New windows, doors, roofing, and changing rooms restored to a very high standard fit for all players. Teams start from age 4 through to Veterans. Ben spends most of his spare time there, continually improving all facilities and  ensuring that the grounds and pitches are top quality.  Ben and Corinthians FC have now embarked on a new development within the club providing a free children’s holiday program in partnership with Essex Youth Serviceand Stambridge Parish Council. His Nominator Parish Councilor Julie Gooding says,  “Ben’s commitment and dedication has been immeasurable.”

Highly Commended: Duncan Slater and Elisa Bergersen


Duncan and Elisa, are Stand Up Paddleboard Instructors, based in both Leigh-on-Sea and Papermill Lock. Over a number of years these guys, along with the community that they have brought together, have worked tirelessly with the local waterway authorities and Essex County Council to build a safe environment for people to learn to paddle whilst teaching them to understand and respect the locals and the resident wildlife. Every month they clean sections of the river Chelmer in great detail removing all sorts of harmful nasties and rubbish, most recently including a washing machine! On top of this they unselfishly train their members for free, in all aspects of safety and technique to perform the individuals chosen discipline of the sport. In June this year they carried out a fundraiser event raising over £5000 for Cancer






Other Supporters

Anglia Ruskin University Chelmsford