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