Winner: Canvey Island First Responders
This group has been supporting the community not only assisting the East Of England Ambulance service by attending 999 calls, but also during the pandemic the collection and delivering of prescriptions and shopping. The group is run solely by volunteers who even while working full time during the pandemic have still managed to support the Canvey community by going above and beyond their normal duties support the Ambulance service. They have also been instrumental in coordinating the roll out of Covid-19 vaccinations. They are not funded by the NHS which requires an individual responder to utilise their own vehicle with no mileage allowance for fuel.
Highly Commended: The Grand Lodge of Mark Masons Essex
Nominators ‘Clowns in the Sky’ specialise in helping Children with brain tumours,
Their funding was suffering due to the great drop caused by the Pandemic. The day was saved due to the intervention of the Essex Mark Masons
Nominator Donna Byrne development officer of the charity said we have been able to continue delivering smiles to children in hospital because of generous people like the Mark Masons of Essex. Their generosity has provided the Phoenix Ward at Broomfield Hospital with a portable arts crafts and sensory trolley. They also gave their recommendation that the charity should be put forward for even more Essex funding.’
Highly Commended: Walton Pre School
The team at Walton Pre School has worked tirelessly through the pandemic to ensure that no
child or family goes without food or clothing during these difficult times. They have reached out to provide during all the school holidays to anyone who needs it. They have given new clothing,
blankets, coats, flasks, PJ's, socks and provided duvets to keep people warm. They have recently introduced a slow cooker club which provides families with a slow cooker and ingredients
for a hot family meals to last a 6 week period. They have accessed grants to provide support with winter fuel costs and have provided access to white goods when needed. The team is committed to
ensure that no family or child is disadvantaged through circumstances beyond their control. The small team deals with all this on top of their day job of providing childcare for 26
Highly Commended: James Taverner and Dan Norkett (Goodgym)
James Taverner was instrumental in setting up Goodgym in Colchester. He came to our attention as it was he who nominated Dan Norkett, one of his volunteers since he joined the group three years ago. Goodgym itself began in London in 2009 as an organization dedicated to putting to good use the energy spent in gymnasiums to include ‘Good Deeds’ such as Litter picking and tree planting. Helping the elderly with difficult tasks, such as clearing gardens, changing light bulbs, also making social visits to lonely isolated people. They now have 58 established units across the country. Colchester being an example. James described Dan as quiet and unassuming but consistent and dedicated too. He had helped out 86 times and was currently running 5 Kilometers a day to raise funds for the World Wildlife Fund. All at Goodgym seem to be keeping fit while get stuck-in to all their tasks whether it is cleaning food banks, litter picking or digging allotments.
Highly Commended: NHS Play Specialists and Workers
There are several NHS employees at each of our Essex Hospitals who are employed to bring fun and distraction to children in hospital. Perhaps most importantly to the medical staff, they act as distractions whilst procedures are being undertaken, sometimes even in operating theatres. They are friendly, approachable, flexible, re-assuring, compassionate, and caring. Nominated by Donna Byrne of Clowns in the Sky who wrote “The ladies have their own lives, some with young families but remain devoted in their support to the children on their wards”.