Winner: Libby Cotts
Libby Cotts was diagnosed with severe Aplastic Anaemia, a rare blood disorder where the bone marrow doesn't make enough blood cells, including red blood cells that transport oxygen to the rest of the body. Her family was told that she urgently needed a stem cell transplant. Libby was due to receive her transplant just before Christmas 2020 but, unfortunately, the stem cell donor became unavailable.
Following the devastating news that her planned transplant could no longer go ahead, Libby's family and friends jumped into action, launching the ‘Love for Libby’ campaign. Fortunately, a donor was found, and Libby is now classed as cured but is still being monitored by doctors as she is at risk of developing other illnesses. Her family share her progress online in order to raise awareness
In early 2021 Libby was confined to a hospital room at Great Ormond Street hospital for 6 weeks while having chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Her progress has been phenomenal therefore she deserves the inspirational youth award for helping others find donors and inspiring fundraising
Her family also deserve recognition for setting up the Love for Libby campaign, the funds raised exceed £300,000 for the Anthony Nolan Trust
Highly Commended: Ty Bowring
Ty manages a beach hut on Mersea Island where he provides wonderful opportunities for people facing the most difficult times in their lives. He regularly gifts his beach hut for the day to people
facing illness, disability, hardship, violence, and end of life. He gets local businesses and the community together to give people a fabulous chance to make memories and forget their reality for a
He has donated 63 'diamond days' which are free days for people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or other difficult circumstances. 8 days have been donated to families who have recently lost a child. 18 'platinum days' have been donated to families who need to make special memories due to a palliative diagnosis. Not only does he donate the days, but he takes great care in to finding out any special wishes that the recipients would like to make their days extra special so there have been visits from an Ed Sheeran tribute singer, 'Mary Poppins', lambs, goats, guinea pigs a bearded dragon and a corn snake. Cream teas, lunches and cakes are all supplied. Other gifts include art packs, handmade quilts and blankets, sweets, and bouquets of flowers.
Ty also faces his own challenges with Autism, learning difficulties and the very tragic loss of his brother. Yet he moves heaven and earth to ensure other families receive some happiness, care,
Nominator Ruth Scholar wrote “Ty is a shining example of triumph over adversity, with the happiness of others at the heart of everything he does.”
Nominator Lorraine Carter wrote “Ty is one of the kindest souls I have ever met. There are times when he feels unwell due to his own health conditions, but his special visitors always come first. I am pleased to say he has been well supported by the Mersea Island Community but a ‘Pride of Essex award’ in recognition for all he has achieved would be just amazing”
Highly Commended: Lyndon James Gorman
Lyndon is a nurse in the NHS. His very proud grandmother Victoria wrote in her nomination “Lyndon joined Broomfield Hospital as a student nurse, aged 19 in 2018. He is dedicated to his job and virtually refuses to miss a day off.
Since the start of lockdown in March 2020, he has served 2 years continuously on the Covid Ward. Although as a student he could have asked to gain experience on other wards, the situation was so desperate he chose to stay. We are very proud of him and find his vocation and dedication to nursing inspirational”.
Highly Commended: Takondwa Maosa and Daniel Fairhead
During a couple of the worst years for business and trading, Takondwa and Daniel created a new clothing business named ‘Divided London’, since then they have done everything they can, to establish the new business, They are an inspiration to the people of Southend-on-Sea as they started with nothing and built such a well-presented product. Not only have they created the brand, but they have also contributed to charity through it. Last year they hosted a ‘Divided London’ football match, all the money received was donated to charity. They also visit their former secondary school to address assemblies to help motivate the pupils. Takondwa and Daniel make a difference within the community, with the brand they have put together and charity events.
Their nominator Tyler Thomas said “As a team I think Daniel and Takondwa are perfect candidates for an award for the amount of effort they have put into the new enterprise, and the inspirational example they have made to other youngsters”.
Highly Commended: Joe Maynard
Joe has been volunteering at Kaos Youth Club in Rochford, a charitable run organisation for young people aged 10 plus. Joe is the deputy leader and has led on various inspirational ideas to engage young people. Activities include X box, PS4, pool, cooking, Football, Music, disco, table tennis. Fundraising from cake sales to Quiz nights for local hospitals. During our late Queens Green Canopy celebration, youngsters grew their own fruit trees and oak trees to do their contribution to the environment. During this time the group has grown to be the largest youth and social support group within the district. To ensure that he is suitably able to support young people in the club Joe has undertaken training to include PHAB DBS, Mental Health, 1st Aid and is a Safeguarding Officer Level 3.
Joe proves that helping young leaders to take on responsibility is one of the key attributes to this growing the club. The club has trebled in size becoming a well-run, fun filled social