Winner: Ability Therapies
Bradley Winstanley is the father of the 2021 Child of courage joint winners, twins Freddie and Austin. Austin who has cerebral palsy had made amazing progress with the aid of his brother, his own great determination and therapy treatment. However, continued therapy treatment is hard to find in Essex, particularly now therapy Centre ‘Brainwave’ in Witham had closed. Bradley knew of other parents with similar difficulties so having discussed the matter with his wife Charlotte he decided to invest his life savings in creating the Ability Therapies center at a converted barn within a farm in Bicknacre. Their stated goal is to help children to maximise every ability and reach their full potential. It has had great results with the treatment given there by their enthusiastic and gifted therapists, three of whom Kirsty, Melanie, and Emma are here this evening. One mother wrote to us saying, “My daughter is our miracle and Ability Therapies are our heroes.”
Highly Commended: Harold Hill Wombles
This amazing bunch of people are out every day cleaning up badly fly tipped rubbish and littered areas, planting bulbs and plants where they can.
The group was started by Michelle Squier who wrote:
“When walking my daughter to school I saw the same litter every day, and no one seemed to be doing anything about it, so I decided to start a campaign myself. It’s great to see all our volunteers out and about collecting litter and seeing the incredible difference they’re making in the area. We have collected over 2,000 bags of litter and pulled out lots of rubble from the woods clearing the way for deer.
We hope our work encourages others to come and join in and help us to keep Havering litter free.”
Highly Commended: Colchester Anti Loo Roll Brigade
Colchester anti loo roll brigade was originally set up by Peter Dutch in response to the panic buying during the early days of the Covid 19 pandemic. The initial aim was to provide a support network for those who needed help to get through lockdown. As the pandemic grew, so did the group. They recruited a huge support network which became a lifeline for those Elderly, disabled and isolated in the community. The Anti Loo roll brigade arranged prescription delivery, education services as well as providing food, gifts and much needed positivity to local NHS and care homes, which included Elvis concerts and bagpipes to name a few! The Group quickly became extremely successful in supplying help where and when it was needed. Peter Dutch and his team have worked tirelessly for the local community ever since the first lock down providing assistance to vulnerable children and adults, and bringing a smile to faces wherever they go.
Highly Commended: Springfield Youth Group
Over the past six years. Springfield Youth Group, together with the recently formed Baddow and Galleywood Youth Group, have been an inspiration to the young of theircommunities. They have helped so many young people (ages 11 to 17), and parentsalike, by educating them on topical matters like internet safety and youth violence. They encourage young people to respect their society and often have projects that contribute to the community.
Their nominator Mr Kent Keetley wrote:
“This team is truly an inspiration, none of them get paid for what they do, it’s all about trying to prevent youth problems in our communities. I feel it’s time as a community to say thank you for what they do”
Highly Commended: Katie Yoxall and the Residents of Stanford Park
Katie was our Pride of Essex Child of Courage six years ago. She was being treated by Brompton Hospital for an ongoing heart problem as a result she had started a charity called Katie’s heart appeal which successfully provided equipment both for the hospital and for local schools. The charity began fundraising for Maple and Stanford Park with the aim of having a 24/7 public access defibrillator. Soon residents of Stanford Park approached and asked if they could help. Each year they raise funds with a very impressive Christmas light display. Christmas 2021 they wanted to raise money for Katie's Heart Appeal to help towards the defibrillators. BBC Essex did a couple of interviews about Katie's Heart Appeal and the Christmas light display. It went viral! They set out to raise £1,500 to buy the community defibrillator, the charity ended up raising £12,000!
Nominator Charlotte Davies wrote “Our mission is to place as many defibrillators as we can in the community. Due to the hard work of the residents, fundraising every night throughout December, we were able to do this.”