The Pride of Essex Awards (formerly the 'Essex Achievement Awards') have been around since 1993. They were originated by Susie Cornell MBE. DL., who continues to be an active force behind them.
Originally the Awards were in recognition to special people, of all ages, who had faced enormous difficulties with courage and determination. The Awards also recognise those who had contributed significantly to the community. Originally there were only three categories:
Achievement over Adversity
For both children and adults who faced major difficulties in their own lives with courage and determination.
For outstanding contribution to the community beyond the tasks they would normally undertake.
Those not employed in any of the emergency services, who undertake an act of bravery.
Dave Dennison. DL. took over as Chair in 2012, through his company Directa UK Ltd., he had been a sponsor of the awards since 2004.
The title of the awards was changed to 'The Pride of Essex Awards' and a new website address was created. New categories were introduced and the presentations were moved to the Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford.
A great effort is made to ensure that the only VIPs are the nominated guests and their families. They are welcomed by a Hollywood style walk up between some of the world's most luxurious cars, their entrance to be announced by our town crier. In the reception area there are choirs singing, and strolling entertainers, to entertain whilst guests enjoy a welcoming drink. Guests are moved by elevator and stairs to the large lecture room where they take their pre-planned seats. Our MC hosts for the night are typically Stuart Rawlins .DL and Tony Fisher of the BBC - they stand in front of invited celebrity guests.
Celebrity guests have included many famous people from The Countess of Wessex through to composer, musician, and TV personality Rick Wakeman. Several awards are presented in each of the five categories with photographs and video taken. The recipients receive certification, a cheque, goody bags and ultimately an inscribed trophy.
Cornell Child of Courage
For Essex children under the age of sixteen who have managed to achieve despite adversity.
P & A Wood Inspirational Youth.
For young Essex adults who inspire and achieve often despite adversity.
St. Lawrence Unsung Hero
For those in our county who put other peoples needs before themselves.
Potters Restorts Community Champion
For individuals and groups who raise funds for charitable causes
Directa Ultimate Pride of Essex
For Inspirational adults of Essex who set an example by helping others less fortunate.
Chelmsford Star Co-op Lifetime Achievement Awards
There is one for Community Achievement and one for Individual Achievement.
St. Lawrence 'TOP' (Team of Pride) Award
‘Team of Pride’ - awarded to a team or group of people who have raised significant funds for charitable causes.
There are no entry fees. There are cash prizes.