2014 COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS                                          Sponsored by S. L. Caravans


Nicola has devoted her life to Guiding and Brownies.  She has for several years been

division and district commissioner, as well as being a mentor, trainer and county going

away advisor. She is also Quartermaster and first aid trained. What’s more she has

been totally involved for 33 years!


She is also a record holder! We occasionally receive more than one nomination but  in Nicola’s case we received an unprecedented EIGHTEEN nominations.


Here are just a few of the comments they made about her:


‘She never asks for thanks or praise and does everything unselfishly’


‘Always puts others before herself and does all this with a smile’


‘She is an inspiration to everyone that meets her’ 


‘She does so much for the children whilst also holding down a full-time job’


‘Like a second mum to them. Very thoughtful and caring
, a model citizen and a role

model for the girl’s
. She is more than a Brown Owl, she is a prime example of Girl

Guiding at its finest’ 


Congratulations Nicola on being our Community Champion Winner 2014


Euan is the secretary of Springfield Football Club.  For the last ten years he has organised and raised much needed funds for over twenty teams. The teams are mainly children but also include adults and girls teams. A serious lung condition meant hourly oxygen treatment until a lung transplant operation was performed at Papworth Hospital in 2013. Since 2012 he has raised over £21,000 for the football club and in addition managed to raise funds for many other charities including The Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. Springfield football club are delighted to say that Eunan now appears well and continues working unpaid on their behalf.  Congratulations Eunan on being a Highly Commended Community Champion


Eight year old Louis Cooper from Southend-on-Sea was a healthy boy in 2004, sadly he was soon to be diagnosed with a brain tumour which led to his premature departure during 2006.  His family, father Darren, Mother Nicola, and sister Grace, were so impressed and comforted by the care they received from Little Havens Hospice they decided to keep Louis memory alive by fundraising through a tribute fund set up in his name.   In the eight years since Louis passed away Darren and Nickola have raised over £20,00.  They continue to be volunteers for Little Havens, giving inspiring and moving talks, sharing their story of how the charity supported them along their journey, and encouraging others to back the hospice. Congratulations to all three of you on being a Highly Commended Community Champion




Jason is a trustee of ECF.  The Bartella family are well known in Essex since opening 35 years ago Pontlands Park Hotel in Great Baddow and Dukes Nightclub in Chelmsford. Their business’s, have helped shape and influence the lives of many Essex folk.  Heritage Leisure, as they are known corporately, have over the last eight years deposited more than £500,000 to the Essex Community Foundation.
More than £300,000 has been distributed to worthy causes in sums ranging from £500 to £9,000 such as PARC (Play and Resource Centre) Braintree, providing support to families with children of special needs, to Nuns at Melbourne Chelmsford who teach children how to cook. Congratulations to Jason on being a Highly Commended Community Champion



Fifteen years ago John lost his brother in law to cancer.  He vowed to do three things in his memory.  First was to organise a golf day, second was to raise £10,000 in one day and finally he set himself a target to raise a total of £100,000 for the Helen Rollanson Cancer Charity.  Through Colne Valley Golf Club John has acheived all three targets, in fact he has now raised over £150,000.  His nominator from the charity says "John has been a wonderful supporter to the charity, we are very proud of him and his hard work on our behalf.  He fully deserves recognition as a Community Champion". Congratulations to John on being a Highly Commended Community Champion

2014 UNSUNG HERO                                          Sponsored by Blue Strawberry Bistrot


Ralph broke four vertebrate in his back this year and had to wear a support for three months. Despite physical problems, he continued to volunteer as a Street Pastor in Brentwood on Friday evenings, giving help to anyone in need.  As well as running his own business, he finds time to sit on committees for the Brentwood Skate Park Assn and the RAF Air Training Corps. He’s a Governor for Sawyers Hall College and a dedicated volunteer for the Boys Brigade. He regularly attends Sawyers Church in Brentwood and is a loyal supporter to the church community. Last year he and his wife who have  already have the challenge of three young children of their own, decided to fulfill a lifetime ambition of being Therapeutic Foster Carers to hard to place teenagers.

They have already helped many teenagers to deal with incredibly challenging situations in their lives. Ralph was nominated a by his younger sister Helen. She says ‘My brother has always put others before himself. He is very humble and doesn't think        

twice about helping anyone. The award would thank him for the support he has given           

to so many people, young and old, across Essex over the years. 


Congratulations to Ralph on being our Unsung Hero Winner


When younger Sas was a Guide with Wickham bishops Guide …she now runs the unit. Over the last ten years she has been to university, studied, carried out work experience yet still manage unfalteringly to run the Guides every week.
The unit has now increased its numbers three fold. Her activities over the last year have been amazing, from church cleaning to trapeze training, camping to international jamborees. She is a true Inspiration to the younger generation someone who has tirelessly fundraised and found time to support them.
She manages to work around her nursing shifts and never misses Wickham Bishops Guides arriving from her Springfield home using public transport.  Congratulations to Sas on being a Highly Commended Unsung Hero


Sue’s husband Acting Sergeant Brian ‘Bill’ Bishop, a hard working policeman,  was shot and murdered by an armed robber in Frinton in August 1984.  Sue has since campaigned and fundraised for COPS (Care of Police Survivors).  Her nominator says

“As one of the first police widows she has for the last 30 years been there for all bereaved families, she is loved and respected by all, including the police force.” Congratulations to Sue on being a Highly Commended Unsung Hero


Sophie gave up her time to look after an elderly neighbour during a period of illness.  Her neighbour Mrs Lillian Clark had a fall and broke her hip which, in turn, led to other medical issues. Sophie was a great support to her. She visited daily, helping with chores around the home, meal preparation, washing up plus other tasks her neighbour needed help with, like watering the plants in her greenhouse.  Sophie is only 13 yrs old but showed great maturity and compassion helping her neighbour in her hour of need. Congratulations to Sophie on being a Highly Commended Unsung Hero

2014 CHILD OF COURAGE                                         Sponsored by Susie Cornell


Jessica has Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Lung Disease and Secondary Pulmonary Hypertension, she requires oxygen 24/7.


She took her first independent steps age six and soon after had a trunki adapted to carry her oxygen so she could move around school independently.  2013 aged 8 she completed a 1 mile sponsored walk, which took two and a half hours to raise money for the 100,000 smiles appeal.


In the summer holidays that year she climbed from the summit station to the very summit of Mount Snowdon (96 steps) while foster carer Carolyn Carey carried her oxygen cylinder for her.  Congratulations to Jessica for being our Child of Courage Winner 2014.




Robert’s battle with Leukaemia started when he was just three years old. He was in remission in 2012 when he was due to cycle in the Southend’s Junior Bikeathon. A relapse meant he was unable to. He had to go to Great Ormond Street for treatment. However, family, friends and schoolmates got together to form 'Team Robert' to ride on his behalf. Seven-year-old Robert, despite undergoing treatment, had other ideas. He persuaded the doctors to release him to Southend Hospital for a day, so that he could ride in the event, before travelling back to Great Ormond Street. That day team Robert raised almost two thousand pounds! Robert has since had a bone marrow transplant and was eventually allowed back to school. Congratulations to Robert for being a Highly Commended Child of Courage.


Ava was born six weeks prematurely.  All seemed well but after 10 days she was diagnosed with extensive brain damage.  Further diagnosis confirmed cerebral palsy, complex epilepsy and blurred vision with no perception of light.  She worked courageously at Brainwave in Witham to learn to stand, sit on her own and say a few words.


A major setback in 2011 resulted in the loss of all of her achievements.
In January 2013 her mother heard her shouting ‘MUM’ in the night. It was then decided to take Ava for intensive neuro rehabilitation in Slovakia.  Ava had to wear a special suit of the same material as worn by NASA astronauts whilst doing             intensive exercises from 8.45am -5.00pm every day.  She had to work really hard and cried a lot. After 2 weeks the results were amazing, Ava had started laughing and smiling. Congratulations to Ava for being a Highly Commended Child of Courage.


Joshua is a double record breaker! He is the smallest child to have undergone open

heart surgery and he is also the youngest child ever to be highly commended at these



After eight years of IVF treatment Joshua’s Mum, Suzy, eagerly awaited the birth of her new son only to be told after the twenty week scan that the baby had a congenital heart condition that would need an immediate operation.
The best chance of success was for the baby to be as big as possible.
Joshua was born twelve weeks early and weighed just 2lb 7oz! A harrowing time followed, several cardiac arrests and resuscitations, nursing staff said they had never witnessed a baby so brave.


A short time later, desperate circumstances dictated that the first operation had to go ahead, although Joshua weighed only 2lb 10oz. Royal Brompton Hospital had never performed this type of operation on a baby so small.

That day Joshua made history and opened up new pathways for pioneering surgery to be performed on tiny babies. The operating team reported that Joshua, had become a true hero for them, he had been amazing throughout.   Congratulations to Joshua for being a Highly Commended Child of Courage.


Leah’s brother Luke, was born prematurely at 32 weeks, as a result he has many serious conditions. Leah helps care for him and gives him his daily medication. Experts said he wouldn't be able to walk until at least 4 years old. Luke is now two  years old and Leah has taught him to walk. Through the special bond she has with him she has even got him speaking.  Leah missed many school lessons due to being with her family at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She revised by herself without any complaint and managed to take her 11 plus exam. She also found time to help the family to raise over £800 this year for the ANTS AMBULANCE SERVICE

Her Mum says:-

 ‘Leah protects Luke and is a complete joy.  She is an amazing big sister who goes far and beyond what a sister should’.  Congratulations to Leah for being a Highly Commended Child of Courage.

2014 ULTIMATE PRIDE AWARD                                       Sponsored by Directa UK Ltd


Matt was 22 when diagnosed with a rare eye condition called Lebers hereditary optic neuropathy. He lost most of his sight in one eye in February 2013 and by the end of  March he had lost the sight in the other, he is now registered blind.


Matt was justifiably depressed for a while, after all he held a successful job in financial services, which necessitated commuting daily to London, he was a keen driver of both a car and a golf ball, and loved his football. However Matt is a special person and didn’t stay depressed for too long.


He taught himself to touch type and using his iphone navigated his return to work,   where he was to earn employee of the month. He joined a visually impaired football team and then joined the youth forum of the Royal London Society for the Blind.  He  has spoken in houses of Parliament on behalf of RLSB trying to educate

and inform employees and employers.


In March he ran a half marathon for the charity fighting blindness and last yearcompleted a 24 mile bike ride for charity with his two parents guiding him round on an ordinary bike. What’s more he did it again in August this time raising funds for the Rotary club of Thorpe Bay. Congratulations to Matt for being our Ultimate Winner for 2014.


Brian was trustee and treasurer of CROFT (Chelmsford recycling of furniture) from 1994 to 2006.  He is also a founder and developer of two key charities CHESS (Churches Homeless Emergency Support Scheme) where he served as trustee and treasurer from 1994 to 2006. Personally giving his own time, energy and support to meet the needs of the vulnerable homeless. Helping Hands Essex (HHE) was born in 2009 when Brian’s attention was drawn to the common link between homelessness and alcohol abuse. He set his mind to gathering together a focused group of individuals to specifically address the need. Looking to provide temporary supported accommodation and a full structured program of therapeutic and practical support, in a safe and abstinent environment; a rehab by any other name, but one aimed at the most vulnerable and least able, realistically, to access such a service​. Congratulations to Brian for being a Highly Commended Ultimate Pride of Essex.


For over 20 years, as Executive Director of the Tymes Trust, ‘The Young ME Sufferers Trust.’ Jane has volunteered tirelessly for young ME sufferers, whilst suffering with the same illness herself; often resulting in relapses in her own health.


M.E.is a serious disease and has the capacity to take away lives and the fact that it can strike in childhood is a terrible, under-recognised, and often mistreated problem.


She was a head teacher, and, despite M.E.'s best attempts, the disease failed to take away her vocation. She still works to protect, nurture, and educate children right across the U K. 


One of her seven nominators says:-

 ‘Jane Colby cares and champions children with ME. Her response to her own M.E. is an example to everyone. She is a credit to her county and to her country.’


Congratulations to Jane for being a Highly Commended Ultimate Pride of Essex.


This very special couple, both deserve recognition, as one would not be able to achieve without the others support. Starting with Ray; he is the Chief Executive of the Acorn Village Charity, for Adults with a Learning Disability, he has supported the charity and their staff for 31 years. He raises funds, he’s a pioneer of the Manningtree First responders, he attends Emergency 999 calls, and he’s an active member of the Rotary club. Last September he happened, by chance, to be at a road traffic accident. Ray attended to a knocked down cyclist, making sure that he was not moved until the ambulance arrived. Meanwhile Heather redirected the traffic. Just as well Ray was there, it turned out that the cyclist had a broken neck!  Heather is the backbone of the couple; Her whole life has been involved with Acorn Village since the beginning.
She has been Company Secretary and Fundraiser since 1986 as well as being on various committees and supporting Ray in his numerous duties. In this time she has raised well over £6million for the charity through events, legacies, grants and donations.   Congratulations to Ray & Heather for being a Highly Commended Ultimate Pride of Essex.


Justin is a support worker of Family Mosaic, a vital part of a team entitled

‘Integrated Offender Management’, which is a multi agency project, aiming to

work with prolific offenders to reduce crime within the community. 


Justin Offers unwavering encouragement and support, to people who lead chaotic and self-destructive lives. He is never one to blow his own trumpet but all too often it’s discovered that in his own time he has helped

people. Landscaped an elderly person’s garden or helped a grieving mum after the loss of her son.


At present he is organizing a dinner for Christmas day for 50 people who otherwise would have to spend the day on their own.  In just a few weeks he has secured a venue, decorations, carol singers, food and much more besides. 

He’s making by hand individual presents for each of the attendees and was even heard trying to get Reindeer for the occasion. Congratulations to Justin for being a Highly Commended Ultimate Pride of Essex.






Other Supporters

Anglia Ruskin University Chelmsford