Directa Ultimate Pride of Essex Award

This award recognises and rewards the achievement of deserving adults who overcome adversity

Lucy (Centre) enjoys the evening with family, sponsors and celebrities

Lucy Cummins does not miss a trick, she is fanatical when it comes to finding ways to raise funds for charity. Even when she sits and relaxes, which is a rare occurrence, she can be found embroidering babies bibs and towels which she sells for charity, while she’s doing this she is keeping an eye on the twenty odd flavours of fudge she is cooking for a fudge and wine charity evening, or perhaps the pasta she’s preparing for the pasta party, or maybe its stirring the huge paella she making for the Prosecco and Paella night.


These strange happenings are regular features in the Cummins household, her son Fraser, daughter Louise and husband Andy are well used to it and have to chip in and get involved. Andy’s 50th birthday present last year was entry into a 50 kilometer Charity walk in aid of Motor Neurone Disease. It’s in the realm of power-walking marathons that Lucy has herself particularly excelled. Which is surprising for, in the early nineties, she suffered from ME, and severe leg muscle spasm’s, which prevented her walking for any longer than twenty minutes at a time.

Lucy received an email from a friend ten years ago which changed her life. It asked if she would join in a ‘Moonwalk’ in London. This determined lady agreed to try. In May of 2006 she managed to power walk the marathon course in under 6 hours, complete in a decorated bra, all for breast awareness. In New York, eight years later, she completed her 12th.


Up to date she has completed fifteen Moonwalk Marathons, part of the twenty-one marathons she has completed overall. Which include London to Brighton 62 miles (where she helped an exhausted fellow competitor’s by carrying his bag for the last few miles) and the Dutch Marshes March in Nijmegen of 100 miles in four days.


Lucy has made thousands of pounds over the years for umpteen charities including Walk the Walk, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Alzheimer’s, Cancer Research, Leukaemia, Breast Cancer Awareness and many many more. To her fundraising is just a walkover.


Congratulations Lucy on being our Ultimate Award Winner 2015

Daniel enjoys the evening with his Mum and Sponsors Dave Dennison and Susie Cornell

DANIEL MCGAULEY is from Colchester and has Downs syndrome and Autism and was born with a serious heart condition that required major surgery. He also needed extensive surgery on his hearing. Finding it difficult to walk he was, for a number of years, a wheelchair user. Yet all was to change when Daniel joined a fitness centre to improve his health. He began to lose excess weight, he built up his cardiovascular system and, in general, improved both his health and his socialization. His interest in weight lifting developed into a passion. Now, in his early twenties, he takes part in competitive power-lifting and always to the best of his ability.

As well as other trophies, he has won two Olympic gold and three silver medals. This amazing transformation has not stopped, next month he has the honour of being the only special needs power lifter to represent Great Britain at the ‘Commonwealth Power-lifting and bench pressing Championships’ in Vancouver. The whole country is proud of Daniel’s achievement over adversity, but none more so than here in his home county of Essex. 


Well done Daniel on receiving a highly commended award.

James and Emma Degiorgio enjoy the awards evening

       James has spent a lot of time and effort raising money for Lymphoma and Leukaemia charities. Unusually this is not because he has personal experience of the tragedy that these diseases can inflict, but because of stories he had heard about other people.


Events he has organized, and participated in, include the London to Paris cycle ride, The 3 peaks challenge (where Emma joined him) and countless miles on a rowing machine in the Wickes store that he managed.


Fund-raising has become a real passion, which he has passed on to his 7 yr old daughter Emma, who herself is no slouch when it comes to raising funds.


She was responsible for making £1500 for Bloodwise, £500 for Farleigh Hospice, and £600 for the Helen Rollason Charity.Earlier this year, as she finished a thirty-mile cycle ride, she asked what she could do next!


Together through ‘Just-Giving’ they have raised, over the last few years, in excess of £55,000 for charity. They are a credit to themselves and our county. 

John enjoys the event with friends, sponsors and celebrities

       JOHN SIMMONS is from Westliff-on-sea. He spent considerable time in hospital during Autumn last year, undergoing treatment and recovery from a brain hemorrhage.
Once discharged he immediately continued his role as Night Shelter Coordinator for Southend Churches.
During the winter they provided two thousand two hundred and fifty meals,
in addition  eighteen hundred were also provided with a warm bed and breakfast.
His nominator Ruth Verrinder said,
“John was amazing putting aside his own health crisis so that
Southend Winter Night Shelters could go ahead.”

Pat receives her award

           During the Fifty years Pat Ould has been the hub of the Brentwood branch of

           The Leukaemia Research Fund It has raised a staggering £2million.


            Pat has a knack for recruiting hard working, cheerful members who stay with her for years.


            She also works hard for the community through The Woman’s Institute often ferrying elderly or sick

           people to Church or to meetings.


Her Nominator says of Pat, “She is very efficient, energetic

and friendly. She deserves recognition both for herself

and her faithful fund raisers”





Other Supporters

Anglia Ruskin University Chelmsford