ECL Unsung Hero Award

This award recognises and rewards exceptional care in the community by an individual

Shane (second from right) enjoys the evening with friends, sponsors and celebrities

Waltham Abbey’s SHANE YERRELL was walking through a field searching for his dog, on Halloween 7 years ago, when he was attacked and punched in the head by two masked men. He managed to escape, but what he thought was a punch was in fact a stab wound. Rather than dwell on this despicable act he determined to help other families who had suffered knife crime. He began by making £2000 for the Ron Knox Foundation and the Kiyan Prince Foundation, part of which involved climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

He has raised thousands of pounds since for many charities, from Great Ormond Street Hospital to Parkinson’s.

What makes Shane special, is the way he cares for all those in difficulty. For Example raising £1200 to provide specialist brain care for a survivor following a road crash where 3 other passengers died. Raising £3000, for equipment, for a severely disabled boy, to make his life more comfortable. Raising £825 for Teens Unite, after hearing that the Charity had money stolen.

Congratulations Shane on winning this years Unsung Hero Award.

Chris with sponsors Mike Fitzgerald, Dave Dennison and Susie Cornell

           CHRISTOPHER BULLOCK works for the Epping Forest Voluntary Action Group as a handy household helper for elderly, vulnerable and disabled tenants of the district council. The couple that nominated him are both registered disabled.

Mrs Burton, with severe sight loss, diabetic and arthritic. Mr. Burton, also with arthritis, as well as renal failure and colitis. When they were moved to a bungalow in March 2013, they asked the council if anyone could help with basic jobs, they were referred to the Handy Person Service and introduced to Chris Bullock. They now regard Chris as a personal friend who has helped them to cope by carrying out numerous jobs, indoor and outdoor, from installing handrails and shelving to plumbing.

She described Christopher as  “Extremely courteous and invaluable. We cannot thank him enough for all he does, we wanted him and his work recognised, which is why we’re nominating him for an award”

Derek Thomas with Dave Dennison and Susie Cornell

           When Derek Thomas is not teaching primary school children he  gives his spare time to The Southend Street Pastors. He patrols the Streets of Southend between 9pm and 4am ensuring that people are safe and that they can get home safely.

For the last two years he has also coordinated fifty volunteers. As a result some people are alive today that admitted, had it not been for the Street Pastors, they may well have committed suicide.
An extract from the statistics for the month of May alone, shows attention to: 46 rough sleepers, 4 very depressed people (2 appearing suicidal), 3 fights prevented, 4 aggressive situations calmed down, 10 people sobered up, so they would be accepted in a taxi (including a 14 year old girl) 7 meals, and 65 hot drinks given out together with countless smiles, handshakes and hugs.

Monica receives her highly commended award

       Monica Marsh has for several years been a volunteer at ‘Action for Family Carers’ in Maldon.She volunteered following ten years as a full time carer herself for her late husband, who had suffered from Dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

When the opportunity came Monica dedicated herself to giving something back to the charity that had supported and helped her.


 In addition to helping in the office, she has trained as a ‘Citizens Advocate’ so she could help other unpaid carers. She also sits on the fundraising team and is always helping out, whether its jumble sales or serving teas and coffees.


She has even created for the benefit of carers a small sensory garden, which won an award in the recent Maldon in Bloom Competition.
Her nominator Sandra Amey-Martin said,  “We would be at a loss without Monica, her cheery unassuming nature has made a huge difference
to the lives of hundreds of unpaid carers and their cared-for”


Elaine (right) and her husband enjoy the evening with sponsors Mike Fitzgerald, Dave Dennison and Susie Cornell

           Highly commended Unsung Hero is ELAINE SPICER  is from Harlow.


Having been a carer herself for her late father, Elaine asked Harlow council if there was any voluntary work she could do.


In itself this may not appear surprising, except when you take into account that Elaine suffers herself from Cerebral Palsy.


Elaine would not let her limited mobility prevent her from helping others. She was recruited in the first place as a ‘volunteer telephone befriender’ working for a charity that supports carers across our county. Since starting she threw herself into the charity, helping at the office and the respite centre, she even attended a first aid course believing that it could come in useful.

 Her Nominator says,
“Elaine never moans, she is always laughing and bringing up everyone’s spirits. She is an absolute joy to work alongside.”





Other Supporters

Anglia Ruskin University Chelmsford