POTTERS RESORT COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS
Winner - Geoffrey Lee
After almost 50 years of cycling for charity, last year his wife Edna told him, that having had a triple by-pass, shortly followed by a knee replacement, his charity cycling days were over. But as Geoffrey says ‘I already had one booked and that was it. I’m not very quick now, but I can keep going and will eventually get there.’ So he joined the young cyclists on his last London to Paris ride and rode more than 350 miles over four days. Geoffrey received a British Empire Medal in the 1980s for his charity fundraising, not surprising when you learn that he has raised more than £150,000 for good causes.
Highly Commended - Mehmet Cakmak
Mehmet owns a Café Pizzeria in Harlow, where he has been in business for 25 years. His daily route to work meant that he drove twice a day past the St. Clair Hospice. He often heard his customers talk of the good work they do. So when he reached his 50th birthday last November he decided to give something back to the community to help them. He called into the Hospice and asked if they would like him to take a sponsored bike ride. He began in January and then spent the next 8 weeks pedaling 70 to 100 miles each day through 8 different countries from Harlow to Ankara. No support vehicle, no friends to accompany him, just him and his bike. He raised five thousand pounds for the hospice. Mehmet certainly celebrated his birthday in style!
Highly Commended - Paul Luke
Paul is from Stanford-Le-Hope where in May of last year he began an area fundraising page, to get together a team to raise money for local charities. Cleaning cars, Packing shopping bags, running quizzes and auctions Paul and the team have, in such a short time, raised the staggering sum of over £20,000. The money has been used for, among other things, much needed funding for physio sessions, helping the recovery of sick children, and funds for a hearing and impaired vision unit at a local senior school. Over the Easter period the group collected enough chocolate eggs to supply both a local hospice for the elderly and hospitalized children, bringing lots of smiles and happiness. He is an avid collector and distributor of unwanted clothing and items of food, which he collects and delivers to the homeless people of Basildon. Paul is now planning a disco and raffle; his target is to raise enough money to buy presents for patients staying in Basildon hospital over the Christmas period. His nominator said ‘Paul is not for the glory, but the happiness of others’.
Highly Commended - John Doherty
John has been bringing groups of Davenant School students to ‘Epping Race for Life’ for eleven years. He consistently manages to recruit a
team of twenty or so enthusiastic volunteers. They arrive on site six hours before the start and immediately get stuck in, with the physically demanding chores of setting-up. Taking responsibility
for key tasks such as volunteer registration, signage, flags, marshalling, administration and closing down. John’s hard working group usually remain onsite until around 10pm or until every last piece
of litter has been picked up, they never fail to give less than 100% in their effort. John has become the voice, in the school, of ‘Cancer Research’ and ‘Race for Life’, engaging the support of a
large number of students and their friends and families. As a result of the experience and the awareness brought to them during their time with John many of these young people go on to continue
volunteering for Cancer Research. His Nominator says
“Everywhere you look on race day, Davenant School students are working tirelessly to make sure of a successful day. We couldn’t do it without them, they are the life and soul of the team and have helped us to raise an incredible £1.5 million through the event.”
Highly Commended - Pam and Brenda This is a special case. It’s the first time, in this category, that sisters have been jointly commended. PAM WITHERINGTON and BRENDA BAILEY, from Rayleigh, began their first fundraising event in 1984; they raised £200 for Southend Hospital's Special Care Baby Unit. The charity bug bit, and over the years, in addition to annual charity balls, they also raised money with other activities, as varied as, fashion shows, trekking in Iceland (the Country not the store!) and skydiving. They have also completed 10 Moonwalk marathons walking 26.2 miles around London during the night, wearing their brassieres outside their tops, raising money for breast cancer. All done whilst working full time and raising families of their own. At the last count the money they have raised totaled in excess of £70,000.