Volunteers across Essex have been recognised for their life changing activities and commitment to the community in an annual volunteer awards ceremony.
The second ‘Who Will Care Awards’ took place on Wednesday at Chelmsford Civic Centre to celebrate vibrant communities and individuals that are supporting each other and recognise volunteering in Essex.
The Who Will Care? Awards recognised the unsung heroes in Essex, from across the generations, and the evening was an opportunity to hear just some of the stories of volunteering across the county. The evening was compèred by Dave Monk from BBC Essex and also saw a number of short videos telling individual stories of volunteering.
The range of the volunteering undertaken by all seven winners included supporting people who have been bereaved, providing assistance, support and friendship for older people, supporting people with low confidence and self-esteem and practical work at a centre for people with learning disabilities.
Cllr John Aldridge, Chairman of the Council, said: “I was delighted to attend the Who Will Care? Awards and meet the volunteers. I have been inspired by the many incredible nominations we received. This is a tribute to the range and depth of volunteering in our communities across Essex and I thank all the nominees for their hard work for the community.”
Cllr Dick Madden, Cabinet Member for Adults and Children, added: “It is wonderful to see volunteers of all walks of life being recognised by the people they inspired, who were there to cheer them on in force. The direct impact these volunteers have on the lives of those they help, especially those in challenging circumstances is clear, and in many cases, life changing.”
The full list of winners are listed below:
- The Business Award – celebrating excellence in corporate social responsibility: Ford Dunton Technical Centre (Laindon)
- The Voluntary Community Service Award – reflecting innovation or outstanding service delivery by a third sector organisation: Dengie Project Trust (Southminster)
- Innovation Award – demonstrating innovation in community development: Your Living Room CIC (Feering)
- Individual Volunteer – Young Person (under 18) Award: Aimee and Liam Oliver (Benfleet) for a spontaneous act of caring and kindness
- Individual Volunteer – Adult (18 and over) Award: Jennifer Brown (Chelmsford) for involvement in a number of local groups.
- Individual Volunteer – overcoming adversity: Ricky McCarthy (Basildon) for setting up and running a group for people recovering from addiction and living with mental health problems.
- Volunteer Team Award – made to a group of volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to their community: Thundersley Congregational Church Luncheon Club
There was also a special award given to Jason Toms for his contribution to improving support for children in care. (Chelmsford)
The Who Will Care? Awards were open for nominations during March and April 2016, with nominations received from across Essex.
The awards are commissioned by Essex County Council and sponsored by Castle Point & Rochford CCG, West Essex CCG, Edward Carter Solutions, Seetec and Runwood Homes.