St.Clare Hospice were among the winners at the 2019 Who Will Care? Awards.
The Harlow Charity took home the Voluntary Community Award for their outstanding work undertaking the ‘Compassionate Neighbours Project’.
The Compassionate Neighbours Project develops local people into a network of trained volunteers who offer their time, companionship and a listening ear to people living in their community who are coping with illness or old age.
The prestigious Who Will Care? Awards took place on Wednesday at Anglia Ruskin University and celebrated inspirational individuals, communities, teams and businesses across Essex that make a huge difference through the work that they do.
The Awards, presented by BBC Essex’s Dave Monk, applauded these unsung heroes’ inspirational stories of volunteering.
Cllr David Finch, Leader at Essex County Council, said “Since the start of these awards the need for strong and thriving communities has become even more important.
“Each year I am more impressed and heartened to hear the number of incredible stories of people making a real difference to their communities in Essex.
“Congratulations to everyone who won last night, as well as everyone who was nominated – you are all heroes.”
‘Who Will Care?’ began in 2013 when five independent commissioners were tasked with tackling the single largest challenge since the 1960’s: how will we care for ourselves and our communities right now and in the future. Volunteering was acknowledged as one of the five high-impact solutions to address this very difficult question.
The awards were created to celebrate the mobilisation of vibrant communities and individuals that are supporting each other and to recognise and stimulate volunteering in Essex
For more information visit www.essex.gov.uk/whowillcare or visitwww.volunteeressex.org for volunteering opportunities in the county.
WINNERS & FINALISTS
The winners and finalists of the Who Will Care? Awards 2019 are:
Awarded to a commercial organisation for making an impact on their community through volunteering
WINNER: Mace Playce, Chelmsford
A soft play centre that supports the community by hosting specialist educational needs sessions, have a weekly health visitor drop in, and provide informal parent support. They undertake various fundraising activities, raising £80,000 for charities.
The Café St Peter’s Hospital, Maldon.
Provide support to families and individuals who without their help and support would find life very difficult. A food bank is run working alongside Barnardo’s, Social Services and Community Agents and they hold various fund-raising activities for charities. There are Knit ‘n’ Natter groups, bingo and fun and games for the community to come together in a welcoming environment
Motivated Minds, Basildon.
Works to assist people in improving their mental health and wellbeing through active promotion in educational establishments, Job Centres, employers, via the NHS, and directly in the community allowing them to reach out and make a real difference.
Suzie’s Gift and Tea Rooms, Maldon.
An award-winning tea room that host a range of community activities that include the Wishing Washing Line make wishes of residents in care homes come true, being a bereavement help point for Farleigh Hospice, host Kindness in a Cup, a friendship group for anyone looking for company.
Voluntary Community Service Award
Awarded to a charity or community group who has made outstanding delivery to support their community and/or service users
WINNER: St Clare Hospice, Harlow
Undertake the Compassionate Neighbours project, working to ensure fewer people in our communities face death on their own. The project aims to develop local people as volunteers who feel enabled and supported to be more compassionate towards their neighbours by providing social and emotional support to people towards their end of life and share their knowledge and experiences.
Little Heroes ASD Support Group, Westcliff-on-Sea.
A grass roots level parent led support group for families of children who are on the autistic spectrum. Their intentions are that all children no matter what their ability/ disability is that they will be able to participate in activities and events that other neurotypical children can do and give families the means to do this by arranging such activities in safe and secure surroundings.
Indee Rose Trust, Canvey Island
A normal family who have felt the effects of a child’s brain tumor first hand. Their aim is to help children and their families who have been diagnosed with a brain or spinal tumor. They provide Treasure Boxes, a wonderful box of treats created especially for the child, to children who have been hospitalised whilst receiving treatment.
Epping Forest ReUSE
Have helped many patients at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and the wider community, by provide furniture for those in need and for those who are palliative to enable them to get home and live in comfort and dignity.
Colchester Gateway Clubs
Enable people with learning disabilities to access leisure and social activities in the community and create opportunities for personal development, including self-advocacy. They aim to improve the wider community for its members, by forging new links, strengthening existing links and challenging bad practice and behaviours.
Brentwood Community Print
Ssupports people in recovery from mental illness by providing mentoring, training and work in a caring and safe environment. Staff members have lived experience of mental health illness and through this deliver some fantastic, impactful work, de-stigmatising mental health, by encouraging conversations to those who need support.
Young Person Volunteer Award
Awarded for demonstrating outstanding commitment within their community either independently or with a charity or community/youth/school group
WINNER: Oak Saunders
On one of his many visits to London Oak couldn’t believe how common it was for homeless people to be ignored by passers-by. He started to make parcels to give out that included hats, gloves, socks, food and cosmetic items; all the little things we often take for granted. Deciding he wanted to do more, he asked his school to help him make a video asking for donations. Since then his appeal has gone from strength to strength.
Volunteers for the Disability Inclusion Society, Billericay a day centre for supporting disabled adults and he works with a wide range of disabled trainees over a variety of projects from carpentry, art to construction. building up strong relationships, that allows him to teach enhanced social skills.
Volunteers at the Inclusive Club Stanway and takes the lead in running the tuck shop /café each week. She is sensitive to everyone’s ideas and contribution, needs, strengths and weaknesses. A great team player and demonstrates initiative and leadership. She puts in effort and is tenacious and responsible.
Adult Volunteer Award
Awarded for demonstrating outstanding commitment within their community either independently or through a charity/community group or through their employer.
WINNER: Phil Richards
Volunteers on the Colchester and Chelmsford SOS bus every Friday and Saturday night. Phil also volunteers over 40 hours a week to support the Essex Appropriate Adult Service. Phil as a retired firefighter, shares his knowledge with other volunteers, medic students, trainee nurses and students and encourages them to live their dreams.
Volunteers as an independent visitor for children in care, an appropriate adult and as a trained phone counsellor for The Samaritans. Mike is hugely committed to his volunteering, demonstrated through his independent visitor role, in being matched with a young person for a period of 2 years – sometimes being the only consistent and dependable person in their lives.
Volunteers in the running of Motivated Minds as a wellness coach. Jo has openly shared her own experiences of mental health, in order to relate to others and has welcomed people into the service, letting them know they are not alone, and they too can recover and live a better life.
Volunteers with Essex Police as an Active Citizen, a Restorative Justice Mediator, and is Chair of Witham and Coggeshall Chamber of Commerce. She has recently raised £25,000 to keep the Witham Community Hub open.
Individual Overcoming Adversity Award
Awarded for demonstrating outstanding commitment within their community either independently or through a charity/community group or through their employer, whilst overcoming personal adversity.
WINNER: Carla Andrews
Carla has been as advocate for promoting mental health in Essex through the services she has developed with Motivated Minds. Carla has suffered hardship in her family life, social life and in mental health. Carla has made it her life’s work to evolve not just herself but to inspire others that they can overcome adversity too and see strength rather than a barrier.
Throughout his life, Steve has been presented with a range of difficulties to overcome; in his family life as a young man and with his own mental health. Steve undertakes a range of volunteering activities for the Maldon and District Centre for Voluntary Services and the Essex Shed Network which includes running and organising events and promoting the network regularly as a Shedder on BBC Essex.
Volunteers for CHARMS, who provide the only hyperbaric oxygen chamber in Essex working with people who have neurological, urological, cancer and sports injuries. Kenneth has suffered injury from many motorbike accidents which brought about additional medical issues that have impacted on his working life.
Award for demonstrating innovation in initiating and developing a service/project to support the community
WINNER: Great Notley Prom Donations, Braintree
Provide underprivileged teens with free prom outfits so they can attend their school proms. Dresses are donated and recycled to provide inclusion for all young people wishing to attend their prom. The teens and their families who experience financial hardship can enjoy the experience of providing for their children and the shared excitement of attending a very special occasion in school life.
Billericay Dementia Alliance
Anisha Grange Care Home’s vision, is one in which people living with dementia are recognised as unique individuals who are actively shaping their lives and continue to play an important role in their local community. The Home has founded the Billericay Dementia Appliance in partnership with the Memory Café, Right at Home UK, and Spire Hartswood Hospital to make Billericay truly inclusive and ‘Dementia Friendly’ for all residents in the town.
Brentwood Community Print
With their ‘Community Tree’ project, they have raised awareness and provide information via a dedicated website and printed leaflets on the local community based services that can help communities improve their mental wellbeing and have better chances in life. A dedicated team of people who have lived experience of mental health illness have designed and developed the branding.
Their Wishing Washing Line is a ground-breaking initiative that was the first of its kind, connecting care homes with their community. Simple and effective, wishes are gathered from residents, and shared with the community by adding to the Wishing Washing Line in public places. The community is encouraged to read the wishes and grant a wish to the older person.
Volunteer Team Award
Awarded to a group of two or more volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution either independently or with a charity, community group or with their employer
WINNER: Basildon Emergency Night Shelter
A community led project providing pop up night shelter provision for the homeless during the winter months. The team of 170 volunteers, have given this year alone 1760 hours of time. These volunteers come from all aspects of the community and undertake a range of tasks including laundry runs, dropping off supplies, providing early morning meals, as well as staying with guests overnight at the shelters.
Thaxted Centre for the Disabled
The volunteers create a caring and supportive environment for the benefit of the disabled members, supporting their developmental skills and with learning new creative and social skills.
Restorative and Mediation Team
The County Wide Team is made up of 42 volunteers who are pivotal in helping the victims of crime and offenders move forward. By helping those in need, they enable victims of crime they are working with start the healing process and find a way to move forward.
Rayleigh Bar’N’Bus Team
Works in partnership with local churches to serve the community through the use of mobile youth buses. The team provide a consistent and reliable provision for young people, sharing their Christian views and life values and modelling positive lifestyles. The Team have helped young people to think about the right choices in life from an informed point of view.
Dementia Café, Clacton-on-Sea
A team of 12 wonderful volunteers, run a weekly café to those living with Dementia. The café plays a vital role in the community, and without it, the members would have no where else to meet. Its pure existence helps to decrease levels of social isolation, forging friendships and often directing members to other organisations for further help.
Essex Search and Rescue
The team comprises of 64 volunteers and their 10 dogs (K9’s) and is regularly called upon to assist the police in the search for missing highly vulnerable persons or assist in major disasters. Over time the Team have found a considerable number of missing people and have enabled the police to deploy their resources to maximum effect.
Volunteer with a Disability
Awarded to a volunteer with a disability who has demonstrated outstanding commitment within their community.
WINNER: Alex Hardy
Alex puts in several days volunteering a week with Braintree Mencap, supporting the running of their classes though his involvement with the Drama Group and the Photography Club. Everyone has benefitted from Alex’s input and as well as all the people with a learning disability that he supports, the knowledge of technology and sound systems is invaluable.
Meg volunteers as a Girl Guide Leader. Meg inspires and teaches girls life skills they do not learn at home, empowering them to grow into strong young women. Meg is selfless in her time and always put’s the young people first and where opportunities have ceased to exist for her elsewhere she has created new opportunities in dedicating her time to others.
Social Media Volunteer Award
Awarded to a Volunteer who has demonstrated outstanding commitment within their community through the use of social media
WINNER: Tony Lee
Tony leads the Friends and Neighbours (FaNs) Facebook page. This is a thriving community of 1500 members from across Essex who work collectively to improve the quality of life for older people living in care homes and the community. Tony is committed to delivering the best possible outcomes and regularly spends evenings, weekends, non-working days and holidays updating the page and capturing news stories. Tony truly believes in the power of communities to transform from within.
Ross set up the Maldon Man Cave and extends the hand of friendship to men in Maldon who are looking for company. He keeps the Face Book page up to date with useful information to help men to be aware of and improve their wellbeing. The men in Maldon have benefitted by increasing their social connections, whether it be from social isolation or the pressures of work.
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