Civic awards

2014 award winners

The 2014 awards were presented in 11 categories.

Business in the community

Sponsored by Essex Chamber of Commerce.

This is an award recognised businesses that invest their time and resources in the local community and see themselves as an integral part of life in the borough.

Nominees were:

  • Dotty Hippo Design
  • HW Wilson
  • Moe Darr, Madstone
  • Port of Tilbury – winner

Port of Tilbury is working with local young people to train them in transport and logistics skills which has ensured most have gone on to permanent paid employment. They support Next Top Boss, performing arts, local sports clubs, scouts and community projects such as the Tilbury Riverside project. And the cruise terminal hosts numerous community events and activities. Every Christmas employees at the port distribute presents to the women's refuge centre.

Creative excellence

Sponsored by High House Production Park.

This award is for someone who has raised the profile of the arts, in Thurrock, be it art, amateur dramatics or music - it could be either the star of the stage or someone working behind the scenes.

Nominees were:

  • Cieran Exley
  • Joanne Nyland
  • Vera Plumridge – winner
  • Janet Thurnell

Vera Plumridge has supported and encouraged many Thurrock children of all abilities to love and appreciate music through the playing of piano. For 70 years, the confidence and encouragement she gives has inspired many of her students to seek musical and showbiz careers.

Supporting local communities

Sponsored by Mears.

This category is for a community group or individual that has excelled in supporting local communities to support themselves.

Nominees were:

  • Julie Barker – winner
  • Cedar Hall Clinic
  • Linda Saunders
  • Mike Tarbard

Julie Barker runs the Scalliwags pre-school, opened by her mum 45 years ago, and also runs the Tip Toe stage school, both in South Ockendon. Her dancers represented the borough as part of the Olympic 2012 celebrations. Julie’s commitment to the community is unbelievable and she is now raising funds as part of the world war one centenary year and organising an event to raise money for St Luke's Hospice.

Olympic legacy

Sponsored by Impulse Leisure.

This award is for an individual or club that has contributed to a lasting Olympic legacy in Thurrock by encouraging more participation in sport.

Nominees were:

  • Hazel Day – winner
  • Mercedes Foy
  • Tim Pittick
  • Lynn Talbot

Hazel Day is described by her friends as superwoman. She has a full time job, a family and manages to run a successful swimming club. Single-handedly, she turned round a club that was on the brink of collapsing with a steely determination and an absolute focus on the 300+ swimmers who attended the club and the local community.

Environmental hero

Sponsored by Thurrock Enquirer.

The environmental hero award is for the unsung hero who works to protect the environment we live in.

Nominees were:

  • Jacquie Ashdown
  • Claire Asplin – winner
  • Ken Levy
  • Stan Wall

Claire Asplin keeps a disused bus turnaround in Purfleet clean by removing rubbish, cutting back weeds and planting bulbs donated by the local shop. People who use the bus stop always comment on how nice the area is when the bulbs are flowering and there is no rubbish.

Community together

Sponsored by intu Lakeside.

The community together award recognises those involved in bringing diverse communities together through a local project or community events.

Nominees were:

  • Pastor Abraham Bamgbose
  • David Bareham
  • Renae Laybourn
  • Angela Ruff – winner

Angela Ruff has been giving her time to help others since she was a teenager, over 50 years ago - from visiting patients at Orsett to running keep fit classes and fund-raising for charities - and now 70, she seeks no rewards or recognition.

Healthy living

Sponsored by Procter and Gamble.

The healthy living award is for an individual or organization that has improved their own or the health and wellbeing of their local community.

Nominees were:

  • Wendy Grazier
  • Nita Mitchell
  • Trevor Rawson
  • Charlotte Yoxall – winner

Charlotte Yoxall was inspired by her young daughter’s bravery dealing with a complex heart condition, Charlotte organises events to raise funds for the Brompton Foundation. When she discovered that there was only one defibrillator in the whole of Thurrock, she started campaigning successfully for defibrillators in Stanford, Treetops school and Horndon school.

Young achiever

Sponsored by South Essex College.

The young Achiever category celebrates an inspirational young person who has made an outstanding contribution in volunteering and to the local community, demonstrating leadership, commitment and enthusiasm.

Nominees were:

  • Faizal Akindele – winner
  • Joshua Aldwinckle-Povey
  • Liam Eve
  • Rhys McArdle

Faizal Akindele is chair of Thurrock Youth Cabinet and works incredibly hard to make sure young people have a voice in the borough, working with partners from health, community safety and employment to give a youth perspective to these issues.

Civic life

Sponsored by HW Wilson Ltd.

The civic life award is a very special award celebrating a person for their outstanding contribution and dedication to the borough over their lifetime.

Nominees were:

  • George Donovan
  • Winnie and Albert England – winner
  • Demus Lee
  • Pat Noble

Winnie and Albert England have been the backbone of the local Burma Star Association for many years ensuring members have had someone to turn to and support them – they were also the inspiration behind the rose garden installed in Orsett.

Mayor's award

Sponsored by Thurrock Council.

The Mayor of Thurrock visits hundreds of clubs, societies and organisations across the borough during his year in office. He selected 5 for a shortlist that went to a public vote in January. Over 700 votes were cast.

Nominees were:

  • Faith Matters
  • ngage – winner
  • Maggie Pollock
  • Sue Rogers
  • Royal Opera House

ngage plays a massive role promoting active citizenship and volunteering opportunities and encouraging people to play a bigger part in their local community and get involved in local decision making. They can be seen working hard at community events across the borough always happy and always smiling.

Rachel Middleton award

Sponsored by Serco.

This is a particularly special award in memory of Rachel Middleton who fought a brave battle with cystic fibrosis, but while waiting for a heart and lung transplant, sadly died at the age of 18. Rachel’s courage was an inspiration to everyone as she campaigned tirelessly for the nation to carry donor cards, highlighting her personal struggle in the hope of helping those in a similar situation.

Nominees were:

  • Kristina Jackson – winner
  • Kim James – winner
  • Deidre Lodge – winner
  • Daisy Manning – winner

Kristina Jackson runs the Thurrock Council for Voluntary Services and is a driving force for the voluntary sector in Thurrock. Kristina was diagnosed with cancer last year, but has never let that get in the way of delivering some major projects and ensuring local people are involved in designing the services they need. Known to some as ‘our’ Kristina, she is passionate, forthright and tenacious in her approach to achieving excellent services for residents, even her own personal battle with cancer has not dampened her spirit.

Kim James, who runs Healthwatch Thurrock and prior to that Thurrock LINKS, had a stroke 2 years ago. Despite the stroke her inner strength and passion for her work has helped her overcome her own personal challenges with dignity and is a constant inspiration to those around her. Selfless in her pursuit of health equality, she is a fantastic advocate for local people.

Deidre Lodge’s lungs are infected with Aspergillus mould, a terminal condition and one that is relatively unknown. Deidre has worked tirelessly to engage and work with the council and the World Health Organisation to raise awareness of living with mould and the devastating effects it has on life.

Daisy Manning has showed tremendous courage after her mother died last year after a long struggle with multiple sclerosis. She was her mum’s carer for 8 years. Despite this Daisy showed strength and courage to complete her GCSEs last year and is now studying A levels to pursue her dream of becoming a maths teacher.