Civic awards

2020 award winners

The 2020 awards ceremony took place at the Civic Hall, Blackshots Lane, Grays, RM16 2JU on Friday 28 February. Awards were presented in 8 categories.

Our main sponsor for the Civic Awards 2020 was Rockfire Capital Limited.

Mayor's award for Lifetime Achievement

Sponsored by NewRiver REIT

A very special lifetime achievement award celebrating an individual for their outstanding contribution and dedication to the borough over their lifetime.

Nominees were:

  • Jeanette Alexander
  • Julie Carter – winner
  • Alan Gosling
  • Mike Ostler
  • John Rowles

Julie Carter has run a stage school for over 30 years. She has taken pupils to perform on the main stage in Disneyland Paris, represented the borough at the 2012 Olympics with pupils carrying the mantle in the torch relay and at the opening and closing ceremonies for both the Olympics and Paralympics. Julie has also taken pupils to New York to appear on Broadway.

Many of Julie's older pupils now work in the industry – both in the West End and films.

Julie also runs a pre-school which provides low cost childcare for the community. The pre-school has been running for over 50 years, with Julie taking over from her mother. She has taken intensive courses and qualifications and is also working with the British Association of Teachers of Dancing (BATD) to create performance programmes and qualifications that will be rolled-out to schools on a national level.

Stronger Together Community award

Sponsored by Stronger Together Partnership

For involvement in bringing communities together through a local project or community event, or supporting local communities to support themselves.

Nominees were:

  • Aveley Village Community Foundation – winner
  • Jamie Bagge
  • Chris Shields
  • Signpost Resource Centre
  • Steve Stuart

Aveley Village Community Foundation started as a community forum providing small and medium grants, and has now evolved into a charity and limited company.

Small projects include high street planters, a new kitchen for the band hall, improved gardens for sheltered accommodation and allotment improvements. Bigger projects include improving the war memorial and crucially, obtaining funding and planning permission for an inter-generational community centre – now Aveley Community Hub.

Their other activities include running an annual Christmas Market attracting up to 3,000 people, St George's day events, summer fayres, local sports activities and trips, plus weekly groups such as parent and toddlers, knit and natter, table tennis and a monthly elderly person’s lunch club. In total, the foundation has secured funds of more than £1,250,000.

Creative Excellence award

Sponsored by Port of Tilbury

For contributing to raising the profile of the arts in Thurrock – this could be the visual arts, amateur dramatics or music.

Nominees were:

  • Daryl Branch of Creative Blast
  • Jody Byrne
  • Reg Goldsmith
  • Les Morgan – winner
  • Dorion Khan Quest of Quest Music Services and Thames Delta Community Radio

Les Morgan is a volunteer and community activist who recognises the challenges in his communities. Working with the Tilbury on the Thames Trust, he gets local people to come together through creative, cultural and heritage projects.

Examples include a local school project to build a 17-foot puppet of a dock worker, where he worked tirelessly with the children. Participation in the Tilbury carnival was thanks to Les and his amazing community spirit, connecting with all the dance schools and community groups. His enthusiasm was infectious and people just wanted to be involved.

Les also comperes and has a band that performs at community events. He campaigns constantly for more creative and cultural projects and funds to bring the community together. His creative excellence is in his skills, ideas and absolute magnetism to pull the rest of the community along.

Sporting Achievement award

Sponsored by Impulse Leisure

For contributing to a lasting sporting legacy in Thurrock by promoting or encouraging more participation in sport, or by representing Thurrock in their sport.

Nominees were:

  • Lilie Copperthwaite – winner
  • India Harvey
  • Stuart James
  • Trevor Rawson
  • James Robertson

Lilie Copperthwaite is 15 years-old and has been competing in the sport of kickboxing since the age of 5. In that time, she has lost only 1 out of 80 fights. She fights out of Essex Kickboxing Academy and is currently a multiple title holder, including 3 British titles and 2 world titles.

As well as her own achievements in the sport, Lilie also helps to coach, train and spar others on a regular basis. She completed her work experience at the Essex Kickboxing Academy, where she gave free one-to-one lessons for fighters, young and old.

Lilie is well respected in the martial arts community and is a role model for others, which has enabled her to secure the sponsorship of 5 different companies. Lilie was also recently named Young Sports Personality of the Year at the first ever Thurrock Sporting Awards.

Environmental Champion award

Sponsored by Glasdon

For working to celebrate, improve or protect the environment in which we live.

Nominees were:

  • Steve Catchpole
  • David Green – winner
  • Rob Groves
  • Paul Luke
  • Sara Santiano

David Green volunteers his time and finances to maintain the green areas in East Tilbury. The area has become a central point for residents in the surrounding area, and many have donated plants and other equipment to David so he can continue his work.

David has also developed a small piece of land into an allotment and has offered his fruit and vegetables to those facing financial hardship.

The green areas are not protected by fencing, but David has created a space the community respects and that continues to be a talking point for all those that live there.

Young Achiever award

Sponsored by HW Wilson Ltd

For an inspirational young person who has made an outstanding contribution by volunteering within the local community, showing leadership, commitment and enthusiasm.

Nominees were:

  • Lucy Boatman
  • Scott Cooper
  • Alicia Jones
  • Francesca McEwen – winner

Francesca McEwen has been working with young people to help them learn theatre skills since she was 15 years-old, when she took over the running of the Young Producers project.

Over the past 5 years, Francesca has engaged with professionals to teach skills to young people to produce shows and events – she has now produced 16 shows at Thameside Theatre and has given hundreds of young people the chance to perform in them.

This project is for young people, run by young people regardless of their background. The project has also produced the Entertainment Stage for the past 3 years at the Orsett Show, worked with Social Bugs to build the creative skills of a group of disabled young people, and worked with a fostering agency to support people in care. Francesca continues to volunteer during her university studies.

Business in the Community award

Sponsored by Bang the Table

For businesses that have invested in Thurrock’s communities through sponsorship or other forms of support to make it a better place to live and work.

Nominees were:

  • David Ridler and Andy Rimmell of 1 Big Storage Solutions – winner
  • Sara Lovett and Jacki Milne of Cedar Hall Clinic
  • Ensign Bus
  • Shumon Rahman of New Delhi Restaurant
  • Sherrilyn Speid

1 Big Storage Solutions have done a lot to revitalise the former Bata Shoe Co Ltd factory buildings and also the surrounding area in East Tilbury. Where they can, they employ local people to undertake work for them.

Following a fire at East Tilbury library, 1 Big Storage Solutions sent staff to box and store artefacts and books from each cabinet. The restoration of the collection has taken some time but most of it is now housed back in the library within the new storage cabinets, although 1 Big Storage Solutions still stores some items free of charge. Without their help and support, it is likely that the social history of the East Tilbury area would have been lost.

1 Big Storage Solutions also made a number of donations to other charitable bodies in and around the local community. They also helped sponsor the erection of the flagpole in the East Tilbury local park.

Healthy Living award

Sponsored by Amazon

For improving the health and wellbeing of individuals, their local community or the borough.

Nominees were:

  • Arthur Bugler Primary School
  • Wendy Barnard – winner
  • Claire Dawson
  • Peter Eates and Elizabeth Cox
  • Samantha Williams

Wendy Barnard encourages people to face challenges through physical activity. From 2000 to 2006, she ran activity sessions at Thurrock Healthy Living Centre for participants who were not usually active. She used a variety of innovative ideas and activities to encourage people to increase their physical activity and emotional well-being individually.

For the last 5 years, Wendy has been integral to the success of the Exercise on Referral scheme, working with people with life changing illnesses such as strokes or cancer. The scheme has helped over 1,000 people. She has built up excellent relationships with council and NHS services.

The scheme helps participants take back control of their lives and supports families too. Through her support some people have even regained the use of their limbs. She also runs water aerobics and pilates classes, encouraging people from the Exercise on Referral scheme to join, as well as fundraising for local charities.