Uttlesford’s heroes given recognition at awards evening

COMMMUNITY heroes who give up hours of their time to help others in Uttlesford have been honoured at a special awards ceremony.

The bi-annual Community Achievement Awards, organised by Uttlesford District Council, were held last Thursday in the council chamber at the district council’s Saffron Walden offices.

Special guests at the ceremony were two of Uttlesford’s Team GB Olympic and Paralympic heroes, Chloe Rogers and Dan Bentley. Continuing the London 2012 theme, volunteer Games Makers and Essex Ambassadors were present and all were awarded certificates by council chairman, Cllr Christina Cant.

Twenty-eight Uttlesford residents - who between them have clocked up decades of voluntary work - received certificates and those attending heard the stories behind their selfless commitment to their communities.

From running vital community shops to tireless charity fundraising, each award recipient had been nominated for really making a difference to their community.

Commenting on the Olympics, the council’s cabinet member for Community Partnerships and Engagement, Cllr Howard Rolfe, said: “We have just had an incredible summer. The Olympics, Paralympics and the Diamond Jubilee have shown the world what an incredible country Great Britain is.

“The community involvement in those events – the crowds, volunteers and competitors did the whole nation proud. It was a pleasure that we were able to recognise all our award winners’ achievements at this special ceremony.”

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Chairman of the Community Achievement Awards Working Group, Cllr Jan Menell, welcomed everyone to the event. She said: “We always very much look forward to this evening. It is an opportunity for the council to express its gratitude on behalf of the residents of the district for all the work our volunteers do to make the Uttlesford district such a wonderful place to be.”

And chairman Cllr Cant said: “I am extremely proud to present certificates to such deserving recipients. They all carry out fantastic work in our community and are wonderful role models.

“Our district would be a poorer place without them.”

Community Achievement certificates were presented to the following:

Service to the Local Community

Monica Swann - Little Hallingbury

William Brazier - Thaxted

David Haylock - Hempstead

Malcolm Rogers - High Roding

Daphne Wallace-Jarvis - Stansted

Linda Peake - Henham

Janice and Robert Rust - Littlebury

Pam Lee - Birchanger

Barbara Jarman - Farnham

Peter Noble - Great Dunmow

Richard Taylor - Wicken Bonhunt

Fiona Bengtsen - Manuden

Jean and Jerry Watson - Hatfield Broad Oak

Sonia Levy - Stansted

Michael Coleman - Takeley

Michael Hockley - Hatfield Heath

Citations for the recipients of the above category praised their dedication and unstinting support of their local area. The achievements ranged from fundraising for particular projects or activities, support of facilities, setting up a music club, making woodland more accessible to all, supporting village life, establishing a history society and running a vital village shop.

Youth Initiatives

Chantelle Etheridge - Saffron Walden County High School

Dan Cornell, Matt Yarwood and Rob Gowers - Newport

Citations praise young recipients for fundraising and assisting with and overseeing a project to build a youth centre and supporting children in care.

Service to the Elderly

Jill Young - Clavering

Dorothy Bartlett - Saffron Walden

Citations outlined the tireless work done for older residents, including fundraising for the league of friends, hospital visiting and providing transport for hospital and doctors appointments.

Service to People with Disabilities

Ollie Barnard and Eileen Walsh - Thaxted

Citations praised recipients for setting up and running a day centre for people with disabilities and offering varied activities for members to enjoy.

Service to Children and Young People

Jean Rostron - Hatfield Heath

Deirdre Hickey - Saffron Walden

Patrick Barker - Thaxted

Jane Gray - Ashdon

Citations gave details of recipients fundraising for and running sports clubs and facilities to encourage young people into being more active, running scouts groups, supporting school pupils and establishing a skate park.