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I was involved in judging some of the awards and I must say it was fantastic and quite humbling to hear about all the volunteer work that goes on within our community in Essex and indeed meet some of the people involved at the awards presentation on 10th August.
I was lucky enough to present an award and £1,000 cheque to our chosen winner, Home-Start Brentwood. Trustee, Victoria Earp explained, “A lot of families are unable to take day trips out together as they cannot afford them. This will help us to fund them so it really means so much to us to get this award.”
Home-Start Brentwood is an independent local charity, part of the network of Home-Start schemes supported by their parent charity, Home-Start UK. Indeed, across the UK more than 15,000 Home-Start volunteers visit families at home each week, supporting parents in situations as diverse as isolation, bereavement, multiple births, illness, disability or who are just finding parenting a struggle. They provide non-judgmental practical and emotional support and help build the family’s confidence and ability to cope.
The overall winner was the Children’s Burns Club who won £2,000, with City of Chelmsford Mencap in second place winning £1,500, followed by Families in Focus who received a cheque for £1,000. The runners up, included Ideas Hub, Street Pastors and Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play.
The Brentwood Gazette Readers’ Awards went to Sawyers Church and Age UK Essex won the Essex Chronicle’s Readers’ award. Three amazing volunteers, Sue MacFarlane, Phil Norton and Richard Morris each received an individual prize for their dedication to helping others. Sue has been a volunteer at Home-Start Brentwood for 23 years, Phil launched Billericay Street Pastors in 2013 and Richard, at over 80 years old, is a volunteer for the Home from Hospital Service.
I would like to congratulate all of the winners and runners up on their awards and thank them and all of the great charities and volunteers across the county for the amazing work that they undertake every day of the year.
You can view the Essex Chronicle's coverage of the awards here.
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