Above & Beyond

Carl Wakefield

Carl is the head teacher of the Plume Academy in Maldon. He was nominated across a range of categories including Creativity, Technology, Kindness and Team Working. The decision was made when shortlisting that, due to his impact clearly being felt widely by the community, he should be considered for recognition under the Above and Beyond

Below are a selection of the comments made about Carl by those nominating him:

“As the head of The Plume Academy, Mr. Wakefield really has gone above and beyond when it comes to supporting not only the students but entire families in our local community. He has worked tirelessly to ensure the wellbeing of students in many ways, including ensuring those that
would normally receive meals at school still had access to lunch. Above anything else, the true spirit, enthusiasm and positivity that this man exudes is inspirational. He genuinely cares about his staff and pupils and could not have done more to ensure everyone had the support they needed.”

“Truly one of a kind, we are so lucky to have him lead our academy.
Carl has ensured that he has thought creatively about how he could provide a meaningful curriculum for the students of the Plume school – leading his team of staff in the successful delivery of live lessons for all students to access. He has worked tirelessly to ensure all students
have access to I.T. and ensured The Plume academy remained in regular, consistent with ALL students. It is due to Carl’s creative, caring ‘can do’ thinking that The Plume Academy was able to provide so much for its students.”

“I want to nominate the Executive Principal of Plume Academy for his efforts to support not only our students but their families and his staff in any way possible during this time. He has gone above and beyond, working night and day, using the school as a factory for covid masks for frontline workers, constantly communicating with the Plume Family to instil calm and kindness. He has allowed all of the staff and encouraged us to use our creativity to help others and has championed this from the start.”

Sarah Troop

“The last six months plus have been extremely challenging as the community has worked hard to keep our vulnerable members safe and supported.

In my role as Director of Maldon and District CVS it was only right that I stepped up to take a lead in bringing together cross sector working and partnerships to design and develop support.

Across the country other CVS chief officers have done the same demonstrating the importance of voluntary sector infrastructure and connectivity.

There were long hours and challenges but I was blessed with brilliant support from my team at MDCVS and I cannot speak highly enough of the community partners and volunteers who also more than played their role.

The Above and Beyond nomination is a warmly received, I am pleased that people felt that I did a good job for the community and grateful for the support that this nomination brings with it. I will continue to work for the community as we move through the next phases of the pandemic and I know many others who have been nominated alongside me will do the same.”

Sarah’s Nomination: “Sarah has led the District with passion and selflessness to deliver an outstanding community response that has been recognised at a County level. She has worked tirelessly to deliver on an
array of projects and has been the glue that has pulled this group together.
Sarah has been leading on all of the work behind the scenes.

Without Sarah, all of the projects and processes that have been put in place and delivered, would not have been possible. She has continually gone above and beyond, working around the clock and 7 day weeks. Sarah has
ensured that well over 1000 residents have been supported in multiple ways.”

Kevin Jennings

Kevin received nominations in Kindness, Team Working and Neighbourliness and has earned his nomination in the Above & Beyond Category, as his nomination below describes:

Kevin’s Nomination: “Kevin was the backbone of the emergency response team from March – July. He volunteered five days a week throughout the pandemic providing support to people who were in crisis. Where
other parts of the response were responsible for routine requests for support with food and medicines etc people who had nothing and were desperate were supported by Kevin.

His role was to get support to them quickly; often this was people who had run out of food days before and had nothing. Kevin responded with compassion ensuring they were given bespoke support and were listened to. As well as support to get emergency supplies he also listened and
signposted to additional support from other partners like the family hub or CAB.

As part of the response team Kevin observed social distancing and good hygiene in all he did. Kevin’s role had huge impact on the individuals that he responded to. Many times the calls that were put through to him were people in tears and scared. His kind response put them at ease and
was an important first contact for them to be able to feel comfortable accessing ongoing support.

Kevin has been involved in the Maldon response team 5 days a week since being put on furlough in March. In addition to this he has been pro actively looking out for his neighbours and doing their shopping with them. He knocks on the doors of neighbours knows to be elderly or isolated
and gets their shopping lists to ensure they have everything they need.

Kevin was a huge support through the lockdown period, pivoting from managing The Salvation Army Charity Shop to running the Urgent Emergency Food response for the whole time he was on furlough. Kevin cared deeply for every person referred to him ensuring that individual needs were met and where needed specific items were provided for those with specific needs. He was at all times vigilent to the requirements of being covid secure in the work undertaken and sought to always adhere to all guidelines and policies.

Kevin played a key role throughout the pandemic as an urgent responder and there will be countless times throughout the pandemic where his actions have been a single act of kindness for a family or household. For example, on more than one occasion he has ensured that food parcels
with extras have been delivered at short notice to people with nothing, this could be treats for children or specific asked for items that make a difference. However the single act of thoughtfulness I am nominating him for was a generous act during the week of VE day where, as he prepared pamper packs to go out to the community, he off his own
back arranged for small gifts to be sent to the staff working in the Maldon and District CVS office to acknowledge their hard work. This was hugely thoughtful and made a real difference at what was close to the halfway point of the response.”

Ralph Springett

“During the Covid crisis I have been working with Maldon CVS helping to coordinate food parcels and prescription deliveries as well as assisting in manning the helpline. At weekends, my wife and I do the emergency deliveries and check on vulnerable people in our community. I am honoured that I have been nominated for this award but embarrassed as I feel that it was a team effort of which I was just a small part.”

As well as being nominated in the Team Working category, Ralph went Above & Beyond during his time volunteering with the Community Response Team:

“Ralph has been a central part of the response team in Maldon carrying out a number of different roles for the response. As well as being a call handler on the helpline Ralph has used his experience of international disaster response to give guidance to the food delivery and other areas of response.

He has supported the Salvation Army to prepare food parcels using local contacts to organise fresh deliveries and also going to the supermarkets to purchase in bulk items to be prepared for distribution by the hub.
In addition he has carried out the role of urgent response at weekends responding to people who are in crisis or have urgent needs.

He organised and supported a team of experienced listening volunteers for people who needed extra support above the safe and well checks that were
routinely taking place. He visited people with complex needs at weekends to ensure they had the bespoke support they needed.

Ralph followed social distancing and good hygiene practices at all times and even sourced PPE from his contacts for the response team.
The impact of Ralphs volunteering is far reaching. He has carried out a wide variety of roles that have helped across the response. For some individuals this has a friendly tailored response to help them through difficult times. At least 2 of his regular visits have fed back to the helpline that without his support they would have been lost and forgotten.

Ralph used his extensive knowledge and experience and gave advice and support to the food response that was invaluable. He also took charge of the weekend food provision, chaplaincy and counselling service and so much more!

Ralph not only adhered to the use of PPE and social distancing but through his contacts was able to source sufficient PPE for the whole team.

Ralph did not just volunteer, he made a difference in so many peoples

Julia Rome

Julia was nominated for Team Working and Neighbourliness, but her efforts volunteering countless ours with the Community Response team earned her a nomination in Above & Beyond:

“Julia became part of the urgent response team in Mar 2020 and continued throughout the whole pandemic often volunteering five days a week and at a moments notice. Her role was delivering food parcels and prescriptions to people in crisis or with same day needs. She has often had to drop everything to get to a pharmacy before closing to ensure people have vital medication.

Julia’s role has quite simply been critical.

As well as being an on call responder for such long hours, Julia has also been helping at the Salvation Army hall taking on the preparation of food parcels to give other members of the team a break and has helped to identify where individuals she is delivering to need additional support
from partners.

Throughout the response Julia has given her time generously and with a smile.

Julia can often be the first person people see when they are in crisis and her prompt responses has been a great reassurance to people. She has truly made a difference to the experience of people during lockdown and helped the response team to respond quickly and effectively.

Julia was a constant support for the Emergency team throughout the pandemic. She was always available for urgent parcels and made sure that everything asked of her was done quickly and efficiently.

Julia was always aware of the contamination risks and took every precaution to protect herself and the people we served at all times through the use of PPE and excellent hygeine.”

“I’d like to nominate my friend Julia. From day one of the lockdown she has given hundreds of hours of volunteering time to the community of Maldon ( she volunteers with the CVS / Salvation Army) – picking up peoples prescriptions and delivering them as well as shopping for people who were shielding and delivering food parcels to them.”

Jon Doyle

“I have been privileged to have been a part of the Maldon District Coronavirus Response, very early on in March we at The Salvation Army saw the likely direction of the pandemic and began to prepare to support the community in any way we could.

We were able to speak with our fellow Church leaders and attend the first Covid meeting held by the CVS as a united Church willing and able to stand with our community in their time of need. The Salvation Army had already begun to purchase bulk quantities of food and offered to take the lead on food provision for those who found themselves in need due to Covid. The first lock down was hard in many ways and the relentless nature of the response was at times difficult, however the gratefulness of those in receipt and the generosity of Maldon and the wider district were a huge encouragement to keep doing what was needed.

For myself I do not feel that I did anything above and beyond what any Salvation Officer would have done in my position, we are here to serve the community body, mind and soul. I am humbled and greatly appreciative of the consideration for this award and will continue to serve the people of Maldon through whatever remains of the pandemic and beyond.”

Jon’s Nomination: “Lt Jon Doyle has been a key community leader duringthe Coronavirus outbreak managing the distribution of hundreds of food parcels. In March 2020 as the Coronavirus outbreak began to loom on the horizon Jon stepped up. The community held the first and only face to face meeting of what turned out to be the Maldon Community Response team and Jon attended ready setting up to begin supporting the community
with food parcels.

The first food parcels began leaving the Salvation Army church just days later and by the time the lockdown was announced he was supervising a volunteer team, working with a range of partners and building links with supermarkets, local businesses and the local authority.

As time went on Jon took great care to ensure that food parcels were prepared with infection control and volunteer safety in mind. Working in close partnership with both environmental health and live well staff at Maldon District Council to prepare food parcels everything was done
to help the recipient feel confident that their safety was the highest priority.

There was also thought given to the nutritional make up of food parcels with all food groups represented and adaptations being made for dietary requirements, age of recipients and cooking capability and facilities.

By the end of May over 800 households were receiving regular support with Jon continuing to oversee the food parcels distribution. Throughout this Jon had time to pay attention to detail, to attend multiple weekly video calls with a range of partners ensuring everyone was connected and
informed. He took time to support the helpline call handler volunteers using skills from previous employment to pull together call flow charts going above and beyond to ensure seamless support across all areas of the response team.

In addition he provided much needed chaplaincy to people in the community who needed support from someone to listen. He supported without judgement and was patient, kind and approachable at all times.”

Clare Montgomery

Clare received a total of 32 nominations from the community in the categories of Creativity and Fundraising. Throughout lockdown she was busy making scrubs and PPE to help frontline and essential workers and raising funds for the Big Sing choir. She raised over £5000 through her

Clare was recommended for the Above & Beyond Award by 3 of the judging panel. A selection of comments received about Clare are below:

“Clare has spent lockdown creating scrubs for the local hospitals and face masks selling them for people of Maldon and our choir, she also made a lovely quilt which she raffled to raise funds. Her scrubs collection for the children’s wards were my favourite. She’s worked non stop throughout and also became a grandmother for the first time.”

“Not only has Clare made scrubs and scrub bags for the NHS but she has also made hundreds of masks to help raise significant funds (approximately £5000) for The Big Sing, who have received
no government help during lockdown (because they are a small limited company). And she is still making and selling them, so she benefits those of us who need masks which are not expensive, and enables the Big Sing to keep going and keep us singing online.”

“Clare has used her creative skills and wonderful sense of community and caring to spend endless hours making scrubs and face masks for our local hospitals and care homes, all the while adhering to the strict government guidelines. From the start she put herself forward and has worked
virtually non stop throughout.”

“Clare has done a remarkable helping make face masks and for the scrubs she helped make to for her local hospital(s) for everyone in the community an helping to fundraise for the Bing sing choir to help them survive at this time she is a remarkable lady.”

John Driver

“It has been a privilege to be involved with the coronavirus helpline. It was wonderful seeing so many people pulling together to support our local community and I am pleased to have been able to play my small part in this endeavour.

My role was in helping to man the helpline. I tried to help as much as possible as I was limited in what else I could do because of advice to shield myself. It was good to be able to offer practical support to those phoning or sometimes just to provide a listening and hopefully encouraging ear.

I am very grateful to those who have nominated me for this award. I think there are many others far more worthy but it is nice to be acknowledged though my part was only a small one.”

John’s Nomination: ‘John attended the first Response team meeting in March and has been at every meeting since. As a volunteer he has taken multiple call handler shifts each week including evenings and weekends
and is always the first person to step up to help when their are gaps to be filled. He has been a reliable and unwavering calm presence throughout the pandemic providing reassurance to callers and effectively signposting to the right support.

John has fed into the response team from calls recieved to help steer the changing offer of the response identifying where there are gaps or things can be done differently.

John’s role has been a steady presence throughout the pandemic
As a call handler John is often the first person that a caller will speak to when making contact with the helpline. We know from feedback that the calm and reassuring voice at the end of the phone has been so important to members of the community and John has done this brilliantly. We are lucky to have him as part of the team.’

Emma Durrant

Emma received a total of 9 nominations in the category of Creativity and was recommended for the Above & Beyond award by 3 of the judging panel.

Emma is the producer / leader of The Sound Collective Choir. This Choir operates In 3 locations: Maldon, Little Baddow and Danbury. Throughout lockdown Emma has launched some inspiring initiatives. This has helped enormously to keep the choir together and maintain spirits through
this difficult time.

Comments from the nominations include:

‘We have not sung together as a choir ( in person ) since March. However, we have , with Emma’s expertise made “ lockdown recordings ‘ which are superb. The songs selected & put together by Emma are perfect for this unusual time. Emma collected all individual recordings & collated them
into a ‘choir recording ‘ There are3 songs. She asked us to download a print. Colour in and pose with our poster making all individual words
spell out “ We’ll meet again“ This is on our website.

We have had zoom coffee sessions , bringing us altogether , quizzes and choir chats all on line. Throughout the difficulties, she has gone above & beyond to keep the Chour ‘singing’ from afar. She is always cheerful, enthusiastic and looking for the’next thing ‘. She has without a doubt kept us singing from all across the County!  She is now looking at possible ways within the guidelines to get us back to rehearsals so we can start our songs for Christmas!’

‘Emma has fought to keep our choir together with zoom choir sessions, zoom coffee mornings and even helped us to make a lockdown album. We all had to send our individual recordings and she has worked to put them all together. She has worked so hard to support us all and keep us up
beat and positive throughout lockdown. More recently she has organised a socially distanced picnic and a drive in choir session.’

‘Our choir leader Emma Harmony really cared about our safety and wellbeing, followed all guidance, and tackled disappointment when life choir ceased during lockdown. Since March 2020 in lockdown, face to face choir rehearsals and live performances ceased.

Never one to give up, Emma rose to the challenge and kept our choir of over 150 largely older single people (many with chronic medical conditions) feeling positive and motivated; through zoom rehearsals, sending individual recordings of our singing to be ‘mixed’ as one choir, themed evenings (including fancy dress!), quiz’s and a social distance picnic. Isolation and loneliness? Never! not in our choir! Thank you so much for caring Emma. X’