Clare Montgomery

“I wanted to help my choir survive as I’ve belonged for Nearly 9 years I made a lockdown quilt and raffled it and then we charged £2 a mask donated to them for my masks.It was amazing I think we got over £3,000 . I’m very honoured to be nominated as a local girl born and bred I love Maldon and the people in it and just wanted to help.”

Clare’s Nomination in Fundraising: “My wife Clare has made loads of scrubs for broomfield hospital and local care homes such as firstlings and boucherne on holloway road .. she never stopped working at it people donated to her cause to buy materials etc.. when that slowed down it was on to mask making to save her local big sing choir … she made hundreds and got people donating to a go fund me on facebook which now stands at over £5000 .. she also made and gave away masks and scrub bags to anyone that needed them for free.. she never took a penny for her work… in a nutshell my wife is a modern day Florence Nightingale.”

Michelle Bowers

“Like others during the initial lockdown I became a member a sewing group making scrubs, scrub bags and face coverings for local key workers in the NHS and care homes.

Once the need for face coverings for everyone became apparent I took inspiration from The Community Mask Trees organisation and with the help of a handful of local sewing enthusiasts we set up our own ‘tree’. The idea of making free face coverings – or a donation if you could afford it – really appealed to me. Our local butchers kindly provided space for our ‘tree’ outside their shop in a central part of our village – helping us to reach as many of our community as possible with affordable face coverings.

The RNLI and Essex & Herts Air Ambulance were chosen by our community as the charities we would support – they are both vital to our village. Once the announcement from the government was made that masks would be compulsory in shops and enclosed spaces we became very busy! In that day alone donations were made for 70 face coverings. I would top up the tree with face coverings – and collect any donations made – daily to ensure a good supply. This meant sewing, packaging and labeling masks most evenings.

Overall myself and the other sewers made around 900 face coverings throughout July and August – raising a total amount of £1682.96 to be shared between the chosen charities. It was great to feel like I was assisting our village by providing this service and I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of our community. I feel very proud to have been nominated for this award and it has inspired me to continue volunteering in some way in the future.”

Michelle’s Nomination: “Michelle singlehandedly organised the ‘Community Mask Tree’ and made many of the 788 face masks herself. All she asked was people made a donation (suggested £2) – Michelle’s initiative has raised £1500 to be shared between the Air Ambulance and RNLI charities.”

Saskia Openshaw

My name is Saskia, during the first lockdown I was 8 years old (I’m 9 now!). I really wanted to do something to help the NHS and protect people from the corona virus. I made plaques and sold them to raise money for the NHS. I worked really hard on them every afternoon after I’d finished my school work. I was hoping to raise £30 but I actually sold enough plaques to raise £348! I was so happy! I hope that the money I raised has helped people who were poorly with the virus.

When my Mum and Dad told me that I had been nominated for a special award I was so surprised and really excited! I think it’s really nice that so many people did something to help other people, and I think it shows that everyone cares about each other. I am very grateful or being nominated and I will remember this experience forever! “

Saskia’s Nomination: “Saskia Openshaw Saskia made wooden plaques for fathers day which she sold to raise money for the NHS. She has worked very hard to get all the plaques ready, some were for fathers days but they could have anything written on them. She started with a very modest £35 target but ended up raising an amazing £348.”

Debbie de Boltz

“Normally I am the fundraising manager at Farleigh Hospice but with a number of our clinical staff having to initially shield in March, we needed extra staff to help deliver our services in the community. So I offered to work with the Hospice at Home team caring for our patients facing the end of their lives, in their own homes.

Being a carer can be challenging, but always so rewarding, knowing you are helping people at the most difficult time of their lives. Covid hit those with life limiting illnesses extremely hard and the isolation meant friends and family could not visit to help or to say goodbye.

So proud I was able to help for 4 ½ months and I kept my fundraising role going at the same time as Farleigh is so dependent upon donations. This pandemic has hit our income significantly, but I know we will continue to be there for anyone who needs us so this nomination for Recognition of Service is for everyone at Farleigh – not just me.”

Debbie’s Nomination: “Main fundraiser for Farleigh Hospice, from the day when Farleigh had to move end of life care in to homes of the ill people, she went out as a helper with the Farleigh nurses while still doing all the fundraising for Farleigh!

She also had time to help her neighbours with food and shopping. Always making sure that she did spread C-19 to anyone because of here emends carefulness and more then 100% sticking to government guidelines to social distances. Of course while out with Farleigh nurses she was in full PPE.

She is one of the most hard working people I have ever known and also the most carrying. For her to help with end of life care was not easy as it’s not many years since her other half died. If you ever ask Debbie for help you will always get the answer, yes with pleasure…”


View the Winners Video Presentations