“It was I real surprise to receive this [nomination] as my involvement was very much as one of many frontline workers. My main role was being part of the small team preparing and sorting food parcels from the Salvation Army Hall. Alongside Jon and others from Churches Together in Maldon, I helped to make sure that the support service available from Maldon CVS was communicated as widely as possible via flyers, social media, banners and word of mouth.
I also was one of the team on the telephone support service and time and again it was a real privilege to support individuals make sense of very challenging times. One couple who ran a business locally was struggling to access the government grant and through contacts in our church I was able to signpost them to the right person and to hopefully speed up the process by which they receive that financial support.
When so much was shut down it was a privilege to work alongside other members of our community and the steering group at Maldon CVS to support the most vulnerable at a very difficult time.”
Andy’s Nomination: “Andy was an amazing team member for the Food response in Maldon giving of his time willingly and providing support every week through lockdown. Andy went above and beyond in so many things not just supporting with making food parcels but also doing the unseen jobs required in keeping The Salvation Army building clean and sanitised for the protection of service users. Andy at all times adhered to all the government guidelines and the required procedures in providing the food parcels.”
“What did I do? Well, I think all I did really was to harness the kindness, selflessness and generosity of others, that already existed in my local community, and give it some shape and purpose by pulling it together into a 135 person collaboration of volunteers that we called the Neighbourhood Coronavirus Support Network, or NCSN.
It started when I returned form a trip to Vietnam with a cough, just a few days before the lockdown first began, and had to self isolate. During that time I thought about the people in my community doing the same thing but that didn’t benefit from having the support network that I had. At that time there was no co-ordinated response to Coronavirus in the UK so I posted online for volunteers who might like to join me to try and offer a helping hand to those who needed it most. This rapidly turned into a leaflet campaign to every household in Great Totham, Little Totham, Wickham Bishops and the Braxteds and the start of NCSN.
During the first lockdown, NCSN delivered to over 100 households with over 500 instances of support including collection of prescriptions, shopping, delivering free food parcels and newspapers, dog walking and support calls to those who just needed somebody to talk to. I am extremely lucky to have some brilliant village co-ordinators who worked with me on the administration and communication processes, making it all possible. This was absolutely a massive team effort that deserves recognition beyond myself and we were totally chuffed when the NCSN received the High Sheriff of Essex Certificate in recognition of our individual and team contributions.
I am not only proud of what we achieved but also feel inspired by those I volunteer alongside and humbled by this nomination as I was just one cog in a beautifully well oiled machine.”
Lisa’s Nomination: “Lisa has been coordinating the Neighbourhood Coronavirus Support Network (NCSN) for Wickham Bishops, Great and Little Braxted, and Great and Little Totham. This has resulted in a very active team of volunteers, helping vulnerable local residents with shopping, collection of medication, and general support. Lisa has provided effective leadership and ensured that volunteers (most without previous experience of this sort of work) have behaved professionally and in accordance with government guidelines.”
“Initially it was such an unknown situation that safety of our staff and customers was our number one concern. We took the heart wrenching decision to close the shop front, the first time this had ever happened in our history, and overnight we geared up to run a delivery only service reaching as many customers as we possibly could whilst maintaining COVID-19 safe operating practices.
It was such a huge change to how we operate, involving long days and pushing ourselves to get as many orders as possible delivered every day. It simply which would not have been possible without the support of our staff and family members, coming into work.
Ansells has been trading for over 90 years and a number of our customers are second and third generation. Our personal relationship with our customers proved essential – we made sure we phoned those we knew were elderly, vulnerable or didn’t have internet access to make sure they weren’t missed, and we even increased our range to include milk, flour and in one case toilet rolls! It was a real community spirit. I am thrilled and humbled to be nominated for this award, but I honestly could not have done any of it without everyone at Ansells pulling together – I am so incredibly proud of the whole team.”
Paul’s Nomination: “Paul led the team at Ansell & Sons butchers throughout the challenging COVID-19 outbreak. He and the team closed their shop initially to protect staff & customers as it was impossible to socially distance safely within the confines of their small shop. They immediately expanded the capacity of their home delivery service to enable them to continue to provide vital food supplies to local residents. This involved the whole family with Mum taking orders by email & phone, Dad processing orders and Paul’s wife helping with deliveries in order to meet the significant increase in demand for home delivery. Together with Paul and the staff in the shop this was a fantastic team effort.”
“I got involved very early in the pandemic as I saw a call out from The Salvation Army shop wanting ziplock bags and containers for handing out pasta etc from the food bank they were setting up. I am the cook for our local guiding group and we had just had news that our 2020 trip to Essex Jamboree was cancelled due to Covid so I had a large supply of bags to donate!
Julia’s Nomination: “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.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.”
“Clare Thompson owns and runs the village shop and post office in Great Totham. This has remained open throughout the crisis, with suitable changes to layout to ensure safety of customers and staff. Clare and her staff work long hours at the best of times, and now in addition to that they have had to manage the personal risk to their own health – risks which they have however minimised by the way in which customers and transactions are managed. Their attitude and behaviour throughout has been friendly and professional.”