Andrew Taylor

“Back in May I was just scrolling through Facebook and noticed a post asking if anyone had a trampoline they was not using anymore, as a family who had a child with SEN would appreciate one. There wasn’t any comments suggesting the poster had found one, therefore I volunteered to purchase this little girl a trampoline 🙂 At the time it seemed trampolines were going out of stock as the weather was nice and everyone was at home. So I managed to secure one from Smyths so went and collected it and then dropped off at a Salvation Army drop off point for this little girl. I am shocked in all fairness that I have been nominated as I know there has been so much kindness shared through the community during this hard time. However I appreciate the recognition for this act of kindness.”

Andrew’s Nomination: “Andrew went above and beyond in supporting a young family who were shielding during lockdown by purchasing a trampoline for their young disabled daughter. Andrew went out of his way to track down a trampoline and paid for it out of his own pocket in order to ensure the young girl was able to have some form of entertainment and stimulation while being stuck at home.”

Lee Johnson

“My Wife and I had to close our body shop in April and we had a car park full of insured loan cars that were not being used.

We decided to offer these cars out free of charge to any NHS worker that might need one locally, via Facebook. It was a no brainer that the unused cars could come to someone’s rescue!”


Lee’s Nomination: “When his business had to close (Maldon car body) during lockdown, he allowed his loan cars to be used for local nurses etc to get around for free.”

Kevin Jennings

“As a shop manager for the salvation army and a local born and bred maldonian, I felt it was important for me to get involved with the local community efforts during lockdown 1.0…. by the time we were aware of a virus potentially spreading worldwide, I had already been liaising with the local corps and arranged to set the shop up as a community hub and noticeboard [for information]…

As soon as lockdown hit, I offered myself up in any way shape or form to help the local community effort. I was assigned to deal with urgent cases that came through the response line. Over and above everything I knew I needed to act quickly and promptly to offer help to people who, due to a complete lockdown, had nothing. I’m blessed in having a supportive family and friends group, but I knew people out there who needed that too, and if I could offer that to them, I would. Many days I spent on the telephone just assuring people that they were going to be ok. As someone who has had to deal with depression myself, this became natural to me to help pick people up and encourage a sense of worth and a confidence in their ability to ‘survive’.
I also contacted some national companies to donate goods that would help peoples mental health; jigsaws, games and books were duly organised and sent out to residents. I also helped to organise a book drive and a carers thankyou pack. These were all things that I hope made people happy.
The entire lockdown has had a profound effect on me, and helping the Maldon District Community Response really has enforced in me how truly important communities are to help and support others. I also know that i would absolutely step in if another such occurance were to happen.
Kevin’s Nomination:“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.”

Sophie Bleeker

“During the first lockdown, I was working from home, delivering online therapy to children and young people in Essex. As a way of managing this period of anxiety and uncertainty, I spent a lot of my spare time looking after my houseplants and the garden I share with my mother-in-law. We started by planning what vegetable or plant was going to go where and when we would sow what. This was followed by sowing and planting these together and often reorganising the garden. I spent at least 30 minutes every day in the garden, often alongside her, watering and looking after our many plants.
My husband is on the autistic spectrum and finds managing change and uncertainty difficult. As such, we spent a lot of time adjusting to the ‘new normal’, trying to keep a routine and making things somewhat predictable where possible. We kept in touch with friends and family virtually and tried to play table-top games weekly as this is a shared passion.
The nomination came as a big surprise, as I don’t feel I’ve done extraordinary. Supporting the children and families I work with is something I enjoy and take pride in, it’s natural for me to support those around me in my personal life in whichever way works for them, be that in the garden or on the table-top 😊.”
Sophie’s Nomination: “I would like to nominate my daughter in law in the category of “kindness” for going above and beyond to support her husband with his anxieties, for helping me create a beautiful garden which we can all enjoy and take pleasure from while continuing to work from home for the NHS in her position as Assistant Psychologist with the Children’s Team. During the pandemic she celebrated her 30th birthday without her family from the Netherlands. It was supposed to be a joyous occasion with relatives visiting from abroad, but instead she had a socially distant gathering in the garden with 6 friends, one of whom had recently lost his wife to Covid 19. Myself and my son have both been shielding during this time, but through all our tears she has remained calm, supportive and above all kind. Kind in her words, kind in her actions and kind and considerate to those around her.”

Julie Taylor

“How do I feel we were nominated? Absolutely thrilled!  We don’t feel like we did much, so great someone thinks we did! During the 17 weeks the cafe was closed we stayed closed longer than some buisnesss as we wanted to make sure it was safe to reopen. We went to 27 homes per week [supplying food].. we did have help from Morrison’s and Tescos who donated items but no money changed hands which we feel was a great achievement to every one who did this; we pulled together as a community.  My self, my husband and 2 sons alongside 2 volunteers spent up to 6 or 7 hours a day out doing this [using] social distancing… spoke to the single elderly people who simply lacked company more than anything else and if it rained we called them…

We went to homes with family’s some had 5 plus kids and to our lovely senior citizens we even did a lady’s 100th birthday where we took gifts and waved through the window; she was over the moon! We did VE day afternoon tea and so so many roast dinners and pies and puds.
We enjoyed doing this, it was hard work and stressful [but] as we all know loneliness is a terrible thing. We posted on the cafe Facebook page please wave to your neighbours and call them and people told us this did happen. I pray we never have to go through this again as it really upset so many of our OAPS.It was definitely an experience but I really think the community pulled together and we all need a pat on the back….
Julie’s Nomination: “Julie goes to families in the maldon district, they could be families on low income or vulnerable people shielding or alone. She delivers food and essential items, if there is anything they specifically need Julie will do her upmost to source it, including children’s clothes etc. More than her great work Julie has a big heart, listening to people that need someone just to talk to. Her kind personality and words help so many people cope with life. I think recognition for Julie is important as she never expects anything back from anyone, and this is a rare quality.”

View the Winners Video Presentations