Carl Wakefield with the Students & Staff of Plume Academy

‘[we were] truly humbled to be short-listed for the Maldon District Recognition of Service Awards, however, it has without any shadow of a doubt been a superb team effort over the past eight months by all stakeholders associated with the Plume Family.

Whilst being immensely proud to lead the academy, without the fantastic and sustained effort of our outstanding team of teaching and support staff throughout the entire lockdown period, very much including evenings, weekends and entire traditional holiday periods, we would not have achieved what we genuinely feel we have thus far.

The same can be said for our wonderfully supportive parents and carers who have backed us all the way so as to ensure the students we are most fortunate to work alongside have had what we feel has been as positive an experience as possible despite the unique nature of the times we have all had to very carefully navigate our way through.

Therefore, this formal recognition is both greatly appreciated as well as genuinely accepted on behalf of the entire Plume Academy Family.’

Plume’s Nomination: “Carl and the students at Plume have been making visors for care homes, NHS staff and the community throughout the coronavirus outbreak. The school have made literally hundreds of visors which have been distributed across the county”

Caron Joy Tribble Doyle

“For anyone who knows me they will say I’m a bit of technophobe, I have enough knowledge to get by, but have little time for new gadgets and technology. The idea that I could be nominated for an award in technology would make many laugh, but this year the world changed and I found I needed to change with it.

As a church leader I am used to constantly being with people, and nearly always being with people face to face, on that first Sunday in lockdown, unable to have our usual service in our hall I knew sending a newsletter out every week was not going to give people what we needed. We were made to live in community, to share with each other and encourage each other (especially in faith journeys). That week I looked at what our options were, facebook streaming? youtube? lifesize? zoom? all of these were new (and challenging) technologies for me. Zoom won out, because it did what we as a community most needed it to do, providing a space for people to meet.
That week I found myself not only navigating this technology for myself, but also sharing with others how it worked, spending time talking them through step by step how they could meet with their friends again. For us Zoom was the clear way forward because it did not rely on people needing the internet or a screen, but allowed people to call in. I feel it has been most beneficial for those who join us by phone because they are the least likely to see others due to isolating.
There were some false starts, there was a very steep learning curve, there has been a time where those joining us have grown in confidence in this technology and some of the work load could be shared, and again, I found myself explaining how to use this technology. We have had zoom coffee mornings, church services, planning meetings in ways we could never have imagined before.  We have a growing community who join us online, by e-mail on the phone but not to forget those who join us by post – technology is not for everyone. What has happened is we have stayed connected, we are still a community, just not physically together.
I’m sure that there are people who have gone to greater lengths with technology, who have done more than I could comprehend. But I am proud of how I have continued to carry out my role as a minister through the use of technology because of the people who have joined me on this journey.”

Caron’s Nomination: “Since the beginning of lockdown Caron has worked to move The Salvation Army in Maldon online coordinating the virtual worship, online community and pastoral care using a range of digital means. She has been key in ensuring that worship and prayer resources have gone to everyone in this community no matter there technical ability. As this has all been done online it has enabled this to all be done remotely and therefore has at all times adhered to all government guidelines.”

Stewart Adkins

“What a delightful surprise! I have always been happy to share what little knowledge I have, so to be nominated for an award in recognition of that is an unlooked for but wonderful bonus.

My former colleagues will be amazed that I might know more than some people about the digital world but let’s not forget the old saying – in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.

All I have done is help people get online using tablets and dongles provided by The Good Things Foundation. However, I soon realised that getting online opens up a new world of opportunity for people who were often stuck indoors with nothing but a TV for company. Now they can shop online, order prescriptions, video call their relatives and search for jobs. Most of us take these things for granted but we really shouldn’t.”

Stewart’s Nomination: “Stewart has gone above and beyond with his online Digital Support during this time. He has not only offered his services to help people online with various services such as; booking GP app’s, registering online for the Governments vulnerable list and providing people with support and help with online shopping but he has also helped to run online Zoom sessions for Make It Click acting as a host and helping people in a clear and concise mannner.”

Ross Holland

“Although it’s nice to receive recognition it’s not the reason I created the FB group. I’m sure if I hadn’t done someone else would have. This was always about our community and seeing how the group has been used (and rarely abused) over the past 9 months is something the community should be proud of… I know I’ve done something good and that good thing has helped people. I don’t need any more than that.”

Ross’s Nomination: “In early March Ross set up the Maldon District covid 19 facebook page to be a site dedicated to communicating reliable information relating to the corona outbreak and for local community information to be shared.

At the time of writing this nomination there are over 2000 people connected through this page.

The page has been a platform for the response team to share information and recruit volunteers, for local businesses to promote their offers to the community and keep people up to date with changes to their services, for people to ask for help and offer resources such as homemade face coverings and more.”

Emma Durrant

“We shifted quickly to online singing although it was very strange as everyone except me needed to be muted due to the time delay! I never heard them singing at all through lockdown and had to imagine what they sounded like!

Despite this being better than nothing I then discovered that our virtual rehearsals were sometimes the only time singers would see other people and knowing this made me want to do more.”

Emma’s Nomination for Technology: “Emma was unable to have rehearsals for her Sound Collective Community Choir from mid March until the current time. She sustained her 120 members through this time by adopting Zoom to conduct rehearsals, and using sound recordings sent in by individual members to produce stunning recordings, utilising editing software at home to splice the voices together to create a whole. Through this virtual presence, members have continued their creative efforts and community spirit.”


View the Winners Video Presentations