CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS 2023

Residents Nomination Award – this is awarded to Bryan Roth.  Bryan regularly posts “feel good” stories on North Weald Village Life Facebook page, entertaining people with comments from everyday life.  Bryan recently became a widower and documents his journey of keeping busy, learning to cook and how he is coping with being on his own. 

Volunteer Award – this is awarded to Margaret Mulliner.  Following the sudden death of husband George, Margaret, who was already the ‘go to’ person when problems arose at North Weald Village Hall during George’s illness, was persuaded to take on the Chair of the Village Hall Charity.  For the past year she has continued to lead the Village Hall team and is always willing to cover jobs such as cleaning, bookings, correspondence, etc., when needed. 

Sporting Award – this is awarded to Joanne Ryan.  Joanne was selected to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the 4 x 100 metre relay team at the European Masters Athletics Championships in Pescara Italy last year.   The team, with Joanne as lead runner, won a gold medal.  Due to previous commitments, Joanne is unable to attend this evening, and therefore will be presented with her award at the Annual Parish Council Meeting to be held on 13th May.

Local Business Award, Highly Commended – this is awarded to Mary Crosby.  Mary is the organiser of the community Farmer’s Market held in the Parish Hall on the 1st Saturday of every month.

Special Community Champions – this is awarded to Darren Goodey and Mike Whitham – North Weald Airfield Operations.  In May 2023 Darren Goodey, Service Manager and Mike Witham, Operations Officer of North Weald Airfield Operations Team, were first on the scene to administer lifesaving first aid to Ken Waylett after the Chairman of the Lotus Drivers Club became ill during a driver training visit.  Having made the crucial first intervention, Darren and Mike handed over to paramedics from the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance based at the airfield. 

Community Award – this is awarded to the Community Speedwatch team.  Coordinated by Cllr Baden Clegg and local resident Jimmy Waters, the volunteer led Community Speedwatch team continues to operate around the parish.  The team continue to highlight particular areas of concern such as Upland Road, Weald Bridge Road and Hastingwood Road.  Cllr Andy Irvine is an active member of the team in Hastingwood.

Recognition Award – this is awarded to the Poppy Collection Volunteer Group at North Weald Airfield.  Cllr Tyler and friends from North Weald have been active in collecting for the Poppy Appeal on North Weald Airfield since 2018.  The group originally responded to an appeal from the North Weald Poppy Appeal organiser, who was looking for volunteer collectors in the absence of any volunteer members from the Royal British Legion.  The group are present on Saturdays for 3 weeks on the run up to Remembrance Sunday, regardless of the weather.  New Parish Councillor Colin Kinnear joined the group last year.

Organisation of the Year – this is awarded to North Weald Village Ploughman’s Group.

This organisation is run by an avid group of volunteers, who also undertake other functions within the village of North Weald.  The group provide this monthly event which enables social inclusion and befriending across all generations.  It allows people to get together and have a friendly chat and a meal.

Group Award, Highly Commended – this is awarded to former members of the North Weald Preservation Society – who look after the planter next to the flagpole on the Village Green in North Weald, providing a much welcome burst of colour throughout the year.

Group of the Year Award – this is awarded to the Friends of St Andrew’s School (FOSTAS).  The group, led by Ele Fox and Jane O’Leary, won the People’s choice show garden at the BBC Gardener’s World Autumn Fair at Audley End.  With help from the school’s Eco-Warriors group, they designed the garden which is to be re-sited in the grounds of St Andrew’s Primary School.  The whole FOSTA’s team have raised over £20,000 through various fundraising events to build a new inclusive play sensory trail in the school enabling equal access to meaningful play experiences for all children.  The team hold pre-loved uniform sales in school to ensure all children and families have access to affordable uniform options.  They worked with St Andrew’s Church to ensure that children living in local temporary accommodation all received a Christmas present. The FOSTAS team were nominated by the Clerk for Epping Forest District Council’s Team of the Year and were awarded winners in that category at the Civic Awards in March.

The overall winner of the Citizen of the Year Awards 2023 is awarded to Special Community Champions Darren Goodey and Mike Witham