The nominees who inspire us everyday

Connor Allen, 15;

WITH the upcoming Festival Leisure and The Enquirer Community Awards next Monday, this week we wanted to feature some of the amazing people who work so hard for our community and have been nominated for an award.

Volunteer of the Year includes Phyl McLaren who set up and runs the Basildon emergency night shelter. It is now open 7 nights a week from November to the end of March with over 170 volunteers helping to run the shelters. She works tirelessly to help and support the street homeless in Basildon.


Jacque James and the Team at the Basildon Hospital Radio has been serving the Hospital in Basildon for more than 40 years. This station provides entertainment, information and news to the patients, staff and guests of the hospital. BHR is a registered charity living from donations. The wonderful staff volunteers continually fund raise throughout the year.

All the money donated to Basildon Hospital Radio goes towards running the radio service, so they can supply entertainment, information and news free of charge to the patients of the hospital.

Connor Allen works tirelessly with the Karis May Darling foundation. His friend Karis died of septicaemia menochocoll when she was 11. It started with his parents setting up a foundation and putting together a young group of performers to raise money for the foundation which supports young children in the arts and sports.

Connor then continued to get more heavily involved in many events and fund raising and taking more than just an active role.

During the last few years he has taken on the management of the Karis May fete held annually, where local talent performs along with stall holders and activities.

Connor works in London now so all his spare time is used leading up to the event.

Fundraiser of the Year includes Danny Lawrence he spends many late evenings doing the accounts and tirelessly applying for grants to keep Gateway 97.8 radio running. He always makes sure that there are drinks available for the volunteers and guests and makes sure that everyone is happy.

Every year he fundraisers and without him Gateway 97.8 would not be where it is now.

Joanne Dilly has special needs children herself but yet spends most of her time fundraising for other special needs families.

She runs discounted events and activities that hundreds of families across Essex has used in the last couple of years through the charity Ronnies Way. She used to also raise money for Pioneer special school on the parent fundraising team.

Young Fundraiser of the Year includes Millie Wiseman, 10 who organised a fundraiser for Chess homeless shelter. She visited the shelter in Chelmsford, then invited friends and neighbours to a presentation where she told everyone about the charity. She then invited friends to a sleepover on the floor and raised over £500.

Sydney Mae has been a member of Basildon and Pitsea Carnival for the last 4 year’s supporting various charities in fundraising in her time. Local Charities include the Rainbow Trust, SADS UK and Mind Basildon.

Chloe Atkins joined the local carnival as a princess at the age of 11, and raises money to keep the carnival going and represents the town of Basildon in the South East.

Emergency Services Award includes Steve Jones who is a paramedic and whilst off duty and in bed, heard an accident outside his house at midnight, went out and a woman had collapsed at the wheel and wasn’t breathing and he started CPR and saved her life.

Geoff Wheal is a lovely gentleman has spent 32 years as a firefighter and charity fundraiser organising.

Inspiring Young person includes Morgan Weller, who at only 12 inspires a lot of people through a dance known as krump. She has travelled to Europe and America to support and encourage youth dancers and became the first child at 8 to become a member of krump, whose ethos is to encourage, support and guide women and children.

George Tillson is a young carer to his mother and his brother and also helps his auntie who has disabilities and two children with ASD. The little spare time that he has he is a young leader at a local Cub Scout group.

Harry Powell who is 6 and autistic recently got given the all clear from cancer in December having spent 3 months in GOSH hospital having one of the most aggressive forms of chemotherapy there is. In this time he also lost his grandad to a brain tumour, and Harry is the most inspiring, caring and loving little boy and surprises his family every day with he’s bravery and zest for life.


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