23rd March 2016
People who have made a major contribution to community safety and crime prevention in Essex have been given well-deserved recognition and thanks at the prestigious High Sheriffs’ Awards ceremony.
The team at South East Essex Advocacy for Older People (SEEAFOP) is nominated by Jim Clinkscales to receive recognition for the inclusive manner in which they support, value and generously acknowledge the valuable contribution of their volunteers. SEEAFOP acts as an advocate for people aged 60 and over who experience financial and/or social difficulties in their lives. Many of the volunteers are now in their 80’s and Jim states “the quality of service and support at SEEAFOP becomes evident when many of these long-serving volunteers are still going strong and still feel rewarded after so many years”. WINNER OF THE VOLUNTEER CENTRE ESSEX AWARD
Volunteer Scam Buster Team of SAVS was set up to provide a local solution to the growing national problem of older people being targeted by criminal gangs and organisations. The Team is receiving a High Sheriffs’ Certificate to acknowledge their success in supporting older people at risk from such activities in Southend. WINNER OF ESSEX POLICE CUP
Southend Association of Voluntary Services £777: To support a home visiting safety scheme for vulnerable older people in Southend-on Sea
More than 40 voluntary and community organisations were represented at this year’s ceremony held at Hylands House in Chelmsford and trophies, certificates and grants totalling £23,541, were presented by the outgoing High Sheriff of Essex, Vincent Thompson.
The grants came from the High Sheriffs’ Fund, which is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).
Vincent Thompson, who is the 835th High Sheriff of Essex, paid tribute to the people of Essex as he came to the end of his busy and successful year of office, during which he has visited the Courts, spent time with Essex Police, Essex County Fire and Rescue and the Ambulance Service.
He said: “Without exception I have been hugely impressed by the dedication, expertise, care and attention shown by all the people I have met who look after our wellbeing.”
Vincent also praised the hundreds of volunteers from across the county who he met during his year. He said, “It is estimated that nearly 400,000 people undertake some form of charity or voluntary work in Essex. They are the representatives of this crucial part of our society without which we could not function.
“An important part of the role of the High Sheriff is to recognise and promote the voluntary sector, with particular emphasis on those organisations which support law and order and tackle crime and social problems.
“The voluntary sector plays an essential role in the wellbeing of the county and one of the most rewarding aspects of the High Sheriffs’ year is to see them in action. I have seen, first-hand, the wonderful work carried out by these organisations, often by people who seek no reward for themselves and whose sole motivation is to support others. It is a pleasure and a privilege to help give them the recognition they so richly deserve.
“ECF has been of great value to me during my year of office and the High Sheriffs’ Fund gives much needed support to the organisations helping to prevent crime and promoting community safety.
“During my travels around the county I have realised that the role of High Sheriff is still much respected and although it is an ancient role it is still very relevant today.”
Since it came under ECF’s management in 1997 the High Sheriffs’ Fund has distributed nearly 560 grants totalling almost £460,000 to voluntary and community organisations.
Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF said: “The High Sheriffs’ Fund is a valuable financial resource for the voluntary sector in Essex. We are delighted to manage the fund and work with the successive High Sheriffs so that greater support can be given to people in the county who are tackling important issues at a local level.”
The High Sheriffs’ Award Scheme recognises community initiatives which address crime, community safety and anti-social behaviour. The office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year. The High Sheriff receives no expenses and the role comes at no cost to the public purse.
For more information about Essex Community Foundation and the High Sheriffs’ Fund, the Awards presented this year and to view photographs of the event visit www.essexcommunityfoundation.org.uk