6th March 2020
Voluntary organisations that work to make their communities safer and better places to live have been recognised at this year’s prestigious High Sheriffs’ Awards.
An organisation that provides online safety courses for vulnerable people in Braintree, a project supporting survivors of domestic abuse in Harlow, and a youth club for those living on the Melbourne Estate in Chelmsford, were among those to receive awards.
Around 180 guests attended this year’s ceremony held at Hylands House in Chelmsford where trophies, certificates and grants totalling £33,000 were presented by the outgoing High Sheriff of Essex, Dr James Bettley.
The grants came from the High Sheriffs’ Fund, which was established to give credit to community initiatives that address crime, community safety and anti-social behaviour, and is managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).
James Bettley, the 839th High Sheriff of Essex, has travelled to all areas of the county during his year of office. As well as meeting many voluntary organisations, he visited the Courts and spent time with Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.
James said, “It has been a huge privilege to undertake this role and a real pleasure to have met so many people doing such good and interesting things.”
“The Awards ceremony provides the opportunity to celebrate the enormous amount of important work that is being done, covering a very wide range of issues, including hate crime, homelessness, addiction to alcohol and drugs, reoffending, knife crime, the racism directed at Travellers, and the various challenges faced by refugees and migrants.”
Since it came under ECF’s management in 1997 the High Sheriffs’ Fund has distributed grants totalling over half a million pounds to voluntary and community organisations.
Alongside the grants, five awards were presented to the following organisations:
Rachel Tufnell, from North Avenue Youth Centre, said: “We are delighted to receive this recognition from the High Sheriff and Essex Police. Our work at the youth club focuses on empowering young people from the Melbourne Estate, in Chelmsford, to reach their full potential in life.
“Through the wide range of activities, we run and support provided by staff and volunteers, we aim to combat the educational, social and economic disadvantages that they face”.
Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of ECF, said, “We are so pleased to manage the High Sheriffs’ Fund, working with successive High Sheriffs’ to support the local charities and voluntary groups whose work contributes to community safety in Essex.”
In addition to the grants awarded from the High Sheriffs’ Fund, ECF was able to leverage a further £57,000 from other funds under its management.
For a full list of grants awarded, click here.
To view photographs from the event, click here.