More Celebration of Our Local Community & Residents



by Editor // in People


This year the Rayleigh & Rochford Lib Dems were asked to help judge for these awards, which we were proud to be a part of.

Press release from Rochford District Council

Local people who make a big difference to the Rochford district were celebrated at Rochford District Council’s annual Citizen of the Year Awards ceremony on Thursday, May 10.

Simon Taylor from Rochford was announced as Rochford District Council’s Citizen of the Year 2018. Simon’s nomination describes how he has given thousands of hours of his own time volunteering as a Community First Responder, and has even known to have left during meal times in order to respond to an emergency. Judges’ feedback included: “Very well done”, and “Much needed skills to be used with concern and passion”.

Simon said: “It was an honour to be nominated for an award, let alone be declared the overall Citizen of the Year! The role of a Community First Responder can be challenging, as we often support people during a very difficult time. However it is also very satisfying, and this recognition makes it even more worthwhile. I’d like to spread the word about all Community First Responders so they can be recognised for their dedication”.

Other awards included:

Libby Robertson, age 10 from Rayleigh, won the Young Citizen award. Libby was nominated for her efforts to raise funds for a local dog shelter, including a Charity Ball which raised over £3,000.

Lorraine Jibb, from Canewdon, won the Charitable Support award. Lorraine was nominated for her fundraising efforts for local hospices which support children, young people and adults living in and around the district of Rochford.

Abbey Parsons, from Rochford, won the Community Spirit award. Abbey was nominated for her volunteer work at a local youth club where she is the Activity and Fundraising Manager, as well as her efforts outside of the district such as fundraising for the hospital’s children’s ward – all whilst studying for a degree at university.

The awards were presented by the Chairman of Rochford District Council, Cllr Mrs Lesley Butcher, who said: “Congratulations to Simon, Libby, Lorraine, Abbey and all of this year’s nominees. It is people like this who are the glue that holds our community together. I was pleased to see so many strong nominations come in so that we could give thanks and recognition for the help and support which often goes unseen, and urge people to continue nominating deserved people in future years”.

Rochford District Council’s Citizen of the Year Awards are held annually to recognise and acknowledge residents of the Rochford district for their valuable hard work and outstanding achievements. This year a total of 32 nominations were received for 18 different people who contribute to the district’s community in many different ways. The nominations were considered by a panel of judges consisting of Council Members representing all of Rochford District Council’s political groups, as well as the Chairman’s Chaplain.Nominations for the 2019 Citizen of the Year Awards will open later this year. For information visit:

Full list of nominees:


Young Citizen (3 nominations received)

Sophie Keig, age 12, from Rochford

Libby Robertson, age 10, from Rayleigh

Florence Thomas, age 12, from Rochford


Charitable Support Category (5 nominations received)

Pat Byford, from Rayleigh

Lorraine Jibb, from Canewdon

Bill Neobard, from Hockley

Bruce Smart, from Rayleigh

Jo Wardle, from Ashingdon


Community Spirit Category (24 nominations received for 10 nominees)

Jeanne Barker, from Ashingdon

Carina Davies, from Hockley

David Haydon, from Rochford

Shirley James, from Hockley

Abbey Parsons, from Ashingdon

Keith Price, from Great Wakering

Sussanne Rothon, from Great Wakering

Gary Stephenson, from Hockley

Simon Taylor, from Rochford

John Whatley, from Great Wakering

About the author, Editor

  • It was a wonderful evening – well done to all winners and nominees. It was a shame the judging panel did not bother to turn up after playing such an important part in the process. But a successful
    event netherless

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