Brightlingsea Family Support is among 19 recipients of this year’s Pride of Tendring Awards – the district’s own ‘New Year’s Honours List’. The initiative is aimed at highlighting those deserving stalwarts from all walks of life who have made a real difference to others in the community.

Family Support hosts two lunch clubs, supported by volunteers. They have volunteer drivers and escorts who collect anyone wishing to attend who are on their own or housebound. The volunteers help to prepare food, serve two course lunches, tea and coffee, wash up and still find time to sit and chat to clients. Often the lunch clubsis the only event many residents attend, giving them company in an otherwise lonely week

As well as serving at the lunch clubs, some also find time to man the Autumn Centre shop in Brightlingsea, which sells disabled equipment and anything that improves the quality of life of their members or the public. Any money raised goes towards keeping minibuses on the road and some volunteers go and visit those who are housebound, taking them out to the shops or collecting things for them. The minibuses are also used for other clubs and the volunteer drivers also drive for these groups.

Tendring District Councillors were given the opportunity to put forward their own nominations and as always they represent a wide variety of groups and organisations throughout the area. They include men and women of all ages who do so much good work in and for their communities and are richly deserving of these accolades.

TDC Chairman Jayne Chapman thanked all those who have been supportive of the event again this year. “I never cease to be amazed by the overall standard of nominations which keep coming forward from all parts of Tendring year after year,” she said. “They are all worthy winners and the awards give us the chance to honour just some of those people who do so much for others without any thought of any type of reward for themselves.”

Cllr Chapman added: “It is a joy to be able to give them this small thank you on behalf of all those they have supported and will, no doubt, continue to help over years to come. It is often the case that these unsung heroes are helping the most vulnerable members of our society and we thank them for their fantastic efforts.”

An awards ceremony will take place at Clacton’s Princes Theatre on Friday February 3. The awards are run by Tendring District Council (TDC) and have the support of the Clacton, Frinton and Walton Gazette and the Harwich and Manningtree Standard and sponsored by Dong Energy and East of England Co-operative Funeral Service in Clacton.