Village Resident Honoured with a ‘Pride of Tendring Award’

VILLAGE RESIDENT HONOURED WITH A
“PRIDE OF TENDRING AWARD”

This is the Award Certificate presented to Mr James McColl-Smith recognising his significant contribution, to running a disabled Club, specifically to cater for a section of his local residents, for which no other facilities exist.
The certificate was presented to James by the Chief Executive of Tendring District Council, Mr Ian Davidson.


James applauds the stage entertainment


James and wife Margaret who works with him.


James receives his Award Certificate from Tendring
District Council Chief Officer, Mr Ian Davidson.


James leaving the platform after the presentation.
You will note that he himself uses a walking stick

Your District Council Members have the opportunity to recommend to Tendring’s Chairman, a person working in their ward, whose effort is directed at service to others. This year the nomination was for Mr James McColl-Smith, (better known to many in the ward as ‘Jimbo’) On Friday3rd February at 6.50 p.m. Councillor John White arrived at Jimbo’s home in Spring Road St Osyth, to pick him and wife Margaret up to deliver them to the Tendring District Council Chairman’s parlour, for a pre evening gathering of fellow award candidates.
James was called up on to the stage to have his award presented by Mr Ian Davidson the Chief Executive of Tendring D.C. and by Mr Andrew Greenleaf Head of the Gunfleet Sands Operations.

A citation was read out to the assembled guests in the Princess Theatre which said:
“He founded and has since run a Disabled Persons’ Club for residents in Point Clear and St Osyth village and near neighbours. He is helped by his wife Margaret. The club meets in the Village Hall every two weeks.
When asked by me if he would accept an Award he said only if it was clear that the award was on behalf of his disabled members and helpers.
James has said that the Clubs purpose was to help the lonely and vulnerable in the local community and just beyond. His personal belief is that loneliness itself is a killer and is largely responsible for much mental illness and whilst people say “Someone should do something about it”, his club tries to fill the void. It is a hard job he says, getting people to leave their homes and come to a meeting, or perhaps when funds permit an organised outing, but once they start coming they enjoy themselves and some will tell you that the last conversation they had was at the last club meeting!”

Jimbo was a regular army serviceman who on retirement from the armed forces, eventually joined the Civil Service working out of Somerset House and then over the years, in most government departments in Whitehall. James has wide experience of ‘how organisations work’ and was even persuaded once to offer himself for selection as the Parliamentary Candidate for Shoreditch.
I first met Jimbo in 2003, when he had organised fellow residents in Spring Road where he lives, to press for Speed Tables to be put in the road to slow traffic, a road that is used by hundreds of cars for access to St Osyth Beach and to the four Caravan Sites and a Holiday Chalet site during the summer months. The County Council eventually put these traffic calming measures in place. Even on this first meeting James was working for his community!

Your District Councillors thank ‘James McColl-Smith’ for his helping hand, held out to others who he sees as much less fortunate than their fellow residents!


Jimbo, wife Margaret and Councillor Michael Talbot


St Osyth Councillor John White, Award sponsor


Daniel Casey and his wife from Jaywick. Dan was with us
at our table and was an Award Winner himself


Jayne Chapman from Brightlingsea is this year’s Tendring
Chairman. She congratulated all Award Winners

Lord Petre, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, is the representative of Her Majesty the Queen in Essex.
He was an honoured guest at the Awards evening and after the formal ceremony was over, James met with him for a short chat, during which Lord Petre congratulated James on his award and the work he does in St Osyth.

The above Web Page is a report of the event, but how many people know how the ‘Pride of Tendring Award’ scheme became an annual feature in Tendring’s Calendar?
In 2011 Councillor Alan Goggin was the Tendring District Council Chairman. He wrote to Group Leaders inviting them to appoint one of their members to a small working party, to find a way to recognise the enormous contribution that our various local organisations put in to their own community, these residents were he said were our unsung heroes! I was one of those joining him
Alan Goggin, now our County Councillor, made enquiries around the Country to see what other Authorities did and came back with his ideas of what was right for Tendring.
His ideas were supported by the administration but he was told there was no money available to fund such an event.
Undeterred Alan approached ‘Dong Energy’ and persuaded them to virtually fund an event, not only to kick start it, but also to promise funds for the next year.
Who says one Councillor cannot make a significant change to his or her Local Authority?
(Michael)

M.J.T.
7/3/17

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