As part of Basildon New Town's 70th Anniversary, Basildon Council and Eastgate Shopping Centre are celebrating 70 years with 70 Basildon Heroes.

Brand Logo - Basildon at 70 celebrations - shows lettering 'Basildon at 70 , 1949-2019, Where the future begins'Image promoting Basildon 70th Celebrations - Nominate your Basildon HeroThroughout 2019 we have received a host of Basildon Hero nominations from members of the public, mostly for individuals but including a number of community, voluntary, sports and cultural organisations as well.

We would like to give a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to nominate their own Basildon Hero.

As soon as we have their photos we will be publishing details of all our Basildon Heroes here. In the meantime you can head down to the Eastgate Shopping Centre, in Basildon town centre, to see our Heroes exhibition on the First Floor.

All our Basildon Heroes will be honoured at a reception with the Mayor in late-November 2019.

Our latest Basildon Heroes are here...

Decorative photo image showing Basildon Hero - Tony Di Somma TONY DI SOMMA

Known as Basti the Legend, Tony used the same ice cream van, a Bedford 1964, for 50 years. Somehow he seemed to remember what everyone's favourite ice cream was and even if you didn't have quite enough money, you'd still get an ice-cream!






Decorative image showing Basildon Heroes - The Basildon Contact the Elderly team with clients at a day at the seasideCONTACT THE ELDERLY

To help combat loneliness, Contact the Elderly host tea parties each month for their guests to enjoy. For some, it may be one of the few or only times they leave their house. The group makes a huge impact and deserves hero status for the delight it brings to many!






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Heroes - The Basildon Heritage groupBASILDON HERITAGE

A group of passionate volunteers who work tirelessly to collect and record the history of the Borough for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future Basildonians. They collect memories, host exhibitions and give talks on the history of the area.






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Hero - Rachel OjoRACHEL OJO

Recipient of 'The Diana Award' for her role as an anti-bullying champion, Rachel is a member of the Basildon Borough Youth Council as well as Chair of the UK Youth Select Committee for knife crime, representing the young people of Basildon at 10 Downing Street.





Decorative photo image showing Basildon Hero - Lynn WilsonLYN WILSON

Lyn founded the groups Stepping Forward for widows and widowers and Gone Too Soon for parents whose adult children have died. She is dedicated to supporting and helping people rebuild their lives following bereavement.






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Hero - Stan HollandsSTAN HOLLANDS

It was very much down to Stan that Willow Park, Marks Hill Wood, Hoppit Shaw and the Dunton slopes - all of which now form the Langdon Nature Reserve - were not built upon and instead reserved for future generations of Basildon to enjoy.






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Heroes - Basildon Borough Youth Council membersBASILDON BOROUGH YOUTH COUNCIL

To raise awareness of mental health issues affecting young people, this inspriational group created a video called 'Lifting the lid on mental health'. The video is now used as teaching resource in schools through Basildon, helping countless young people.






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Heroes - Basildon Rotary Club membersBASILDON ROTARY

Since 1960, Basildon Rotary have been supporting local charities including Basildon Mind, the J's Hospice, St Luke's Hospice and many more. Their weekly meetings also provide a networking environment for members old and new.






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Hero - Reegan McMillanREEGAN McMILLAN

Reegan plays football for England in the Cerebal Palsy team while also working for Basildon McDonalds for nearly five years. He is a true inspiration for young people in Basildon, helping not only his community but his country.






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Hero - Paul StringerPAUL STRINGER

Paul has worked at McDonalds for 23 years and was instrumental in helping build the Ronald McDonald House (now Polly Parrot's Pad)at Basildon Hospital, which offers accommodation for parents of poorly children.






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Hero - Hans WustefeldHANS WUSTEFELD

For twenty years, Hans worked for British Land as a General Manager, including at Eastgate Shopping Centre. He is well known in Basildon for his work in the community and supporting local projects, including the Normandy Veterans Association.






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Hero - Marc GraystonMARC GRAYSTON

As chief instructor of Maru Karate Kai, a karate club for children between 4 and 18, Marc is a key member of the Basildon community. He not only teaches self-defence, but also builds confidence in children encouraging them to become great leaders.






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Heroes - Basildon Hospital Charity Team BASILDON HOSPITAL CHARITY TEAM

The hospital fundraising team's main appeal is the Polly Parrot Appeal, which has raised over £500,000 to help improve  the children's services at the hospital. This includes purchasing sensory and distraction equipment, toys , electronics, additional medical equipment and decoration. The appeal also funds Polly's Pad, a three bedroom parent accommodation on the hospital site.





Decorative photo image showing Basildon Hero - Don SheppardDON SHEPPARD

Don is a D-Day Veteran who holds many medals including the Legion of Honour. To this day he still walks around with shrapnel in his lungs, telling the doctor he's too old now to have it removed - a true hero!






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Hero - Aayush DanejAAYUSH DANEJ

Aayush cycled 33 miles from Basildon to Buckingham Palace to raise money for Lee Chapel Primary School to buy essential new equipment. He did it in only 4 hours and raised £700 - a great achievement for one so young!






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Heroes - Basildon Twinning GroupBASILDON TWINNING ASSOCIATION

Founded several decades ago, the group support cultural exchanges with Basildon and other countries. They assist families and individuals with plans for exchanged visits, which have included bands, choirs, acting groups and artists.






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Heroes - Ayhan and Gen IsikgunAYHAN AND GEN ISIKGUN

As franchisees of four McDonald's in Basildon, they are involved in a lot of fundraising for local projects, including providing accommodation for parents with sick children at Basildon Hospital and Play Whitmore.






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Hero - Chris CooperCHRIS COOPER

Over the last four years, Chris has organised the local Celebrity Football Match and Family Fun Day charity event which has raised tens of thousands of pounds and awareness for local and national charities.






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Hero - Clive WoodwardCLIVE WOODWARD

Clive works tirelessly to make the borough a safer place to live as Chairman of Basildon Borough Neighbourhood Watch. He regularly takes part in community events such as litter picks and gardening initiatives, all part and parcel of improving the local environment.






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Hero - Geoff WilliamsGEOFF WILLIAMS

As a tenor member and Chair of Basildon Choral Society, Geoff's aim was for the choir to be major contributors to the Basildon arts scene. He is also a keen supporter of St Luke's Hospice, helping to raise funds, especially at Christmas through carol singing.






Decorative photo image showing Basildon Heroes - D.I.A.L. South EssexD.I.A.L. SOUTH ESSEX

With hard work and enthusiasm, Dial South Essex give support to local disabled people to help them gain a better quality of life. They do this through training volunteers to increasing income for residents - having a hugely positive impact on the community!






Decorative image showing Basildon Hero - October 2019 - Les CoxLES COX

Les is a co-founder of the wonderful St Luke's Hospice, an organisation that provides tremendous support for patients and their families in the Borough. The hard work, time and dedication he gave is something to be acknowledged with pride.






Decorative image showing Basildon Hero - October 2019 - Terry OrchardsTERRY ORCHARDS

Terry has worked in community arts for over 20 years. Suffering from dyslexia, he has shown dedication and compassion when working with young people who have learning difficulties. He has adopted an innovative and creative approach that has brought joy and happiness to many.





Decorative image showing Basildon Hero - October 2019 - Geraldine EvansGERALDINE EVANS

In her role as a publican, Geraldine was a real community leader. She ran a successful local business for over 50 years and raised countless £1,000's for local charities - including the Vange Village Fayre that was run in conjunction with St Chads Church.






Decorative image showing Basildon Hero - October 2019 - Gordon ReidGORDON REID

Gordon's involvement with the Basildon Natural History Society and Essex Naturalist Trust goes back to the late 1960s. He was instrumental in the negotiation that enabled the Essex Wildlife Trust to purchase the land that is now the Langdon Nature Reserve.






Decorative image showing Basildon Hero - October 2019 - Mick ToomerMICK TOOMER

Mick brought sporting recognition to Basildon as part of the England Sea Angling Team for over 14 years, winning two team and one Individual World Championships. He also organised free junior angling tuition courses and the Basildon Junior Angler of The Year competitions.





Decorative image showing Basildon Heroes - October 2019 - Pam and John McKayPAM and JOHN McKAY

This insiprational couple are passionate about community and run bingo sessions, theatre trips and many events for over 50s at the Lee Chapel North Community Centre. They founded the Helping Hands Food Bank, and created a well-used community hub for everyone.





Decorative image showing Basildon Hero - October 2019 - Marion BullardMARION BULLARD

From secretary of Fryerns Community Centre to Basildon Council Housing Officer, Marion has supported the community for decades. She has helped expectant young mothers and made a positive impact on lots of young people in Basildon.






Decorative image showing Basildon Hero - October 2019 - Scott HannSCOTT HANN

As Director of Coaching at South Essex Gymnastics Club, based at Basildon Sporting Village, Scott has made the club one of the top venues for the sport in the world. He works tirelessly at grassroots levels with boys and girls, and has developed coaches, judges and others in the UK and overseas.





Image showing Basildon Heroes - August 2019 - Lesley Davis-EyreLESLEY DAVIS-EYRE

As a Teaching Assistant and Gymnastics Teacher, Lesley has inspired many children in Basildon to gain skills such as resilience and determination, alongside a lifelong love of gymnastics. Her passion is contagious - and she goes above and beyond daily.






Image showing Basildon Heroes - August 2019 - Staff of St Lukes HospiceST LUKE'S HOSPICE

St Luke's is known and recognised by the Care Quality Commission for the 'Outstanding' care it delivers in our community, which it has done since 1990. What makes them truly heroic is the hard work, passion, courage and commitment behind the scenes - by all its staff, volunteers and trustees, past and present.






Image showing Basildon Heroes - August 2019 - Gina StickingsGINA  STICKINGS

As a youth worker for more than 27 years, the past 15 years as Young Carer Support lead, Gina was involved in a diverse range of work. She has been a massive asset for the youth in the Borough - a constant and unrelenting support for them when times are hard.






Image showing Basildon Heroes - August 2019 - Dr Rod ColeDR ROD COLE

No one has done more in the cause of nature conservation in Basildon Borough. Dr Rod Cole was a former Chair of Basildon Natural History Society and Langdon Living Landscape - and a recognised authority on lepidoptera. Dr Cole's knowledge of the Borough's natural history is unsurpassed.






Image showing Basildon Heroes - August 2019 - Time Music TherapyTIME MUSIC THERAPY

Time Music Therapy work within the community to enrich lives through music therapy - and were instrumental in establishing a regular Monday night for those aged over 16 with a disability. It provided a quality night in a safe environment for people who might struggle in social situations - changing lives for the better






Image showing Basildon Heroes - August 2019 - Charlotte RoseCHARLOTTE ROSE

Charlotte has been a volunteer helper at Eversley Primary School for 37 years, working with children in Reception, Year 1 and 2. Her dedication, kind and caring nature, and her loving smile have brought delight and help to thousands of children. She's a true Basildon Hero!






Image showing Basildon Heroes - August 2019 - Mark DaleMARK DALE

A 'one of a kind' individual, Mark lives his life with others continuously in mind. He created the Basildon Disability Equality Forum in 2010, he is a peer reviewer for the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a Stonewall LGBT Champion. Mark also works with Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust as a volunteer. A real inspiration to all!






Image showing Basildon Heroes - August 2019 - Towngate Panto Production TeamTOWNGATE PANTOMIME PRODUCTION TEAM

The team have been passionate in providing a platform for the youth of Basildon to become involved in the theatre,  helping to build life skills and experience for their futures.








Basildon Heroes from January - June 2019

Image showing Basildon Hero - June 2019 - Aston AveryASTON AVERY

As a patron of Anna Kennedy Online, Aston visits schools and local authorities to teach how to work with people with complex conditions and help raise awareness of autism.







Image showing Basildon Heroes - June 2019 - Gateway FM 97.8 teamGATEWAY FM 97.8

The team at Gateway 97.8 have been instrumental in helping local people find jobs; offer young people the chance to learn radio; and run accredited courses to help disadvantaged people gain transferable skills.






Image showing Basildon Hero - June 2019 - Jo CullenJO CULLEN

Jo has been supporting the local community her entire career through working as a librarian, a governor at a Basildon school, play leader for a local group and now  as a pivotal member of the Basildon Heritage Group.






Image showing Basildon Hero - June 2019 - Trudi Westmore-CoxTRUDY WESTMORE- COX

By co-founding St Luke's Hospice Basildon, Trudy has been a support and valuable lifeline for many patients and their family members during difficult times for many years.






Image showing Basildon Hero - June 2019 - Gary EllisGARY ELLIS

As a volunteer for Wat Tyler Country Park for four years, Gary is passionate about keeping the park free of hazards and litter that causes harm to local wildlife, no matter the weather.






Image showing Basildon Heroes - June 2019 - Heart Of Pitsea Community Project teamHEART OF PITSEA COMMUNITY PROJECT

Over the last four years, they have made valuable  improvements to Pitsea including a youth club, an organic gardening project, an outdoor gym and children's playground.







Image showing Basildon Hero - June 2019 - Moira BrockMOIRA BROCK

Founder of La Danse Fantastique, Moira wanted to open up the world of music and dance to all young people, including those with physical problems, sensory impairments or learning difficulties.






Image showing Basildon Hero - June 2019 - Brian WellmanBRIAN WELLMAN

For more than thirty years as a volunteer, Brian has served as a Magistrate, school governor, public governor, Trustee for St Luke's Hospice and more, offering unconditional support to the local community.