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The county's unsung heroes have once again been recognised at a glittering event held at Chelmsford City Racecourse.
The 2015 Heart Essex Awards, sponsored by London Southend Airport and FlyBe, were held at Chelmsford City Racecourse for the first time. Pictures by Ben Matthews.
After a live performance from 'The Voice' finalist Hollie Barrie, who lives in Chelmsford, nominees and their friends and family enjoyed a three-course meal before the main event of the evening... the awards ceremony!
The first award of the evening was the Sport Award, sponsored by South Essex College. Carli Bacon from Loughton won this after being nominated for her work with cheerleading through her group Casablanca Cheer.
Sport Award winner Carli Bacon with South Essex College.
James' mother Debbie collected the award on his behalf from Heart Breakfast presenters Martin and Su.
The Young Achievement Award was presented to 17-year-old James Eade from Hadleigh for his outstanding achievements in karate. Pictured is Debbie Eade alongside Aziz Tejpar from category sponsor Dunkin Donuts.
Liz Taverner and the team at Colchester-based Stepping Stones Play and Learn Group received the Charity Award, in association with The Rayleigh Club, for their work in supporting parents in north Essex.
Julie Guthrie from Chelmsford won the Fundraiser Award, presented in association with Essex Air Ambulance. Julie has raised thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK by selling beautiful silk flowers at hundreds of Race for Life events across Essex and beyond.
Jane Gurney from Essex Air Ambulance, Julie Guthrie and Martin and Su on stage.
This was the fifth year the Heart Essex Awards have taken place and there were more than 500 nominations from across the county.
Carol Rankin from Chelmsford won the Community Award, presented by CJ's Bowling. Over more than forty years Carol has worked with blood donor services to collect an estimated 200,000 pints of blood, helping to save countless lives across Essex.
Carol Rankin, winner of the Community Award, with category sponsors CJ's Bowling.
The Bravery Award was made to Laura Wellington from Colchester. After being hit by a drunk driver and suffering life-threatening injuries, Laura's positivity and determination has been inspiration to many others, even blogging about her road to recovery. Laura's sister collected the award on her behalf from Martin and Su.
The winner of the Bravery Award, Laura Wellington, recorded a special video.
The Parent Award, sponsored by Quality Fostercare, was presented to Zoe Cain-Taylor. Despite losing a leg at a young age, Zoe rode dressage in the Para Olympics and has qualified at a high level to help and teach others and their horses. Zoe is also a single mother and is 'a massive inspiration, putting most able-bodied people to shame' wrote one of her nominators.
Zoe Cain-Taylor with Martin and Su.
Big smiles from Zoe!
The Adult Achievement Award went to Paul Pemberton from Southend. The Award, sponsored by Essex Audi Group, was presented to Paul for his work in raising fire safety awareness within the deaf community in south Essex.
Paul Pemberton, Adult Achievement Award winner.
Applause and cheers were in abundance throughout the evening!
Heart Breakfast presenters Martin and Su hosted the awards.
Smiles as Essex's unsung heroes were recognised.
The Carer Award was presented Kealy Morrell by award sponsor Caring Direct. Kealy, from Southend, works as a healthcare assistant has received praise and recognition from scores of patients. Kealy is so dedicated that she even volunteers at Southend Hospital during her spare time!
The Heart Essex Awards were held for the first time at a new venue - the newly-refurbished Chelmsford City Racecourse at Great Leighs.
Award nominations were received from all parts of Essex - from Loughton to Colchester, Westcliff to Saffron Walden.
Capturing a memorable evening.
Paul Haynes and Rebecca Jones from event sponsor London Southend Airport and FlyBe. Each award winner was also presented with a pair of flight tickets to a destination of their choice.
All eyes on the stage!
The Inspiration Award, presented by Freeport Braintree, was awarded to Shawn Leek from Colchester, who ran an incredible seven marathons in seven days in seven counties to raise more than £11,000 for charity. Shawn (left) is pictured alongside Jenny Beverley from Freeport Braintree
Shawn Leek alongside Jenny Beverley and Martin and Su.
The Big Heart Award was presented to Nikki Bowdidge from Colchester. Following the death of her son Tom, Nikki established the Tom Bowdidge Cancer Foundation, raising thousands of pounds to help fight the disease. Her motto? 'Crack on for Tom'.
The winner of the Big Heart Award is joined category sponsors London Southend Airport. (Left to right: Martin Day, Rebecca Jones, Paul Haynes, Su Harrison.)
The winners gather on stage for a team photo!
Another inspirational evening draws to a close.
All of the proud 2015 winners of the Heart Essex Awards! Congratulations to all of the winners and thanks to the event sponsors, London Southend Airport and FlyBe along with Hayman Distillers, GMD, Essex Audi, Dunkin Donuts, Freeport Braintree, CJ’s Bowling, South Essex College, Caring Direct, Farleigh Hospice, Essex Air Ambulance, The Rayleigh Club and Quality Fostercare.