A LIFESAVING volunteer has been named citizen of the year for his work as a community first responder.

Simon Taylor was awarded Rochford District Council 2018 Citizen of the Year after giving thousands of hours of his time as a volunteer to help the ambulance service and his neighbourhood by being first on the scene of medical emergencies.

Speaking after receiving the award he said: “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”.

Libby Robertson, aged ten, from Rayleigh, won the award for young citizen award for helping to organise a charity ball which raised more than £3,000 for a dog shelter.

Lorraine Jibb, from Canewdon, won the charitable support award for her fundraising work for hospices supporting Rochford’s children, young people and adults.

Abbey Parsons, a university student from Rochford, won the community spirit award for her volunteering role at a youth club, and her fundraising for a hospital’s children’s ward.

The annual awards were presented this year by the chairman of Rochford District Council, councillor Mrs Lesley Butcher.

She said: “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.”

This year, 32 nominations were received for 18 different people.

“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.

Josh Elias, a community collaboration manager at the ambulance service, said: “We’re incredibly proud of Simon and the work he’s done for us.”