Essex has welcomed its first ever Facebook-funded Community Reporter.

Toby Emes will focus his time on covering specific parts of the vibrant Essex news patch, namely Billericay and Rochford.

The 19-year-old started his role in the south Essex Basildon office earlier this month.

Toby comes into the role straight from education, having achieved three A-levels in English Language, history and sociology.

He is a keen sportsman too. And says his love of team sport demonstrates his commitment to team work. He has won several awards in cricket including the 2015 clubman award when he was club captain of his local side helping to organise matches and training sessions.

He said: “I’m ready and up for this exciting new challenge. It’s a fantastic opportunity for me and one I intend to thrive within. I’m really looking forward to getting out there, getting the news and making my mark.”

Gary Pearson, editor and Head of content at Newsquest Essex, said: “Toby seems like a great lad who is ready for the challenge. He is clearly enthusiastic and can’t wait to get stuck in. We have high hopes for him and he should prove to be a vital addition to the team.”

If you have a story for Toby, contact him via or give him a call on 01268 469414.