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#CelebrateEssex returns to find new ‘young volunteer’

12th September 2019
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

Young volunteers have the opportunity to win the first category of the Essex County FA’s re-launched #CelebrateEssex Twitter competition as the popular contest returns for 2019/20 to help recognise some of local grassroots football’s unsung heroes.

#CelebrateEssex showcases personal stories from local legends, increasing their visibility as role models to engage new members and inspire them to join the grassroots community as volunteers. ‘Young Volunteer’ nominations close on Thursday 19th September, when the Essex County FA Youth Forum will select who’ll feature in a Twitter poll to identify the latest hero.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of grassroots football, putting in countless hours of their time so others can enjoy playing football. The game needs more helpers, but it also needs to retain and recognise those already involved. Through this monthly Twitter competition, #CelebrateEssex aims to do just that, promoting ten different roles throughout the year.

September is the month of the ‘Young Volunteer’ category. Essex is fortunate to have a large number of talented individuals who are determined to develop themselves and emerge as the next generation of the local game. They coach and work with teams, referee, run events, promote the sport and champion the Respect Campaign.

The category has been specifically chosen to take place in September to coincide with a campaign to recruit new Youth Forum members. Future months will feature: October: Welfare Officer, November: Footie Dad, December: Football Family, January: Media Manager, February: Coach (Youth and Adult), March: Footie Mum, April: Treasurer, May: Secretary, June: Chairperson.

Last year’s Young Volunteer winner was Ben Morris from FC Redwing. The up and coming coach reacted:

“Each week is different to the last and it is always fun. If anyone is thinking about volunteering, they should get in touch with their local team and start doing it as soon as possible because it will be one of your biggest regrets if you don’t.”

#CelebrateEssex, now in its second season, captured the imagination of the community during 2018/19, resulting in media coverage plus thousands of Twitter interactions. Twelve winners were named, with presentations at the County FA’s annual Awards Evening.

104 nominations were made, with 8,703 votes cast. All nominees received a public thank you. Then, in June, #CelebrateEssex received a special commendation in the ‘Digital Engagement’ category of the County FA Recognition Awards staged by The FA.

Stage One: Make Your Nomination on Twitter

If you know a Young Volunteer who you think should receive some special thanks, anyone can make a nomination by tweeting (by 19th September):

“I nominate [Insert Name or Twitter Username] from [Insert Club/Team or Twitter Username] as @EssexCountyFA #CelebrateEssex Young Volunteer because…”

State why your nominee should be the winner and be as descriptive as you can in 280 characters! It’s important to use the #CelebrateEssex hashtag to ensure your entry is registered.

Stage Two: Nominations Reviewed

Once the window closes, all the nominations received will be collated and a panel will decide which individuals will be progressed to the Twitter poll/vote…

Stage Three: Let Voting Commence!

A Twitter poll/vote will be available at @EssexCountyFA for seven days, featuring profiles of the nominees so voters can make an informed decision on who to vote for.

Stage Four: And Our Winner Is…

The winner of the poll will be contacted to be that month’s ‘Volunteer of the Month’, who’ll receive a prize, publicity and an invitation to the Essex County FA’s 2020 Awards Evening.

Follow the #CelebrateEssex hashtag on Twitter to keep track of the competition! To find out more about volunteering in grassroots Essex football, visit, follow @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and search for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.

#CelebrateEssex Terms and Conditions

  • Prizes must relate to the category the individual has won,
  • Previous category winners are ineligible for 2019/20 nomination &
  • Irregular voting patterns could result in the suspension of a category