Jane Bennett writes to tell us about this recent event:
Bennetts Funeral Directors in Brentwood and Billericay in line with this Platinum Jubilee year ran a ‘Monarch for the Day’ competition so unsung heroes could be nominated by their family, friends or colleagues to have a special day; hopefully one to be remembered. The nominations closed just prior to the Jubilee weekend, those nominees shortlisted were advised and we enjoyed a lovely lunch, at The Royal Rose, on 8th June with the judges Cllr Sheila Murphy, former Mayor of Brentwood, Steve Roach from Phoenix FM and myself, Jane Bennett, Managing Director at Bennetts Funeral Directors.
The judges spent a great deal of time deliberating over the most worthy nominees and those shortlisted to find our eventual winner. After much toing and froing we selected this Jubilee Monarch for the Day as actually two ladies, Kim Wilson and Nicki Roessler who between them run ‘Help me Home Brentwood and Billericay’, this is a local volunteer group which helps with found, missing or stray dogs. Sometimes they help other volunteer groups. They have access to equipment such as a thermal imaging camera, night vision equipment, microchip scanner and traps, drones are used from time to time too.
Our runner’s up this year were Penelope Tyzack and Jaye Kane. Penelope is an accomplished artist who regularly sells her artwork to raise money for charities as well as displaying in this year’s Brentwood Borough Council Art Trail, she is also an integral part of Navestock Village Society and is regularly seen as a First Aider at many events. Jaye is a massive support in her local community, helping and supporting all and sundry, both two and four legged.
Kim and Nicki had their Monarch’s day out on 22nd June. We collected them in our classic Rolls Royce Phantom V wedding limousine from Billericay, went for a wonderful brunch at Willow Tree Tea Rooms in Billericay before heading to Shenfield Wine Company where a lovely bottle of bubbly was chilling and waiting for us. Nish Patel explained about his tasting sessions in the amazing tasting room (only accessed by password!), while Kim and Nicki talked about various four legged friends they has rescued; they left with bottles of bubbly kindly supplied by John Brandler from Brandler Galleries, who tried to tell the ladies he wasn’t a dog lover, we know better John!
The next stop was a tour of Brentwood Theatre with Ian Southgate the Theatre Manager, ably assisted by Bex Foreman, who set the spotlights on our Monarchs whilst on the stage. Thereafter we headed up in to the bell tower at St Thomas’s Church, guided by Fr Mark North, then we climbed up further to admire the amazing views of Brentwood and beyond – do you know you can see the QE2 bridge from there?
Our last stop was the Town Hall, where our Mayor Cllr Olivia Francois explained about her role as Mayor and gave a tour and explanation of what happens in the Council chamber. There was again much lovely discussion about what Kim and Nicki do and how to deal with a rather aggressive tom cat who seems to be terrorising some neighbourhoods. The importance of neutering tom cats is apparent if those cats are not going to be used for intentional breeding purposes. According to Kim and Nicki it seems that since the lockdowns there are a number of cats and dogs who are no longer wanted.
The ladies finished their day with a fabulous meal, supplied by the very generous The Magic Mushroom in Billericay.
Their celebrations may have been over for the day however they still have an evening meal, bed and breakfast care of Marygreen Manor in Brentwood and an afternoon tea at Merrymeade Tea Rooms.
Pampering treatments were kindly donated by Envi Nails and Beauty and Cosmessex.
Steve Roach from Phoenix FM and I thoroughly enjoyed our day with Kim and Nicki, finding out even more about what they do, actually putting themselves at times in to quite worrying situations. They give up their time to search for dogs in all weathers, light BBQs to try to tempt missing dogs with the smell of sausages, give advice and support over the phone and on occasions to sadly feedback to families that their pet has suffered a fatality. Sometimes they need to fundraise or crowdfund to pay for vet bills. It truly is amazing work, which they do voluntarily.
Kim and Nicki have asked me to thank all involved for their wonderful day out and to say how much they enjoyed the lovely lunch at the Royal Rose, and said it was a pleasure and an honour to meet such wonderful people and the other very worthy contestants.