Meet community champion who helped vulnerable in lockdown

Jules Hillier was crowned community champion at the 2021 Ely Hero Awards 

Jules Hillier was crowned community champion at the 2021 Ely Hero Awards - Credit: ELY HERO AWARDS

A woman who rallied hundreds of East Cambs residents to help vulnerable people during the Covid-19 lockdown was crowned community champion at the 2021 Ely Hero Awards. 

Jules Hillier set up Ely Community Covid-19 Mutual Aid group on Facebook in March and, within just 24 hours, she had attracted 1,000 members.  

From that number, 240 people volunteered to help and regularly support more than 80 vulnerable local people.  

The group has since grown to having more than 2,500 members.  

Jules’ nominee said: “Through the aid group, she has helped bring the local community in Ely together.  


You may also want to watch:


“She has helped to improve the lives of those in her community who are in need of assistance and also given those who want to help an avenue to do so.”  

The other finalists in this category are:  

Most Read

Rosie Holliday

Rosie Holliday was a finalist in the community champion category at the 2021 Ely Hero Awards

Rosie Holliday was a finalist in the community champion category at the 2021 Ely Hero Awards - Credit: ELY HERO AWARDS

Rosie came up with the idea of decorating the King’s school Christmas tree with hundreds of memory baubles to give local people an opportunity to remember loved ones who have died.  

The scheme involved selling decorated baubles in local charity shops and raised around £2,000 for local good causes like Talking Freely which is a support group for people experiencing mental health issues.  

Rosie has lots more ideas for bringing the community together and for making positive things happen. 

Her nominee says “Rosie has an infectious positivity and strives to make sure everyone she comes into contact with is OK. 

“She makes real connections and is an asset to our community”. 

Hayley Ellis

Hayley Ellis was a finalist in the community champion category of the 2021 Ely Hero Awards

Hayley Ellis was a finalist in the community champion category of the 2021 Ely Hero Awards - Credit: ELY HERO AWARDS

Hayley has created multi-media sites for multiple ecological projects, providing information, signposting and resources accessed by more than 3,000 local people. 

Interest in Hayley’s online posts has led to the formation of a committee which works with the local council, schools and the press to encourage local people to think before they throw away.  

The tips and tricks she posts helps the community to be better informed about the environmental impact of the choices they make.   

One of her multiple nominators says “Hayley works tirelessly for the benefit of Ely with the sole purpose of making our world a better place to live”. 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter