DISAPPOINTED residents have defended their “gorgeous” seaside village after being negatively portrayed and branded “abusive thugs”.

Jaywick, built in the 1930s as a holiday resort, is - according to government reports -the most deprived neighbourhood in the country. 

As a result, it has been the focus of endless documentaries and news articles which aim to highlight social issues, problematic landlords and unsuitable housing.

But, following a recent publication, residents have now decided to speak-out and shatter any negative preconceptions outsiders may have.

Halstead Gazette: Family - Brad Thompson with partner, Andrea Loxdale, and their son, Ray.Family - Brad Thompson with partner, Andrea Loxdale, and their son, Ray.

Brad Thompson, 34, has lived in Jaywick with his partner, Andrea Loxdale, and their one-year-old son, Ray, for a year and a half, having moved from Clacton.

He acknowledges that the area has, in the past, had its issues, but says the village has started to turn a corner and is making positive progress.

“Jaywick is always seen in a bad light, but the area is really coming up now and it is getting better and better,” he said.

“For so long, it was rundown, so it got a name for itself, which has sadly stuck, but it is nothing like it used to be.

“There are a lot of hardworking people here with jobs, money, cars, and who own their own properties.

“We are fed-up with all the negativity, because everyone looks out for each other here and we support everyone – the whole community comes together.”

Wendy Seaman, 53, lives in a Jaywick bungalow with her three dogs, which she rents.

She was initially sceptical about moving to the area, due to the negative connotations it conjures up, but has since grown to love it.

She said: “I had read reports on Jaywick and didn’t want to move here – you hear horror stories about it and watch programmes which form your opinion.

“It is all smoke and mirrors and it is only the worst of the worst which gets shown – never the good stuff or the real lives behind Jaywick.

“But I have found a sense of community here and people are friendly – they will give what little they have, and it is a far cry from what the media have written about it.

“There are some beautiful homes here with beautiful people living in them and I am happy to be here – I feel safer here than I have living anywhere else.”

Halstead Gazette: Happy - Samantha Puckett, with husband, Jamie, and their children Lilly-Anne and Jayden.Happy - Samantha Puckett, with husband, Jamie, and their children Lilly-Anne and Jayden.

Samantha Puckett, 27, lives in Jaywick, with her husband Jamie, 28, and their two children, Lilly-Anne, 2, and nine-month-old Jayden.

She had initially moved away from the area but decided to move back after missing the sense of community.

She said: “People only seem to notice the bad things, but bad things are everywhere – not just in Jaywick.

“I love calling this gorgeous place my home and moved back so my children could grow up in a community which I love.

“I think it is amazing how many people want to help people here, and Jaywick has really changed for the better because people never gave up.”

Halstead Gazette: Dedicated - Nigel Whitehouse helps keep Jaywick cleanDedicated - Nigel Whitehouse helps keep Jaywick clean

Nigel Whitehouse, 45, who founded Wildlife Defenders, dedicates a large portion of his time to keeping Jaywick clean and free of litter.

He said: "Jaywick is the only place I know where, if you need help, someone will always help you.

"It is not full of bad people at all and I’ve never had problems - in fact we get support when we are doing our litter picks.

"People have given Jaywick a bad name and the media keep using negative stories.

"The Gazette is the only paper which has never used Jaywick like the way I’ve seen others do."