The 2019 Kent Charity Awards Finalists
Community Charity of the Year
Stride4Life – based in Dartford, Stride4 Life was set up in 2004 to support, men, women and children who were fighting cancer. All monies raised by Stride4Life goes to the Darent Valley hospital’s Cancer Fighting Fund. This enables the hospital to purchase equipment to assist specifically in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of all cancers.
Kent Autistic Trust – based in Medway their aim is to ensure that people with autism have the best quality of life and to be as successful and as content as possible in all areas of their life. They provide services for over 5,000 people in Kent and Medway in a wide variety of settings including; registered homes, specialist supported living, community-based day centres, respite, and a family support service and support groups.
Oasis Domestic Abuse Service – based in East Kent – Oasis provide domestic abuse service in East Kent. They offer provision of a safe house for women victims of domestic abuse who flee their homes and safe resettlement into the community. Oasis also has a community team dedicated to supporting those experiencing domestic abuse to remain in their own homes by giving support with safety, financial, emotional and legal issues.
Catching Lives – based in Canterbury – As well as providing for the basic needs of rough sleepers, Catching Lives focus on building relationships, because these are at the core of any assistance that you can offer those who need it. But this isn’t just relationships with their clients as the charity try to involve every part of its local community in their work; work that they hope will one day bring about an end to the harm that homelessness and rough sleeping does.
Best Use of Volunteers
Home-Start Medway – offers support, friendship and practical help to parents with young children. They recruit and train volunteers, who are usually parents themselves, to home-visit families who have at least one child under five. Their volunteers offer parents informal, friendly and confidential support. Home-Start Medway supports parents in order to help give children the best possible start in life.
Medway Foodbank – Medway Foodbank was started in December 2011 by a group of Church leaders in Strood, in association with the Trussell Trust (national foodbank network). They now have eight centres around the Medway towns plus a warehouse and office. The foodbank is based on Christian principles but is open to those of all faiths or none, both in terms of clients and the volunteers who work for the foodbank.
The Family Trust – The Family Trust is a small children’s charity based in Kent. Established in 1986, it is funded entirely by voluntary donations and has over 250 outstanding volunteers. Its aims are to enhance the moral, spiritual, emotional, educational and social lives of children.
Care Charity of the Year
Porchlight help people who have nowhere to go and no-one to turn to. Some are homeless, others are struggling to cope with the pressures in their lives and need support to keep on track. Porchlight work across Kent and the south east, helping vulnerable and isolated people get support with their mental health, housing, education and employment.
Heart of Kent Hospice – based in Maidstone, care for people with a terminal illness who are based in the local community. Whether at home, or in the Aylesford based Hospice, they support patients, their families and carers to come to terms with their diagnosis. They help patients to live in comfort, with independence and dignity through their illness and to the end of their lives.
Ellenor – based in Gravesend is a hospice charity funded by the generosity of the local community. Families are at the heart of everything that they do and whether lives are measured in days, months or years they are there to make every moment count. They offer the best personalised care and support to families facing terminal illness in their place of choice.
Start-Up Charity of the Year
Big Reveal – based in Canterbury help introduce children, young people and adults to music and performing arts opportunities that might otherwise never have been available to them. The charity is actively helping to develop individuals who have a real passion for music and the wider field of performing arts and an enthusiasm for group working and performance.
Hypo Hounds – based in Smarden is an Assistance dog charity, training pet dogs to save the lives of Type 1 Diabetic children and adults in the Kent community. A dog trained by Hypo Hounds can make a huge difference to their owners’ lives, increasing both their confidence and independence.
Child’s Vision – based in Sittingbourne, supports children in Swale who have witnessed or been directly affected by domestic abuse. Set up in July 2017 as a community group the Child’s Vision is now a registered charity and has since received over 47 referrals from schools, early help, social services, parents and other agencies/charities.
The Hygiene Bank – with its head office in Sevenoaks is a registered grass roots charity made possible by volunteers. It provides relief for people who are in conditions of financial need, hardship or distress by providing the provision of toiletries and other essential hygiene products to improve their life conditions.
Judges Contribution to Kent Award
Wildwood Trust – based in Herne Bay is not just a wildlife park but also a unique project which aims to protect native British wildlife and to bring back the original wild wood, through education and conservation. The dedicated team of experts and volunteers works tirelessly on reintroduction programmes, for different species at risk of extinction.
Air Ambulance Kent, Surrey, Sussex have their head office at Rochester Airport. They are a charity that strives to save lives by providing the best possible care every minute of the day, every day of the year. On average, the Kent Air Ambulance is called out to help around 2,500 people in life-threatening conditions every year.
Royal British Legion Industries – based in Aylesford, provides quality care and support to members of the ex-service community and to help disadvantaged men and women find meaningful and sustained employment.
Children’s Charity of the Year
Dandelion Time – based in East Farleigh, run programmes for disadvantaged 7 to 16 year-olds with serious emotional or behavioural difficulties. Families engage in group and individual therapeutic, developmental and educational activites in order to help children overcome their difficulties.
The Young Lives Foundation – support children and young people in need in ways that affirm their identity and worth, champion their rights, needs and interests and promote their well-being and development. They support young people through times of difficulties and assist them to achieve their potential through mentoring and befriending, advocacy and positive activities.
We are Beams – based in Dartford, is a charity providing services to disabled young people and their families including support, advice, leisure activities, training and short breaks including overnight. Their vision is to be a leader in Kent to transform the lives of disabled children and young people, so enabling greater independence and control of their own lives and futures.
Disability Charity of the Year
East Kent Mencap -provide opportunities for adults and children with a learning disability, their families and carers in East Kent. They enable them to achieve the things they want out of life and to be valued, treated equally, listened to and included. Over 1,000 people a year directly participate in their activities.
Tunbridge Wells Mental Health Resource provides long-term practical and emotional support for people with complex, enduring mental health conditions. Projects include The Hub based in Tunbridge Wells which is a vibrant well-being centre, offering a range of wellbeing activities to improve the lives of anyone living with poor mental health aged 17 and over.
Spadework based in Offham provide specialist training for adults with learning and other disabilities in horticulture, gardening, catering, IT and skills for life in a supportive environment enabling them to live with dignity and purpose in the community.
Trustee of the the Year
Megan Mckay – from Dover is the co-founder and Chairman of Trustees for Cherished Gowns a charity creating funeral gowns for stillborn and miscarried children out of donated dresses. Since the charity began in 2014, Megan has produced over 350,00 items and has supplied to 237 hospitals in the UK.
Tony Hillier – The Family Trust – Tony Hillier helped set up the Charity to support children and young people in deprived areas of Kent. He is an outstanding individual who has been an active and a passionate founding Trustee of The Family Trust since it was set up 31 years ago.
Rod Black – Step and Learn Conductive Education – Rod founded Step and Learn to enable children with cerebral palsy and other motor disorders to have access to Conductive Education, a vital service which encourages children become as independent as possible. He works tirelessly to raise money through whatever means he can in order that Step and Learn can offer Conductive Education sessions to children for free.
George Harvey – Spadework – George’s association with Spadework spans 31 years, as volunteer, employee, general manager, trustee, Chairman of the Trustees and now Patron. His nominee said that one of the most poignant reasons he deserves this award is that he understands the role of Trustee coupled with an unshakeable faith that Spadework delivers on its promise to the adults with learning and other disabilities who use its service.
Volunteer of the Year
Roger Judge – RBLI – Roger is a valued member of the RBLI volunteering team. He has been volunteering with the RBLI for over two years and now spends more than 10 hours a week offering a listening ear and practical advice and tips to their veterans and families. Most of whom face life changing and daily battles as a result of their service in the armed forces.
Lil Smith based in Ramsgate has been volunteering for Pilgrims’ Hospice in Thanet for over 20 years and has raised over £20k for the hospice with her fund-raising projects; raffles, stalls or lottery. She is quite a well-known character in her area, sometimes referred to as the “Mayor of Minster”! At the young age of 91, she is an inspiration to many and dedicates her life to the hospice.
David Burridge – The Big Reveal – David works as a volunteer for The Big Reveal, a charity which provides a range of music and performing arts opportunities to people in East Kent. His sheer determination to provide a high-quality learning experience for everyone in a welcoming, safe and supportive environment has ensured that over 3000 children, young people and adults have participated in The Big Reveal’s activities in the past year alone.
Mike Clark – Broadstairs Town Gardens Team – through Mick’s determination, love and knowledge of plants, willingness to spend hours clearing a very overgrown site in all weathers, ability to beg and borrow plants and landscaping materials, Broadstairs has been given a fabulous new garden of which the whole town is extremely proud.