Catching up with our 2022 winners

In the build up to this year’s Kent Charity Awards launch which will be later in February, we caught up with our 2022 winners to find out what they have been up to and if winning a Kent Charity Award has been of benefit to their charity and of course their staff and volunteers.

First we spoke to our 2022 Overall Winner – The Rainbow Centre, in Folkestone

The Rainbow Centre works tirelessly to support people who are facing deprivation or hardship in the Folkestone & Hythe district. Their vision is to help build a community in which everyone is included and can have the opportunity to live and work in dignity with hope for the future.

What was it like to win the 2022 Kent Charity Awards?

Quite frankly, we were stunned! We were content and thrilled to be a finalist in the ‘Best use of Volunteer’ category; we really had no expectation that our Charity would win Kent Charity of the Year 2022 when there are so many worthy charities out there. After a challenging period of delivering services through a pandemic, it gave us all a tremendous boost for Rainbow Centre to be recognised in this way.

Tell us about the impact of being an award-winning charity, has it opened new doors for you, have you gained sponsors/funders, increased your social media presence or client applications?  

Winning this prestigious award has impacted the charity in several ways.  It acknowledges the respect and esteem in which we are held in the local community, the considerable efforts, of our staff and the dedication of the many volunteers who support our varied services.  It was wonderful to be able to encourage all our volunteers by sharing the news with them. Put simply, the Rainbow Centre wants to help people out of crises so they can sustain themselves – and practically, that means collaboration with other local agencies, so this award acknowledges our partners and stakeholders too!!

Winning this award shows how our work is regarded within our community, which of course, gives confidence to funders and donors alike and is something we are proud to share with all and display on our website. It endorses our ‘Walking the Extra Mile’ strategy and compels us to do more, lending a helping hand to our clients on their journey out of their crisis.

Was entering the Kent Charity Awards an easy process?  Did you find the application questions relevant to your charity? 

The process was straightforward, and having a downloadable version gave us the chance to work on it collectively so that was helpful.  We had most things in place, our strategy especially, and the data and reports that helped us complete the application quickly. Our Trustee, and the CEO worked together to make the application and their joint effort paid off. All the questions were relevant to us and gave us the opportunity to say what we wanted to. Given that it’s a generic form for a wide range of charities, it seemed pretty good.

What are you plans for the coming year?  Would you recommend the Kent Charity Awards to other charities?

At this time of economic hardship, this award is encouraging us to redouble our efforts to serve our local community.  We have recently opened a new service, a Food Pantry in Hythe, which helps people with low incomes in the medium term, and plan to broaden the offering in some of our existing services are already in place, such as a befriending element and a dedicated Tenancy Sustainment Coordinator within our Homeless Support and Winter Shelter Services. We will soon launch a Mobile Foodbank to reach all corners of our district with food parcels and much-needed wrap-around services, including debt management, budgeting and cooking classes.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

The wonderful people who work and volunteer within our charity don’t seek or expect accolades: the work is its own reward, but to receive this award has been a huge encouragement on the occasional days when you wonder if you are making a difference.

We are extremely grateful and proud to be the 2022 Kent Charity of the Year

If you would like to find out more about the awards please contact us on

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