Community charity scoops Kent Charity of the Year accolade
At a glittering Gala Dinner at Priestfield Stadium in Gillingham on Thursday 15th March, more than 260 representatives from Kent’s charitable sector gathered as community charity, Children & Families, was crowned Kent Charity of the Year 2018!
Children and Families, a remarkable charity that operates across Kent, and provides many services to give children and families the best opportunities in life, fought off strong competition from more than 80 entries to scoop the top prize.
On winning the award Jim Duncan, CEO at Children & Families, said;
“At Children & Families we’re absolutely thrilled to have been chosen as the Kent Charity of the Year. With so many other truly outstanding charities represented on the night, it was an honour to receive this award on behalf of the staff and volunteers who do our important work. Kent has a fantastically diverse and capable voluntary sector and we are enormously grateful to the Kent Charity Awards and all the sponsors for championing this vital work in the county.”
Volunteer and Trustee of the Year
Also attending Kent’s most prestigious Award ceremony were the finalists in the Volunteer and Trustee of the Year categories. These highly-acclaimed accolades were presented to Diana Hill and Kerry Millet respectively.
The Volunteer of the Year announcement saw a standing ovation for Diana, who has been volunteering with Victim Support for almost five and a half years. Within this timeframe she has helped enable and empower more than 200 service users to gain resilience and get their lives back on track following the devastating impacts of crime.
Kerry Millet was was crowned Trustee of the Year for the work she does with Broadstairs Town Team – Kerry’s commitment, innovation, energy and drive in setting up the Broadstairs Town Team volunteer-led initiative project in 2012 impressed the judges enormously. Her dedication to getting the project off the ground and securing funds from the National Lottery People’s Millions and Thanet District Council, has seen Broadstairs come together to do positive things that benefit the community and visitors to the town.
Outstanding Contribution to Kent Award
A new Award for 2018 was presented to The Big Cat Sanctuary in Marden. The first recipients of the Outstanding Contribution to Kent Award work to provide a future for some of the most beautiful and endangered cats in the world at their sanctuary in Kent. They are now recognised as one of Europe’s biggest wildcat centres and their four pillars of ethos are welfare, breeding, conservation & education and have put Kent well and truly on the map as a centre of excellence in conservation.
The Kent Charity Awards recognise and celebrate the unsung heroes of Kent who work tirelessly to make the lives of others better. Finalists fell into the following categories – Community, Care, Animal, Children’s, Voluntary and Supporting Services Charity of the Year and the winners were:
Community Charity of the Year – Safer Kent
Children’s Charity of the Year – We Are Beams
Supporting Services Charity of the Year – Crossways Community
Care Charity of the Year – Ellenor Hospice
Voluntary Charity of the Year – The Family Trust
Animal Charity of the Year – Second Chance Animal Rescue
Chairman of judges Susan Robinson said: “This has been another challenging year for the judges, but also a very moving one as we read through submissions evidencing some of the incredible work the sector is doing. There was a wide variety of entries demonstrating the many different areas charities operate in and their differing sizes.
The finalists richly deserve recognition for what they have achieved in an increasingly difficult environment.”
We were delighted to welcome KMTV to the awards evening – full interview and coverage of the evening can can be watched by clicking here here.
The finalists in all categories were:
Community Charity of the Year
Safer Kent – Winner
Children and Families
Children’s Charity of the Year
We Are Beams – Winner
Holding on Letting Go
Supporting Services Charity of the Year
Crossways Community – Winner
Rising Sun Domestic Violence & Abuse Service
YouCan Youth Cancer Support
Space 2 Be Me
Care Charity of the Year
Ellenor Hospice – Winner
The Kent Autistic Trust
Voluntary Charity of the Year
The Family Trust – Winner
Broadstairs Town Team’s, Town Shed
The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust
Animal Charity of the Year
Second Chance Animal Rescue – Winner
The Big Cat Sanctuary
Trustee of the Year
Kerry Millett – Broadstairs Town Team – Winner
Colin Thacker – YouCan Youth Cancer Support
Debbie McSwiney – Holding On Letting Go
Volunteer of the Year
Diana Hill – Victim Support – Winner
Caroline Williams Jessel – Dandelion Time
Wendy Daws BEM – Kent Association for the Blind
The event could only take place because of the support of its sponsors – Furley Page, The KM Media Group, Medway Council, MidKent College, Kent County Council, Kreston Reeves, Diggerland, Southeastern, CC Works, Kent Community Foundation, CAF Bank and Southern Water. Thanks also to Arriva who kindly sponsored the drinks reception at the Gala Evening.
Entries for the 2018 will open in early Summer and can be made through the Kent Charity Awards website www.kentcharityawards.com .