The 2023 Kent Charity Awards are now open!

The sponsors and organisers of our highly-acclaimed Kent Charity Awards are delighted to announce the launch of the 2023 Awards!  You must submit your application or nomination before Friday 19th May 2023 to be included in this year’s awards.

The Kent Charity Awards were set up in 2015 to recognise and reward the hard work of charities, volunteers and trustees working in Kent.  Since then, they have gone from strength to strength and are now the most important celebration of the third sector in the county.  Charities, both large and small from across Kent can submit their entries and gain much deserved publicity for the incredible work they do.

You can also nominate someone for a Volunteer or Trustee of the Year award. These two popular awards acknowledge the dedication and involvement that a volunteer gives to their organisation. In Kent alone there are thousands of volunteers that deserve an award for their tireless commitment to the charity sector, so don’t forget to download the nomination form on the Kent Charity Awards website.

Finalists will be invited to a glittering gala evening to be held in September 2023 – venue will be announced shortly.

Last year we held the gala evening at the historic Pilkington Building in Medway University campus.  Over 260 people from across the county came along to celebrate each others success on becoming finalists of these prestigious awards.

The climax of the evening saw The Rainbow Centre in Folkestone crowned Kent Charity of the Year. The judges said of them, “The charity operates in an area of Kent with high deprivation.  It relies on a large network of volunteers.  Following Covid they have had to rebuild the number of volunteers, appointing a volunteer coordinator to support the team.  Over the years the services provided have developed in response to perceived needs.  They continue to develop packages to help beneficiaries to move forward”.

Dr. Peter Le Feuvre, Chair of Trustees of the Rainbow Centre said, “The Folkestone Rainbow Centre is honoured to have received such a prestigious award and is deeply grateful to the judges for their decision. When we recognised last night at the gala dinner the range and quality of charitable activity in the county, we felt an enormous sense of privilege and pride. The amount of deprivation and hardship in our towns and villages is rising during these challenging economic times, and the task of responding to such need is daunting. But we are inspired by the trust that has been placed in us by the award and this will encourage us to do all that we can to continue to support those facing the indignity of hunger and homelessness.

Susan Robinson, Partner at Kreston Reeves and Head Judge said of this year’s awards” These awards are an opportunity for charities to highlight the great work that they are doing. The Judges are looking for those charities that have done something different be it in the services that they deliver or the way that they are delivered.  Without trustees and volunteers the sector will struggle to deliver and we take this opportunity to value their contribution by including them in the awards.  We look forward to reviewing all the nominations.’’

2022 also saw two very special recognition awards presented.  The first was the Judges Award for a Charity Project which was awarded to Heart of Kent Hospice for their wonderful project “Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade”.

The second special award was to a lady who has spent a lifetime being a lifeline for animals.  Margaret Todd, founder of Lord Whisky Sanctuary was described as “kind, loyal and an inspiration to us all.”

Volunteer of the Year Award went to Omolola Oyweusi from the Magdalene Ministry, and our Trustee of the Year was awarded to Jill Sarjeant from Dover smART.

The full list of our 2022 winners are as follows:

Kent Charity of the Year – Rainbow Centre – Winner

Special Recognition Awards

Heart or Kent Hospice – Winner

Margaret Todd – Lord Whisky Sanctuary Fund – Winner

Care Charity of the Year

Romney Marsh Community Hub – Winner

Kenward trust

Carers First

Heart of Kent Hospice

Children’s Charity of the Year

Curly’s Legacy – Winner

Slide Away

21 Together

Embracing Arts

Disability and Mental Health Charity of the Year

Spadework – Winner

Fifth Trust

Maidstone Mencap Charitable Trust

Community Charity

Oasis Domestic Abuse Services – Winner

Kent Search and Rescue

Halpern Charitable Foundation

Catching Lives

Best Use of Volunteers

Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services – Winner

Gillingham Street Angels

Rainbow Centre

Animal, Environment & Wildlife

Wildwood Trust – Winner

Computers 4 Charity

Brogdale Collections

Lord Whisky Sanctuary Fund


Baby Umbrella – Winner

Wishing Hearts

East Kent Baby Memorial Gardens


CXK – Winner

ellenor Hospice


Demelza Children’s Hospice

Volunteer of the Year

Omolola Oyewusi, Magdalene Ministry – Winner

Audrey Batchelor, various

Melanie Woodgate, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

Trustee of the Year

Jill Sarjeant, Dover smART- Winner

Alison Culverwell, Bright Shadow

Eppa Hummerstone, Bridge Village Playgroup

Angela Painter, Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services

The Kent Charity Awards were founded by Josie Hage and Sarah MacDonald of Rise Communications.  As event managers for several key business awards across the county they realised there wasn’t a single, countywide award scheme aimed at the third sector and wanted to do something to honour the commitment and hard work charities and voluntary groups do across Kent.

The KCAs are free to enter and open to charities both large and small who operate in Kent.  Charities must submit their application before Friday 19th May 2023 to be included in this year’s awards.

A full list of categories and details on how to enter can be found at

The Kent Charity Awards are kindly sponsored by:  Kreston Reeves, Kent County Council, Medway Council, CCWorks, Kent Community Foundation, AMEY, CAF Bank, Financial Advice & Services, The KM Media Group, Brachers and A-Plan Insurance

For more information contact:

Jo Hage – 07734 050238

Sarah MacDonald – 07786 261934

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