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Charity awards recognise business support

By Liz Nicholls

A leading children’s charity staged an awards ceremony to thank the organisations playing a critical role in its work with good causes and schools.

Recipients of 10-year and five-year partnership awards at the third annual KM Charity Partnership Awards 2018.

Representatives from 100 organisations - including local authorities, businesses, housing associations, and charities - attended the KM Charity Partnership Awards 2018.

The annual event, now in its third year, honoured the key partners of the KM Charity Team with an awards ceremony where they each received a trophy and framed certificate.

The charity’s educational work includes a successful walk to school campaign which removed more than 318,000 school-run car journeys from Kent roads last year. At the same time, reading reward scheme Buster’s Book Club encouraged pupils to collectively notch up 7.5 million minutes of reading.

Charities benefit from collaborative fundraising events staged throughout the year, which allow participants to raise sponsor money for any cause of their choice. Activities include the KM Big Bike Ride, KM Charity Walk, KM Colour Run, and KM Dragon Boat Race – as well as four heats of the KM Big Charity Quiz – raising £200,000 each year.

The Partnership Awards, staged at the Ashford International Hotel, included the presentation of special awards. Eight businesses were rewarded for 10 years of continuous support and 19 awards were presented for a five-year partnership.

Jason Raggatt from Barclays, which received a 10-year partnership award, explained how the bank supports the KM Charity Team.

“For every thousand pounds raised by the KM Charity Team - up to a maximum of £5,000 per event - we match funds raised, whether that’s the Charity Golf Day, Big Quiz, Dragon Boat Race – all the events that we take part in,” he said.

“Every pound that’s raised goes to a great number of charities across the county.”

Cllr Derek Mortimer of Maidstone Borough Council, which received a special five-year award, said: “We promote the walk to school initiative in Maidstone. It’s an extremely good initiative – working very well, with lots of uptake. It’s very important from a health point of view for children, and we are also getting many parents on board.”

Karen Gray of McCabe Ford Williams said she was proud to support the charity's event the Kent Literacy Awards for the second year in a row.

She explained: “It’s not just about numeracy in accountancy - literacy is very important to us as well. We have to be able to communicate with our clients and be able to prepare quite detailed reports. It’s something that we look for in our candidates and something we’re proud to be able to support for children.”

Sonya Cragg of Countrystyle Recycling, recipient of a five-year award, said: “We support the KM Charity Team on the walk to school scheme, helping to keep vehicles off the road.

“Road safety is really important for us and it links in really well with the schools initiative programme where we go round to many of the schools teaching them about three Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle. The KM Charity Team supports our ethos about road safety, and also helping to encourage recycling and looking after the environment.”

Specsavers backs the charity’s walk to school work and this year marks its third anniversary of supporting the Medway heat of the KM Big Charity Quiz.

Yve Dixon from the optician’s Chatham branch said the quiz “raises a lot of money and we have a great night. We do like to help in the community because I think there’s a lot that we can do to help other people.”

Simon Dolby, chief executive of the KM Charity Team, said: “These awards allow us to recognise the organisations helping us to develop and deliver our services for charities and schools.

“Their support means more opportunities for more children – whether it’s encouraging them to get active, learn road safety, champion the environment, develop cooking skills, or to read and write for fun. It also means more opportunities for charities of all sizes, and PTAs, to fundraise for their cause.

“We are thrilled to work in partnership with all of these people and thank them for all their help, which has made such a difference to so many people across the county.”

Find out more about the charity’s work at www.kmcharityteam.co.uk

Businesses interested in supporting the KM Charity Team’s work with schools or charities should contact Simon Dolby on 07989 164752 or email sdolby@thekmgroup.co.uk

Events currently open for booking include KM Abseil on Sunday, April 8, KM Assault Course on Sunday, April 15, Canterbury Big Quiz on Friday, April 20, and KM Big Bike Ride on Sunday, April 29. Visit www.kmcharityteam.co.uk/booking and use the discount code KMNEWS18.

The Kent Literacy Awards 2018 are now open to nominations from schools - for initiatives successfully developing reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills - at www.kentliteracyawards.co.uk

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