Published: 00:01, 02 February 2019
It is not too late to enter the Kent Charity Awards 2019, and give the county’s hidden heroes some valuable recognition.
The deadline for applications is the end of March, and organisers have already received the first batch of nominations.
The event, now in its fifth year, gives organisations a chance to showcase their work, while increasing funding and boosting staff morale.
This year’s first set of entrants includes Hypo Hounds, an assistance dog charity based in Smarden.
It trains pets to save the lives of children and adults with Type 1 diabetes, by detecting dangerous changes in owners’ blood sugar level.
Another contender is the Pegasus Playscheme, which serves disabled children in Dover and Deal.
It brings able-bodied teenage volunteers and disadvantaged young people together for activities and one-to-one support.
Other applicants include conservation charity Wildwood Trust in Herne Bay, Thanet Community Transport and community garden Shepway Chariots.
Compaid, in Tonbridge, which teaches digital skills to those with mental health problems and disabilities, has also been put forward.
Step and Learn, based in Strood, is also in the running. It helps children with motor disorders to control their physical movements in a fun, friendly setting.
Nominees for volunteer of the year include Mick Clark, of Broadstairs Town Team, recognised for his work creating a new garden for the area; Michelle Pinks Channon, of Little Baby and Co, which delivers memory boxes to bereaved parents; Faith Paynter, of Bubbles Disability Swimming Club in Maidstone; and Lil Smith, who has raised more than £20,000 for Pilgrims Hospices.
Megan McKay, of Cherished Gowns UK, has also been nominated for trustee of the year. She set up the charity in 2014 to create gowns for bereaved mothers to dress babies they have lost.
The awards are free to enter and will be profiled in our sister papers across the KM Media Group.
In April, finalists will be chosen by judges to attend an awards evening in June.
The Kent Charity Awards are sponsored by The KM Media Group, Kreston Reeves, Furley Page, Kent County Council, Medway Council, MidKent College, Diggerland, CC Works, Kent Community Foundation, CAF Bank and Arriva.