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Kent Charity Awards sees bumper year of nominations

By Joe Wright

More nominations have been submitted for this year’s Kent Charity Awards.

The annual accolades, which will culminate with an evening gala in March, recognise individuals and groups who go that extra mile.

Canterbury-based charities Books to Africa and People United have joined 20 others from across the county to earn a place on an ever-growing list of nominees.

East Kent Mencap is up for charity of the year
East Kent Mencap is up for charity of the year

Thanet Community Transport, Medway League of Friends and Stride4Life are also up for the award - with the winner set to be announced in March.

New Leaf Support - which provides a safe haven for women and children suffering from domestic abuse – is joined on the nomination list by Spadework, CKX, and Bechange Community Hub which works to reach brighter futures for struggling families.

The Romney Marsh Day Centre, which is used by hundreds of people each month, is nominated along with the Kent MS Therapy Centre, Dover SmART Project, and cancer support group My Shining Star.

Breast cancer support volunteer Steph Harrison
Breast cancer support volunteer Steph Harrison

They are joined by Kent Scouts, which provides activities for more than 20,000 young people, and Cherished Gowns, which supports families suffering from the loss of miscarriages.

Find a Voice, which helps individuals who have severe speech, language or communication difficulties is also up for the prize.

Helping Hands for Holidays, deaf support group More Than Words, Burrswood Health and Wellbeing, East Kent Mencap, Porchlight and St George’s Community Children’s Project round off the recent batch of nominations.

More Than Words has been nominated for the main award
More Than Words has been nominated for the main award

Rita Couzins from The Harmony Therapy Trust, Geoffrey Wilcox from Maidstone Meditation, Tim Hall from Sevenoaks Community First Responders, and Kerry Millett from Broadstairs Town Team are the latest nominees for trustee of the year.

Meanwhile, Caroline Williams Jessel, a volunteer for more than 15 years at Maidstone-based charity Dandelion Time, is joined by scout stalwart Adele Govett in the running for Kent’s volunteer of the year award.

Another nominee, Julie Sharp, who kickstarted the Rainham Bereavement Friendship Group in 2005 following the death of her husband, has helped more than 500 people come to terms with life without their partners during her time as a volunteer.

Ashford-based Roy Green has been nominated
Ashford-based Roy Green has been nominated

Three individuals from Ashford Volunteer Centre have made onto the list. Hana Davis, who has become a mentor for a young Syrian lady, volunteer driver Roy Green, and Mirelle Smith - who spends time with a friend each week – are all up for the prize.

They are joined by Diana Hill from Victim Support, and Steph Harrison from Breast Cancer Care.

The list of volunteers is rounded off by Janet Jeffery – who has dedicated 40 years to listening to those in the depths of despair as part of the Samaritans of Maidstone & Weald.

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