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Sevenoaks: Community champions honoured in District Council's Making it Happen voluntary and community awards

Individuals who have made a notable impact to the community were honoured in a recent awards ceremony.

The ‘Making it Happen’ Voluntary and Community Awards were held on Wednesday, June 15.
Run by Sevenoaks District Council, the awards recognise community champions from Sevenoaks and the surrounding area.

With more than 50 entries received, there were just 10 winners on the night at Sevenoaks School.

Charity Project of the Year went to Kent Young Carers (Sevenoaks and Edenbridge). The charity supports 320 young carers in the area, who are aged from five to 18.

Alice Fenner from Tonbridge was named Volunteer of the Year for her work raising awareness of mental health issues at schools in Sevenoaks.

The award for Charity of the Year was given to Edenbridge Voluntary Transport Service, who help elderly and disabled people travel to and from day centres and medical appointments.

Sue Gray collected the Best Business in the Community award on behalf of Sainsbury’s in Sevenoaks. The supermarket has raised money for West Kent Mind and mental health awareness for the last two years.

Other winners included Jan Dean from Westerham, who won the Individual Community Champion award, and Dr Harriet Heal from Up & Running, a group that has helped more than 100 women suffering from anxiety and depression, who won the Sports, Health, and Wellbeing award.

The special guest on the night was 80s chart topper Cheryl Baker, who presented 80-year-old Pat Downing with the Lifetime Achievement award for her work with West Kent Mind over the past 36 years.

The award for Community Safety went to youth worker Andy Watson. Mr Watson has previously had problems with drugs and alcohol, and now warns young people of the dangers of these substances.

West Kent Mind got another mention on the night when they won Best Community Club of the Year for their weekly support group helping mums suffering from stress, isolation, and depression.

Cllr Peter Fleming, the Leader of Sevenoaks Council, said: “We received so many excellent nominations from organisations and individuals, and as you’d expect, it was a hugely difficult task to decide the overall winners.

“The ceremony itself was brilliant and I got to meet so many inspirational people who make a real different to the lives of others.”

Eurovision Song Contest winner and 80s chart topper Cheryl Baker was one of the special guests who presented local heroes with their winning trophies at this year’s Community and Voluntary Awards.

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