The unsung heroes of the district’s voluntary sector gathered last night for the inaugural Thanet Community Awards.
Twenty good causes received Winners’ awards in recognition of their dedication to making Thanet an even better place in which to live and work.
And six of them were chosen as Champion charities by judging organisations London Array, Westwood Cross and the Thanet Extra.
In addition, three individuals received Champion volunteer awards.
The ceremony took place at the Yarrow Hotel in Broadstairs, and the guests were treated to a recorded message of congratulations by award-winning actress and Ramsgate resident Brenda Blethyn.
Westwood Cross and the Extra will work with their respective charities, Ageless Thanet and mental health charity Changing Minds, over the next 12 months – providing valuable publicity and support. While London Array chose the Ramsgate Sea Scouts as its Champion.
In addition to their trophies and certificates, each of the three also received a cheque for £2,000.
The other three champion charities were Speak Up CIC, the Thanet Primary Association for School Sport and Forelands Field Charity. They shared another £2,500 in prize money.
The volunteer champions were founder of Precious Jewels Toddler Group Christine Belsey, Derrick Downs of Rotary Club of Margate, and Will Anderson of Aspire Homeless Project. Each received £500.
The other good causes to receive Winners’ awards were:
• Age UK Social Buddy Scheme
• Aspire Homeless Project
• Beyond the Page
• Bright Shadow
• Dare to Differ
• East Kent Mencap
• Friends of Montefiore Community Woodland
• Grass Cliftonville
• Inspiration Inclusive Theatre
• Kent Coast Volunteering – Thanet
• QEQM Hospital League of Friends
• Louie’s Helping Hands
• Pie Factory Music
• Thanet Community Development Trust.
The awards were organised by the KM Charity Team, and event coordinator Karen Brinkman said: “The ceremony was a fantastic success, and it was wonderful to be able to say thank you to people who are working so hard to improve the community.
“Everybody present fully deserved their awards and moment in the limelight. Tonight we saw the very best of Thanet.”
Find out more about the awards at www.thanetcommunityawards.co.uk.