Earlier this week we revealed the finalists in the business categories of the Perrys Accountants' Exceptional Awards. Now we'd like to introduce you to the remaining finalists, all of whom have worked selflessly for great causes, and have now won deserving places on the shortlists of the Exceptional Charity and Exceptional Individual awards.
The Perrys Exceptional Awards is a wonderful annual event that seeks to celebrate extraordinary businesses, charities, and individuals across Kent.
Stewart Pope, CEO at Perrys Chartered Accountants, said:
"We are so proud to host such an important event that unites Kent businesses, charities, and individuals who go above and beyond. As you'll see when you read the stories below, the nominated charities and individuals all deserve huge congratulations for making it this far. They are all exceptional, so we'll certainly have a tough job narrowing the shortlists down to just one winner for each category. Good luck to everyone involved!"
Exceptional Charity Shortlist
Brogdale Collections, Faversham
Brogdale Collections is home to the National Fruit Collection, with over 4,000 varieties of fruit. The charity provides access and education about the Collection to the public through guided tours, fruit festivals and events. At Brogdale you'll find a living history of fruit – an important aspect of Kent's heritage that the charity is determined to preserve.
ECHO (Evelina Children's Heart Organisation), serving Kent
ECHO provides support to young people who have been treated for heart conditions by Evelina London Children's Hospital throughout Kent and the home counties. Children and their families receive help from the moment of diagnosis, throughout treatment, care or bereavement.
Emmaus Dover is an ex-homeless charity offering a home and workplace to 27 formerly homeless people. The charity gives them a safe place to live at Archcliffe Fort in Dover for as long as they need it. They are given support to have structure in their lives and deal with any issues they may have to help build back their confidence and learn new skills. Set up in 1994 by Francis and Anne Watts, funds are raised via three charity shops in Dover, Ashford and Canterbury.
The Family Trust, Maidstone
The Family Trust in partnership with Churches and Schools Together (CAST) is a Christian charity that has been providing services to schools in Maidstone, Medway and Swale since 1988. The charity aims to help Primary and Secondary school children discover the relevance of Christianity in their daily lives.
The Kent Autistic Trust, serving Kent
The Kent Autistic Trust has been providing support for people with Autism and other associated difficulties since 1989. Supporting people who have significant behaviour/communication needs, the charity prides itself on providing outstanding care to over 5,000 people in Kent and Medway each year, within various community settings. The charities overall aim is to ensure people with autism have the best quality of life and receive the right balance of support so they can be as successful and as content as possible in all areas of their life.
We are Beams, Hextable
Beams is a charity supporting Children with any form of physical, learning or sensory impairment and their families. Its services, which are accessed by 350 people at any one time in Dartford, Gravesham and Sevenoaks, include Family Advice, Short Breaks, Overnight Respite Care and Direct Payments Support.
Exceptional Individual Shortlist
Cianna Critcher, Rochester
Nominated by her aunt Helen Critcher, seven-year-old Cianna was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of three and went through two years and two months of gruelling treatment, then spent a year in recovery. Despite this, Cianna has been fundraising for the cancer hospital, The Royal Marsden, and CCLG (Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group). She even said last Christmas, 'I don't want any presents, I just want all the children in the hospital to get better'.
Marta Jimenez Varela, Rochester
Marta works as the sole fundraiser for Shaftesbury Young People, which supports young people in care and helps them reach their full potential. Marta was initially tasked with rebuilding the fundraising capabilities from the ground up. In her first year at the charity, Marta doubled income to £50,000. Marta was nominated by Sarah Lake, who says: "She shines out from the crowd as a driven and committed person. I'm convinced she will be a powerful fundraising leader in the future."
Pam Manwaring, Dartford
Pam has worked tirelessly to raise money for multiple charities such as Ellenor Hospice, Action Medical Research and the British Heart Foundation. She has a flair for fundraising and has organised no less than 12 creative fundraising events in the last year. She also works individually for her community by crocheting blankets and preparing Christmas dinner for the homeless, mentoring students at Longfield academy and taking part in careers afternoons and speed networking events for students in the Leigh Academy Trust.
Reg Spicer, Tonbridge
Reg Spicer founded the Tonbridge Junior Football Club in 1993, and has been chairman ever since. Nick Themistocleous, General Manager at the club, says of Reg: 'Over the last 25 years of the football club, which provides low cost grass roots football with a positive sporting culture for 750 girls & boys of all ages, Reg has dedicated a huge amount of time to make it the successful club that it is today.'
The winners of the Perrys Exceptional Awards 2018 will be announced at a ceremony at Leeds Castle in Maidstone on Thursday 8 November.
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