After the success of last year our Exceptional Awards are making a comeback – and for 2017 we've added some new categories.
Our awards aim to recognise and celebrate unsung heroes working across Kent, who go above and beyond to make the county such a wonderful place to live, work and play.
Here, we take a look at the first category – and a new one for 2017 – that of exceptional small charity.
There are hundreds of charities across Kent providing support, advice and lifeline services to people from all walks of life. Some may work nationwide and have recognisable names, others work across the region and a few just concentrate their services within Kent.
Through our small charities category we want to throw the spotlight on those groups that deserve to become more of a household name across the county.
Do you know a tight team of helpers that do great work in your community but aren't known that well outside your postcode? These are the kind of charities we are looking for.
All we stipulate is that charities nominated for this category have fewer than 10 employees, not including unpaid volunteers.
Last year the Kent MS Therapy Centre was named as our exceptional charity and we were delighted to put such a worthy cause in the spotlight. Staff from the charity were invited, with all our other finalists, to a wonderful celebration at Leeds Castle where they were presented with their award.
And the finalists for our 2017 awards – including that of exceptional small charity – will get the same VIP treatment when we take over Leeds Castle again for our glittering presentation ceremony later in the year.
Our CEO Stewart said: "Charities are a pillar of our community and in the UK we are home to more than 195,000 registered groups, all doing incredible work.
"Our Exceptional Awards are our way of thanking and recognising the groups, teams and individuals that contribute so much to our county. Through the small charities category we really want to hear from those groups that are working away quietly in their corner of Kent, but deserve some time in the spotlight.
"Nominations are open so if you know, or volunteer for, a small charity that does exceptional work let us know."
Members of the public are invited to make a nomination for any of our award categories. Alongside exceptional small charity we are looking for:
• Exceptional Large Charity (more than 10 employees, not including unpaid volunteers)
• Exceptional Business
• Exceptional Individual and
• Exceptional Business Community Initiative
To make a nomination email email@example.com with the name of the category you are nominating for in the subject line. Please include a short description of your nominee, why they deserve to be the winner, along with their contact details. Remember to also include your own contact details.
Nominations must be made by Monday 31 July.