Charity of the Year status ‘the best thing’

New Leaf Support trustee Hasmita Reardon taking part in the 2018 KM spring abseil challenge in Maidstone

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A KM Group charity of the year has described the experience as “the best thing to happen to a charity”.

And now domestic abuse charity New Leaf Support is urging other good causes to follow in its footsteps and submit nominations to become KM charities of the year for 2019.

New Leaf trustee Hasmita Reardon said: “Being charity of the year has been the best experience.”

When asked how New Leaf Support had benefited, she replied: “Free newspaper articles, fundraising events, random donations and raised awareness, which has increased clients coming forward.

“We are a small charity. However, with the extra publicity we have managed to increase our profile, and the charity is growing very quickly.”

Based in Sittingbourne, New Leaf Support is currently the Sittingbourne News Extra’s charity of the year.

The deadline for charity of the year nominations for 2019 is October 27. You can submit entries here.

One cause will be selected for each newspaper in the KM Group’s portfolio and for its Kent Online website, KMTV and the KMFM radio station.

The chosen charities will receive 12 months of multimedia support, plus access to KM Charity Team fundraising opportunities such as the annual dragon boat race, colour run and big quiz and abseil events.

For Mrs Reardon, one of the highlights of being charity of the year was working with News Extra reporter Chloe Holmwood.

She said: “Chloe has covered nearly every story or event I have sent her, and also spent the time with us to ensure we get everything correct prior to printing. The KM team are like a big family and very friendly.”

And it is an experience that Mrs Reardon is keen to see other good causes in the district benefit from. She added: “Please apply. If you win, it’s the best thing to happen to a charity.

“We have raised a lot of money, and the fundraising is fantastic.

“I can honestly it has given us a massive boost to enable us to continue to make a bigger difference in the community.

“We have enjoyed every minute.”

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