Forum celebrates best practice in charities and schools

Winners at the 2018 KM Charity Forum.

GalleryBuster's Book ClubCharity of the Year

The annual KM Charity Forum celebrated scores of award-winners from schools and charities across the county on Friday.

Just 50 good causes from Kent, Medway and Bexley were chosen to receive the coveted Charity Mark in recognition of their good work.

And representatives from 50 schools were recognised for their sterling activities in the fields of literacy, green travel and road safety. Winners collected Literacy Marks and Platinum Pledge Certificates to display with pride in their schools.

The event included walking bus birthday celebrations to honour the teams ensuring the safety of children during their journey to school.

Sixteen schools were awarded Buster’s Outstanding Partner status for their exceptional work in both green travel (including Super Wow and Green Footsteps) and the reading reward scheme Buster’s Book Club.

The accolades were presented during a ceremony staged by the KM Charity Team at the Mercure Great Danes Hotel. They were commended by organisations including Kent County Council, Medway Council, London Borough of Bexley, Rotary South East, Kent Community Foundation, Crown Charitable Foundation, Golding Homes, Three Rs Teacher Recruitment, Countrystyle, Volker Highways, and Maidstone Borough Council.

A series of workshops followed the awards ceremony with speakers including the forum’s headline partner Kreston Reeves as well as Employment Law 4 u, Leeds Castle, and Diggerland.

Delegates attending the leisure attractions session were submitted into a prize draw to win a class visit to each attraction. Balbir Padam from Manorway Academy won the Leeds Castle prize while Nicola McGlone of Harcourt Primary won the Diggerland class visit.

Other workshops for schools included a walk to school masterclass and a Buster’s Book Club focus group.

Simon Dolby, CEO of the KM Charity Team, led a session for good causes in how to apply to be KM Charity of the Year 2019.

He said: “The application process is simple, and if you win you will benefit from a year-long media partnership with your local KM Group paper, and could earn vital funds from KM Charity Team challenges such as the KM Dragon Boat Race.”

The forum was the setting for two launches: a new Air Pollution category for the Green School Awards 2019 which are now open to nominations, and the front cover of the Catching Lives Photo Stories booklet – a partnership between Bookbinders, Catching Lives, and Canterbury City Council to raise awareness of homelessness.

More than 200 delegates attended the half-day event, which was run by the KM Charity Team to showcase the support available from the educational charity to good causes, teachers, and parent-teacher associations in the south east.

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Schools have until December 1 to join Buster’s Book Club for the New Year and go into a prize draw to win 400 books.

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