Charities make their mark

KM Charity Mark 2019 winners plus supporters at the KM Charity Team’s annual forum at the Ashford International Hotel.

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Forty Kent charities have received the coveted KM Charity Mark award to honour their work in the community.

The presentations were part of the KM Charity Team’s annual free forum to support good causes in the key areas of finance, employment law, publicity and fundraising.

Representatives from the winning organisations were invited to collect their accolades and take advantage of initiatives to raise their profiles.

These included KM Charity of the Year 2020 which is open to applications from charities and voluntary groups of any size until October 27. Winning causes will receive 12 months of editorial support from their local KM newspaper.

Valerie Hale, the Deputy Lieutenant of Kent.

One hundred and fifty delegates attended the forum at the Ashford International Hotel, hosted by Simon Dolby of Streetspace and featuring guest speaker Valerie Hale, the Deputy Lieutenant of Kent.

Mrs Hale, JP of Ash, near Canterbury, said the lieutenancy highly “regards all volunteers and all the work that they do across this county.

“Whether they’re large groups, small groups – it may just be one volunteer – they are doing a magnificent job and we say a very big thank you.”

Charities were urged to thank their volunteers by submitting nominations for the inaugural Kent Volunteering Awards by October 18 at

Forum workshops included a session on finance and employment law co-hosted by the event’s headline partner Kreston Reeves and Furley Page.

Charity specialist Sean Rodwell of Kreston Reeves said it was “pivotal” for charities to understand financial matters so they can focus on “the services they deliver day in, day out.”

Sean Rodwell of Kreston Reeves at the KM Charity Team Forum.

He updated delegates on charity reporting, reserves policy, and charity support costs and overheads.

Amanda Okill, a senior associate at Furley Page solicitors, spoke about unconscious bias and diversity in the workplace.

Social Enterprise Kent and Kent Community Foundation gave tips on making grant applications and the funding pots available.

Deputy CEO at Social Enterprise Kent, Rebecca Smith, said: “It’s great to talk to a whole range of social enterprises, charities and community groups about grant funding and how to put in their best application.”

Mr Dolby also ran a session on Charity of the Year and fundraising using the KM Charity Team’s abseil, bike ride, colour run, and firewalk events.

KM Charity Mark recipients included Zoe Hammond from Inspiration Creative CIC who said it was “so special” to get recognition for her charity’s work in Thanet.

Sevenoaks-based Keith Riggs, who collected the award on behalf of military charity SSAFA, said he was “very humble that we should be honoured in this way.”

Karen Brinkman, acting general manager of the KM Charity Team, said: “It’s a pleasure to reveal the causes who have earned the KM Charity Mark this year.

“Their efforts and impact are to be applauded and they should all be very proud of themselves.”

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