Published: Thursday, 14th February 2019
Celebrity guests Len Goodman and Peter Sissons were among the VIPs presenting trophies at the Making It Happen, Community and Voluntary Awards 2019.
St Nicholas’ Church, Sevenoaks, played host to this year’s awards which celebrated the District’s unsung heroes, volunteers and community groups.
The biggest award of the night was given by Strictly star Len Goodman. Len presented the Lifetime Achievement award to Graham Coldman, who has been selflessly serving Edenbridge and the surrounding community for over 20 years. Graham works with a number of charities in the area including DAVSS, Citizen’s Advice Edenbridge & Westerham, Edenbridge Community Centre Partnership & The Holcot Centre. Thanks to Graham, the charities he works with have made a real difference to the lives of thousands of adults, young people and children, including the most vulnerable in Edenbridge and in West Kent.
Broadcaster and Journalist, Peter Sissons, presented the award for Individual Community Champion to Susan Gidman from Sevenoaks Weald. Susan has been described as ‘The heart of village life in Weald’ Her list of accomplishments includes being president of Woman of Weald, being involved in the village design statement and a local history book called ‘The Changing Face of Weald’ plus being involved in all village events.
This year, the event honoured a Dementia Friendly Initiative and the award given to the Sevenoaks Area Dementia Friendly Community Forum (SADFC) by Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Michelle Lowe. SADFC is made up of organisations, businesses and individuals operating and living in the Sevenoaks District, collaboratively working to improve the lives of people living with dementia. Projects include Run, Walk or Push against Dementia which in May 2018 raised £7000 and is being repeated this year on 12 May in Knole Park.
Other awards included Best Business in the Community which was jointly given to Wagamama Sevenoaks & Weald Community Shop and Charity of the Year which was presented to The Hygiene Bank, set up by Lizzie Hall. The Mayor of Sevenoaks, Cllr Roddy Hogarth, presented the Community Safety award to The Swanley Police Cadets and Chairman of Sevenoaks Council, Cllr Pat Bosley gave the Community Arts/Sports Group of the Year to Sevenoaks Powerchair Football Club. Paul Landsdale, who is Chairman of Sevenoaks Football Club, won Outstanding Volunteer of the Year award.
Further awards went to the Riverside Youth Group of Eynsford who picked up Youth Group of the Year and the Older Person of the Year award went to Hartley resident Veronica McGannon. The Equalities Champion award was presented to Sevenoaks based disabled charity, Band without Boundaries.
A special recognition award for Carer of the Year was given by Chief Inspector Nick Finnis of Kent Police to eight year old Chloe Young for looking after her epileptic brother Jake.
The night was compared by Leader of the Council, Cllr Peter Fleming who says: “The Making it Happen Community Awards ceremony is a wonderful evening recognising the achievements and hard work of amazing groups and individuals in our communities. Everyone has been nominated by people who see the value of what is being achieved by these individuals and groups across the District, this year the calibre of those nominated was incredibly high and the judges had the unenviable task of finding a winner in each category, so I would like to share my massive congratulations to all those nominated.”
The awards to took place at St Nicholas’ Church, Sevenoaks on the evening of Wednesday 13 February 2019. The winners were chosen by an in-house panel of judges.
Full Award List
Community Arts/Sports Group of the Year - presented by Cllr Pat Bosley
Winner – Sevenoaks Powerchair Football Club
Highly Commended - D’vine Singers
Best Business in the Community - presented by Jill Roberts
Winner – Wagamama Sevenoaks & Weald Community Shop
Highly Commended - Sevenoaks House Clearance
Community Safety - presented by Cllr Roddy Hogarth
Winner – Swanley Police Cadets
Highly Commended - Peter Woodruff
Youth Group of the Year – presented by Lee Denny
Winner – Riverside Youth Group
Highly Commended - Sevenoaks Youth Council
Older Person’s Group of the Year – presented by Simon Goldsmith
Winner – Veronica McGann
Highly Commended - Karen Gibbs
Individual Community Champion presented by Peter Sissons
Winner – Susan Gidman
Highly Commended - Irene Collins/ Melanie Commandeur/ Julie Barry
Carer of the Year - presented by Chief Inspector Nick Finnis of Kent Police
Winner – Chloe Young
Equalities Champion – presented by Cllr Pat Bosley
Winner – Band without Boundaries
Highly Commended - Digital Sunset - Linden Kemkaren
Charity Project of the Year - presented by Steph Harrison
Winner – The Hygiene Bank
Highly Commended - Sevenoaks Breast Feeding and Sling Group
Dementia Friendly Initiative of the Year - presented by Cllr Michelle Lowe
Winner – Sevenoaks Area Dementia Friendly Community Forum
Highly Commended - Ferne Haxby
Outstanding Volunteer for Local Attraction – presented by Cllr John Edwards-Winser
Winner – Paul Lansdale
Highly Commended - Chris Holgate
Lifetime Achievement – presented by Len Goodman
Winner – Graham Coldman
Highly Commended - Kathy Charman/ Mandy Wynn