High Sheriff of Kent Awards Ceremony 2020 & 2021

The annual High Sheriff Awards celebrate the charitable work of organisations who contribute their time and care to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community

Having had to cancel the previous two High Sheriff Award events during the pandemic, the ceremony on the 1 September was a unique occasion, with the two previous High Sheriffs and the current High Sheriff attending the event at the Gulbenkian at University of Kent.

The evening celebrated the community organisations who received High Sheriff Awards from Paul Barrett MBE (High Sheriff 2019/20) and Remony Millwater (High Sheriff 2020/21), in the presence of the current High Sheriff John Weir JP.

The winners of Paul Barrett’s High Sheriff Awards were: The Gables, (Childhood First), Reform Restore Respect, The Community Hub, (HMP Swaleside), Lily’s Social Kitchen CIC, and the Volunteer Police Cadets, Ashford, and Canterbury. In addition to the High Sheriff’s Awards, a High Sheriff’s Consort Award was presented to Beating Time, (HMP Maidstone).

Paul Barrett MBE, High Sheriff 2019/20, said, “I am delighted to finally be able to present these awards in person to the winners in recognition of the amazing work that they do to help others in our County”.

The winners of Remony Millwater’s High Sheriff Awards were: VRU Ashford and Folkestone District, Refocus Project Ltd, Lily's Social Kitchen CIC, Dogs Trust Freedom Project and Rubicon Cares. In addition to The High Sheriff’s Awards, a High Sheriff’s Consort Award was presented to Challenger Troop CIC and a special Coronavirus award went to The Gillingham Street Angels.

Remony Millwater, High Sheriff, 2020/21, said, “I am so grateful to Kent Community Foundation for introducing me to charities to visit and support during my year as High Sheriff. It was an exceptional year, and I would not have had the opportunity to meet so many inspirational people without the encouragement and knowledge shared by Josephine McCartney and the Foundation team. It was hard to choose which of the many worthy charities I should present awards to, so I chose those supporting people affected by crime in any way or involved with crime prevention, as this is crucially linked to the role of High Sheriff. I also wanted to make a special award for this unprecedented year and so I presented an award to the Gillingham Street Angels to recognise their commitment and help to the people of Medway, throughout the pandemic.

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “Kent Community Foundation has been managing the High Sheriff's Award Fund since 2015 and is delighted to support the High Sheriffs Awards to celebrate charitable organisations who contribute their time and care to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community.”

John Weir JP, High Sheriff (2021/22), said “I was delighted to be able to support Paul and Remony to hold these prestigious awards. The past eighteen months has been an extremely difficult time for charities, and it was an honour to be able to recognise the fantastic work of Paul and Remony’s award winning organisations.”

Paul Barrett High Sheriff 2019/20 winners:

  • The Gables – Childhood First near Tenterden, Ashford, is a residential therapeutic community with a special school, providing specialist therapeutic care, education, and treatment for ‘hard to place’ children with complex needs aged 10-18. 
  • Reform Restore Respect in Edenbridge, Sevenoaks, aims to show young people in graphic detail what life in prison is really like, show them how easy it is to get drawn into gangs and crime, and explain the devastating effect a prison sentence can have on your and your family’s lives. 
  • HMP Swaleside Community Hub on the Isle of Sheppey, comprises a small team of residents (prisoners) who work as a point of liaison between other residents and the prison officers, to resolve issues where they can, and perhaps where lines of communication have broken down. 
  • Volunteer Police Cadets, Ashford and Canterbury Divisions gives children valuable structure and training. Representatives from the Ashford and Canterbury divisions played an important role at High Sheriff Paul Barrett’s Justice Service in the autumn of 2020. 
  • Lily’s Social Kitchen a bistro in Canterbury, helps people who struggle to gain employment, to develop new skills. Those working at Lily's, either as volunteers or paid staff, have faced, and continue to face, great challenges in gaining skills and employment, but where others may see unskilled or unemployable, the Lilly’s team is determined to give their employees the best chance to make the most of themselves without judgement. 
  • Beating Time, HMP Maidstone, was awarded the High Sheriff’s Consort Award. The brilliantly named Beating Time works with prisons to give residents (prisoners) a sense of community, and, for a short time, relief from the harsh reality of their lives. 

Remony Millwater High Sheriff 2020/21 winners:

  • Violence Reduction Unit, Ashford and Folkestone District - uses a public health approach to violence, addressing the causes of violence and aiming to support those involved and impacted by violence. 
  • Refocus Project Ltd based in Dartford, provide early intervention and prevention to help those most at risk through conflict resolution and to protect those from being exploited or caught up in bullying, knife crime, peer pressure, county lines, crime, grooming, money laundering, gangs – either as victim or perpetrator.
  • Dogs Trust Freedom Project in Canterbury, a dog fostering service for people fleeing domestic abuse and going into refuge. The service has been running for 16 years and has helped over 1,500 people to flee domestic abuse. 
  • Lily’s Social Kitchen a bistro in Canterbury, helps people who struggle to gain employment, to develop new skills. Those working at Lily's, either as volunteers or paid staff, have faced, and continue to face, great challenges in gaining skills and employment, but where others may see unskilled or unemployable, the Lilly’s team is determined to give their employees the best chance to make the most of themselves without judgement. 
  • Rubicon Cares is based in Maidstone and provides trauma counselling for people affected by crime throughout Kent and Medway.
  • Challenger Troop from Tunbridge Wells, received Remony Millwater’s High Sheriff’s Consort Award. They run unique leadership, team building, and engagement programmes that develop character, grit, and resilience in young people. 
  • The Gillingham Street Angels received The High Sheriff, Covid Award for their help with homeless, needy, and vulnerable people of all ages in the Medway towns. 

As well as an awards certificate, each of the winning organisations receive a £500 donation.

Kent Community Foundation has managed the High Sheriff's Award Fund since 2015 and has invaluable experience in introducing High Sheriffs to voluntary groups in Kent and Medway.

The High Sheriff of Kent Awards - award winner Beating Time

Beating Time, HMP Maidstone

The High Sheriff of Kent Awards - award winner Challenger Troop CIC

Challenger Troop CIC

The High Sheriff of Kent Awards - award winner Dog's Trust Freedom Project

Dog's Trust Freedom Project

The High Sheriff of Kent Awards - award winner Childhood First - The Gables

The Gables – Childhood First

The High Sheriff of Kent Awards - award winner Gillingham Street Angels

Gillingham Street Angels

The High Sheriff of Kent Awards - award winner Lily's Social Kitchen CIC

Lily's Social Kitchen CIC

The High Sheriff of Kent Awards - award winner Refocus Project

Refocus Project Ltd 

The High Sheriff of Kent Awards - award winner Reform, Restore, Respect

Reform Restore Respect

The High Sheriff of Kent Awards - award winner Rubicon Cares

Rubicon Cares

The High Sheriff of Kent Awards - award winner Volunteer Police Cadets, Ashford and Canterbury Divisions

Volunteer Police Cadets, Ashford and Canterbury Divisions 

 The High Sheriff of Kent Awards - award winner Violent Reduction Unit

Violence Reduction Unit, Ashford and Folkestone District 

The High Sheriff of Kent Awards - award winner HMP Swaleside

HMP Swaleside Community Hub

MASSIVE 'thank you ' to everyone at Kent Community Foundation. Your funding support is HUGELY appreciated and has enabled us to get into the heart of local communities with REAL, affordable, healthy and tasty food that does so much more than feed people.

Community chef Mike Spackman, Sheppey Matters

KCF's enthusiasm for what we are doing and hoping to do, coupled with helpful advice, gave us the confidence to take this daunting step which has paid off.

Liz Turner, Octopus Foundation

It's great having a foundation that empowers organisations and charities in our community to make real positive differences and changes!

Tom, MMK Mind
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