Heart of Kent Hospice is delighted to announce that it has launched the Compassionate Community Awards 2020 with Maidstone Borough Council.

The inaugural awards recognise and celebrate the work of unsung heroes from across the borough of Maidstone and have been introduced to highlight and celebrate the positive and compassionate work that individuals, community groups and organisations have done by going above and beyond - particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, to help and support their local communities.

Heart of Kent Hospice and Maidstone Borough Council have collaborated to introduce the awards and are working with the Kent Messenger to showcase the important and selfless work that people in our borough have done to help improve the lives of people living and working in and around Maidstone.  

However big or small you think their contribution has been, if they go that extra mile for the benefit of others, make sure you nominate them for one of the six Compassionate Community Awards (full criteria for the award categories can be read below):

  • Compassionate Workplace/Business
  • Compassionate Care/Residential Home
  • Compassionate Neighbour/Volunteer
  • Compassionate School / Teacher
  • Compassionate Young Person (under 18 years)
  • Compassionate Community

The awards are part of the work being carried out to support the work of the Hospice and Council for the borough to become ‘Compassionate Maidstone.’

Compassionate Places are communities that publicly encourage, facilitate, support and celebrate care for one another during life’s most testing moments and experiences, especially those pertaining to life-threatening and life-limiting illness, chronic disability, frail ageing and dementia, grief and bereavement, and the trials and burdens of long-term care.

Heart of Kent Hospice is also planning to extend the reach of its Compassionate Neighbours project in Maidstone which will further support the profile of Maidstone as a Compassionate Borough.

Sarah Pugh, Chief Executive says: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with Maidstone Borough Council and launching these inaugural Compassionate Community Awards.“Over the last three months we have all witnessed and been part of some amazing acts of kindness, compassion, innovation and selflessness. Individuals of all ages, businesses, care homes, schools, community groups and parishes have come together during the coronavirus pandemic for the benefit of others. We want to celebrate this positivity and the feelings of hope that have been prevalent in everyday life. With the Kent Messenger as media partner, we want as many of you as possible to share your stories with us, so that we can publicly say thank you.”

Compassionate Community Award Nominations can be a written submission of no more than 250 words describing the nominees work.  It can also be submitted as a short video (maximum of three minutes) outlining who they are and what they’ve done, or as a recorded message.  Please also include photographs to reflect how they have supported their community.

Nominations should be submitted via the online form: https://www.kentonline.co.uk/features/compassionate-awards/

Or emailed to:  compassionateawards@maidstone.gov.uk

All nominations must be submitted by 5pm Friday 25 September 2020.

Compassionate workplace/business:

In this category we are looking for a workplace or business that is based in the borough of Maidstone that went out of their way to ensure they supported their colleagues and customers. Whether it be helping employees, by allowing them to work differently whilst maintaining a compassionate and valued approach.  Perhaps, they invested in training for their colleagues and teams; put measures in place to ensure wellbeing for everyone or encouraged their furloughed employees to participate in community activities and supported them to do that.  Or, it may be that they helped their customers by literally delivering the goods when they most needed them.

In no more than 250 words (in writing, video, or voice recording), please give us some examples of how local workplace/business has:

  • Gone above and beyond to help and support their community during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Extended and adapted their services to meet the needs of the community they are based in
  • Helped to support their employees or customers when they needed it most
  • Took on the responsibility to help others who needed support.

Compassionate Care/Residential Home:


In this category we would like to hear about care and residential  homes that have gone above and beyond or out of their normal ways of working to maintain the wellbeing of the residents; particularly when they couldn’t see their loved ones and have visitors. 

In no more than 250 words (in writing, video, or voice recording), please give us examples of their work including:

  • Demonstrated compassion and commitment to the individuals that they are supporting and caring for
  • Maintained contact with an individual’s loved ones and kept them updated
  • Supported their residents through the isolation
  • Invested in the quality of their care through colleagues learning and development

 

Compassionate Neighbour/Volunteer:

In this category we are looking for a neighbour or volunteer who has made a significant impact on their community, to help, support and care for others. Please tell us about that shining light in your local neighbourhood who has really made a difference.

In no more than 250 words (in writing, video, or voice recording), please give us examples of how they may have: 

  • Made a direct difference to someone’s life
  • Responded to the needs of their neighbourhood and brought people together to build on the community spirit
  • Given up their own time to help others
  • Supported the local community by finding ways to resolve issues and support those in need

Compassionate School / Teacher:

In this category we are looking for a school or teacher who has gone above and beyond their traditional ways of working to meet the needs of the community and who has had a positive impact on tackling inequality and increasing student and community resilience.

In no more than 250 words (in writing, video, or voice recording), please give us examples of how they may have: 

  • Made a direct impact on their community, or on an individual student
  • Adapted their ways of working to help students maintain a sense of normality
  • Committed to supporting key worker families throughout the pandemic
  • Extended their services across holidays, extra hours, and the wider school environment

 

Compassionate young person (under 18 years):

In this category we are looking for a young person who has made a significant impact on their community, to help and support others. Please tell us about that shining young light in your local neighbourhood who has really made a difference.

In no more than 250 words (in writing, video, or voice recording), please give us examples of how they may have: 

  • Made a direct difference to someone’s life by giving up their time to help others, work with voluntary groups/charities
  • Responded to the needs of their neighbourhood and brought people together to unite and build on the community spirit
  • Supported the local community by finding ways to resolve issues and support those in need
  • Is a role model - has demonstrated leadership skills, shown creativity, or used innovation to resolved issues and provide support

  

Compassionate Community:

In this category we are looking for a community, parish or large group that have come together to provide a service or project to others, who have tackled issues such as loneliness and social isolation. Or who have created community involvement and cohesion for the benefit of all. 

In no more than 250 words (in writing, video, or voice recording), please give us examples of how they may have: 

  • Developed or adapted a significant project or service for the benefit of others
  • Innovated, co-ordinated and harnessed the communities mixed skill set and experiences
  • Delivered an initiative particularly supporting vulnerable people
  • Fostered a strong sense of community spirit to make an outstanding difference to their community
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