Square Pegs, a youth arts organisation for people with special needs aged 7-25 exists for young people who don’t fit in with mainstream activities because of learning or communication difficulties. The group which started 12 years ago, were very proud to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in November, the only organisation in the county in 2017 to be presented with the accolade. Beth James, Square Pegs Director, received the award from the Vice-Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Richard Oldfield, at a special ceremony to celebrate the occasion.
The organisation holds five weekly drama clubs and monthly singing and film club sessions in Chatham, Maidstone and Canterbury for around 70 young people a week. The next planned progression is for Square Pegs to create a professional theatre company to build on the high standard it has achieved to date. The organisation has also applied for charity status and if successful, it will create more opportinites for funding.
Kent’s finest have been honoured by The Queen with the presentation of their British Empire Medals (BEM). Chosen for their outstanding and dedicated community work and public service the 3 recipients, Mr Henry Austin (Tonbridge), Mr Dean Faulkner (Sheerness) and Miss Melanie Hipwood (Sittingbourne) were named in The Queen’s Birthday Honours list after the medal was reintroduced in the Diamond Jubilee year.
The Lord-Lieutenant, Viscount De L’Isle MBE, held an Investiture at Penshurst Place on 17th October to present the 3 Medallists with their award, following the official announcement in June. The short citations were read by Mrs Louise Bryant, a Deputy Lieutenant and one of the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets, Cadet Warrant Officer Bradley Relyea from 2158 (Sevenoaks) Squadron also assisted the Lord-Lieutenant during the Ceremony.
Mr Henry Austin has dedicated over 47 years as a volunteer for The Boys’ Brigade and has held over 12 positions in the Tonbridge and North West Kent Battalions. When he was made Vice President, he supported 15 other Boys’ Brigades, mentored new Captains and was instrumental in the inclusion of females which saw 10 young girls achieve The Queen’s Badge – the highest honour available.
Mr Dean Faulkner has dedicated many years to St John Ambulance since joining as a young Cadet. He was made a Cadet Leader at the very early age of 16, which was a considerable achievement. His continued dedication to the organisation was recognised in 1995 when he was made Assistant County Commissioner. In addition to this very demanding voluntary role, he is a member of the Isle of Sheppey St John Ambulance Band since 1976 and is an active fundraiser to ensure the band continues for many more years.
Miss Melanie Hipwood has worked as a Civil Servant for the Department for International Development (DFID) since 1993. She was instrumental in the successful move of this Department to Whitehall, which significantly reduced estate costs and enabled them to be one of the leading Whitehall departments in adopting modern work practices. It has been her outstanding service to public administration, ‘going above and beyond’ for the benefit of others, that she has been recognised with the British Empire Medal.
In presenting the medals on behalf of The Queen, the Lord-Lieutenant congratulated the recipients for their dedicated work on behalf of others.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle MBE held his annual awards presentation at the Salomon’s Estate in Tunbridge Wells on 26th September 2017. Twenty-two outstanding members of the Reserve Forces and Cadet Movements from all three services – Sea, Army and Air – were presented with medals and certificates in recognition of their dedicated service throughout the County. In addition, the Lord-Lieutenant has appointed seven Lord-Lieutenant Cadets for 2018 who will accompany him on County engagements throughout the year.
The event was attended by the Chief Executive of SERFCA, Colonel Patrick Crowley with dignitaries from across Kent present to witness the ceremony, which was also attended by family, friends and colleagues of those receiving awards.
The Shepherd Neame Best Reservist Award winner was Lance Corporal Dan Campbell from C (Royal West Kent) Company, 3rd Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. Chief Executive of Shepherd Neame, Mr Jonathan Neame DL presented the award.
Congratulating all the award winners, The Lord-Lieutenant said in his speech –
‘The Reserves are a vital asset to the nation, contributing to its security, its safety and its place in the world. They are made up of volunteers drawn from across society, who are trained and equally equipped to work with the three Regular Services.
These men and women are well-respected and well-rewarded: they enjoy the kind of challenge and comradeship which are rare in civilian life and yet are able to balance military service with their responsibilities to their families and civilian careers. In the words of Field Marshal Lord Slim they are ‘twice the men and women’ as a result.
The support that you provide to these volunteers is extremely important and I urge you to continue to promote their commitment. In particular, the volunteers need the support of employers that some of you represent or know; whether it is your giving Reservists time off to train or having Human Resources Reserves-friendly policies in place. Your help is invaluable and in return you have people, who through their training and time on duty, are a great asset to your workforce on their return to work.
Similar support applies to the four cadet forces. The cadets only flourish because of the dedication of the Adult Volunteers. I would like to repeat my plea for all of you to do what you can to encourage more adults to serve, as there is an increasing challenge to find adult volunteers across many civilian youth organisations as well as the cadets. The four cadet forces provide fantastic opportunities to the cadets in developing their life skills for future careers and adult volunteer instructors gain great satisfaction in seeing their cadets thrive from their training and care, as well as honing their own management skills.
You have also heard from SE RFCA about how you can help these marvellous volunteer organisations. I urge you to understand, support and encourage volunteer service in both the Reserves and Cadets.
None of this voluntary service is going to work without the support of families and friends. I take this opportunity to thank them for the sacrifices they make for such worthy causes.’
Carbon8 Systems Limited, a University of Greenwich spin-out company, was presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise by the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle, in a special ceremony held at the Medway Campus on 6th September.
Founded just 11 years ago, the company has successfully patented its Accelerated Carbon Technology (ACT). It is now a world leader in the capture of carbon dioxide using industrial waste and contaminated soils to create carbon-negative building materials.
The company’s technology is of huge benefit to the environment, as this process prevents the release of hazardous waste into the atmosphere.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are considered the UK’s most prestigious business prizes, rewarding outstanding achievements. Carbon8 won in the Innovation category. Since its launch, the company has been supported by the university, making use of its research facilities and commercial expertise.The Carbon8 team, who received a certificate and a cut-glass rose bowl from the Lord-Lieutenant, also attended a royal reception hosted by The Queen at Buckingham Palace this summer. The team includes Professor Colin Hills from the university’s Faculty of Engineering & Science and Dr Paula Carey, Managing Director, and Mark Orsbourn, Engineering Director.
The Lord Lieutenant of Kent congratulated the company on its “achievements, success and excellence,” adding that “Kent is extremely fortunate to have so many SMEs leading the way with innovative science and technology”.
“Your commercial development over the last five years, together with your growing international reputation, augers well for your future in expanding your business worldwide,” he said.
Carbon8 Systems has now been granted patents in Europe, America and Canada. The Global CO2 Initiative has identified Carbon8 as the world leader in the mineralisation of CO2. Furthermore, a UN Environment Programme cites the University of Greenwich as a leading expert in the area of accelerated carbonation technology. The company’s vision is to create a global portfolio of waste treatment plants, combining CO2 with industrial wastes such as cement dusts, steel slags and contaminated soils.
The Lord-Lieutenant, Patron of Royal British Legion Kent, attended the Poppy Appeal Community Awards Ceremony held on 4th July at the Capel Morris Centre, RBL Village, Aylesford, to thank volunteer groups who support the Poppy Appeal in Kent.
There are 170 Poppy Appeal Districts in Kent raising a total of £1.7 million, compared to £1.2 million four years ago. Present at the event were 30 nominees selected by the Poppy Appeal Organiser of the area, because they have been an extraordinary supporter of the appeal.
The Lord-Lieutenant, Viscount De L’Isle, held an investiture at Penshurst Place for the three British Empire Medal recipients nominated in Her Majesty The Queen’s 2017 New Year Honours List.
The short citations were read by Mrs Georgie Warner DL, before the Lord-Lieutenant assisted by decorating each recipient, on HM The Queen’s behalf. The recipients were accompanied by their families and friends. The Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet, Able Cadet Laura Potts from the Dover and Deal Sea Cadet Corps, assisted the Lord-Lieutenant. In presenting the medals on behalf of The Queen, Lord-Lieutenant congratulated the recipients for their dedicated work on behalf of others.
KM Charity Team Partnership Awards 2017 were held at Rowhill Grange Hotel, Wilmington, on 1st March, to recognise the support given to the Charity Team by eighty of their many sponsors and partners to thank them for their backing. Over 50 certificates and awards were handed out by The Chief Executive, Simon Dolby, assisted by Karen Brinkman of KM’s Walk to School.
In opening the event the Lord-Lieutenant said “By bringing private, public and voluntary sectors together you are making extraordinary things happen. In these days of economic uncertainty we all need to strive to deliver projects that are achieving great outcomes for Kent.”
KM Charity Partnership runs a number of events and quizzes to raise funds for a wide variety of projects in the educational field including the “Walking Bus”, Teacher of the Year and a Literacy programme.
Many of the staff of sponsoring firms help with or join in the events to boost the funds raised. At the conclusion of the award ceremony the Lord-Lieutenant said “I hope all those who received awards this afternoon will be proud to show others your achievements in a wide range of disciplines. In many cases you are demonstrating “Best Practice”. Where this is happening you are leading the way not only in Kent but the whole nation”.
“Thank you, keep up the good work, you are doing a great job. Let’s face it success breeds success and you are leaders of the pack. Be proud of it.”
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