Tonbridge heroes nominated for Kent’s Exceptional Awards

Tonbridge heroes nominated for Kent’s Exceptional Awards

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WIDE APPEAL Carl Lewis is head of the Tonbridge Poppy Appeal

CARL LEWIS, Tonbridge flood warden and head of the town’s Poppy Appeal, has been shortlisted for the Perry’s Exceptional Individual Award among the nominations by the local accountancy firm, along with local charities.

Mr Lewis, who is also a member of the Tonbridge Lions and Dementia Friends, took over the Poppy Appeal last year and raised £34,000, almost double the previous year’s total.

He said: “It’s a great honour, so many people who live in Tonbridge do great work for the town and its residents. Fred Long won the award last year so I hope to make it two in a row for Tonbridge.”

Carl was nominated by Jenny Lewis for taking such an active role in his local community. Jenny said: “Carl has generously given his time to help the community in so many ways. He helped to clear damage after the severe floods of Christmas 2013 and took over the role of Poppy Appeal coordinator. His hard work has raised a record sum for Tonbridge.”

Two of the town’s charities are also in the running for the Perry’s Exceptional Charity Award, Tree of Hope and More than Words, along with the 3H Fund (Helping Hands for Holidays) in Tunbridge Wells.

Tree of Hope, on Quarry Hill Road, helps children and young people with a disability or illness by supporting their families to raise the funds that they need to pay for specialist care.

Gill Gibb, Chief Executive of Tree of Hope, said: “For 25 years we have been assisting Kent families who find themselves in the desperate and challenging situation of having a child who needs an operation, special therapy or equipment which isn’t freely available through the UK health service.

“Receiving the recognition of this award would mean so much to our team and will also, hopefully, bring us to the attention of more families who could benefit from our support in raising funds for essential, and sometimes life-saving care.”

ON HAND More Than Words helps with sign language tuition

More Than Words provides Makaton sign language workshops for those who care for a child with communication difficulties and support groups for families with disabled children.

It was founded in 2015 by Paul and Hannah Hughes, inspired by their daughter Gracie, who has an undiagnosed genetic disorder which has presented her with several difficulties.

Mr Hughes explained: “We believe that every child deserves a voice. To date, More Than Words has provided vital training to over 260 parents and carers across Kent, as well as operating support groups and organising inclusive events.”

The awards began last year in recognition of the inspirational achievements of businesses, charities and individuals from across the county.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Leeds Castle on November 9.

RAISING HOPE Tree of Hope are helping Harmonie-Rose Allen