High Sheriff Awards

2023 High Sheriff of Kent Awards announced at an event in Maidstone.

On 22 March invited guests joined the High Sheriff of Kent 2022/23, Russell J Race Esq JP DL, at the Mercure Great Danes for an evening reception to learn which charities and community groups had been recognised with a 2023 High Sheriff Award.

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.

During the evening, The High  Sheriff announced six winners,   Rising Sun Domestic Violence and Abuse Service Limited,  SNAAP (Special Needs Advisory and Activities Project), Home-Start Dover District, The Community Cupboard, Young Lives Foundation and Imago Dei Prison Ministry. The High Sheriff then announced that the recipient of a special recognition award was Darrell Newsome for his work at HMP Swaleside.

Based in Canterbury Rising Sun Domestic Violence & Abuse Service Ltd provide advice and support to adult and child survivors of domestic abuse and aims to help individuals make their own choices, regain their freedom and take control of their lives.

SNAAP supports disabled children, young people and their families in the East Kent area. It’s core mission is to improve the quality of their lives by providing information, support, advice and leisure activities within a friendly, safe and non-judgemental environment.

Home-Start Dover District is a voluntary organisation committed to promoting the welfare of families with young children under the age of 11. It offers volunteer home visiting support to families with parental mental health issues, children’s behaviour and emotional issues. Volunteers offer regular practical and emotional support in the home, to empower families by helping to prevent family crisis and breakdown.

New Ash Green’s The Community Cupboard, provide emergency food supplies, essential toiletries and other household items, to individuals and families in financial hardship and also to other charities or organisations working to prevent poverty.

The Young Lives Foundation, helps children and young people in need to enable their voices are heard, champion their rights and interests, support them through times of difficulty and distress and assist them to achieve their potential.

Imago Dei Prison Ministry offer courses for women in prison, focusing on addressing the underlying reasons behind offending and changing the self-perceptions of women who end up in prison, and giving them tools to feel empowered to make different choices and help reduce reoffending rates.

High Sheriff of Kent, Russell Race Esq JP DL said, “Kent has a wealth of amazing charitable organisations doing vital work to support our residents across the county and I am grateful to Kent Community Foundation for introducing me to many wonderful charities and for supporting me during my year as High Sheriff. The recipients of this year’s Awards cover a wide spectrum of much needed services and I hope reflect the diverse nature of the county.”


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 winning charitable organisations received a certificate and a £500 donation.

Quotes from the winners –  

Tracy Perrow, Home-Start Dover District, said, “Staff at Home-Start Dover District are delighted to receive the High Sheriff of Kent Award.  To be recognised for the vital work we do supporting vulnerable families in our community is very much appreciated and we feel very honoured to be acknowledged in such a positive way.”

Tracy Wood, The Community Cupboard said, “In a modern world where a foodbank should not be needed, we are delighted to receive an award which recognises the consistent hard work and determination of our team, in supporting communities across Kent. Thank you to everyone who continues to support us, we are extremely grateful.”

Carrie Wood, Manager, SNAAP said, “We are delighted to receive this award, it not only highlights the amazing work we do, but recognises the hard work our staff do, always going above and beyond for our families. I am very proud of all our team and their commitment to SNAAP.”

Stephen Gray, CEO, Young Lives Foundation said, “All the young people supported by Young Lives Foundation, our volunteers and team, are thrilled to be recognised at the High Sheriff Awards 2023.  As a charity, we very much depend on the oxygen of publicity, that results in attracting new volunteers and funders to support our vital projects. We very much value the spotlight shone on Young Lives Foundation around the awards, and your ongoing support in helping the vulnerable and disadvantaged young people of Kent.  Thank You.”

Elaine Coia, Rising Sun Domestic Violence and Abuse Service Limited, said “It is a real honour for Rising Sun to be recognised with a High Sheriff Award for our work in supporting survivors of domestic abuse in Canterbury, Ashford and Folkestone & Hythe. Domestic abuse is life-changing, causing a long-lasting impact on women and children’s mental, emotional, physical, social and financial wellbeing as they rebuild their lives. We are continuously grateful to Kent Community Foundation for their invaluable support in helping us to continue working towards a world in which women and children live free from actual, or threated abuse in all forms of violence.”

Tracy Sickel, Imago Dei Prison Ministry, said, “Imago Dei is super excited to receive this award.  It means a huge amount to us and the women we are privileged to work with.  We are all about raising awareness of women in the Criminal Justice System and we are grateful to have been supported and helped by many organisations, especially Kent Community Foundation who have supported us for many years.  The support helps make our work possible.  So, thank you to all those who have helped, supported, encouraged and inspired us on our journey as a growing small charity.  Thank you for the recognition.”

About Kent Community Foundation

Grant-maker Kent Community Foundation has been finding, funding, and supporting some of the smallest voluntary organisations in the county for over twenty years. In this time, it has distributed over £55 million to support thousands of small charities and deserving causes where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.

They are part of a UK wide accredited network of forty-seven Community Foundations who are committed to improving the lives of local people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable, isolated, and disadvantaged by matching those who want to help, with those who need the help.

Responsible for more than ninety philanthropic funds, Kent Community Foundation is unrivalled in its knowledge of local causes and assists individuals, families, and businesses, who want to help, to establish and administer their own charitable funds.