2018 Chairman's community awards

Sir John Kingman, Chairman, hosts the ‘Community Awards’ each year, recognising the amazing achievements of our employees. There are a number of charity categories including fundraisers, charity ambassadors, inspiring the young people and community spirit.

Each year we ask our employees to nominate colleagues who volunteer their own time to raise funds, take on community projects or produce continuous acts of random kindness. It’s amazing to discover what employees do in their spare time.

We are continuously blown away by the commitment shown by our staff, with many individuals overcoming personal hardship. Everyone who contributes to charitable organisations and their community is a huge source of inspiration that personifies our commitment to building a better society.

When the nomination process has closed, we invite employees to join the chairman and the rest of the group board for a celebratory lunch with an awards ceremony.

Voting is now open - please cast your votes for each category by clicking to the left of their name, before clicking the 'submit vote' button.

The nominees this year are:

Helping Hands

Her mutual love for children and the Chicago community has served as the primary catalyst for all community engagement activities she pursued in 2018. Allison volunteered on a weekly basis in the "child life program" at chronic and terminal illness specialists La Rabida Children’s Hospital, giving hope and embracing them with love and hope.

Allison also participated in Spark Chicago, mentoring a seventh grader and presented a cumulative project that married her passions for fashion and anti-bullying by developing a clothing line that displayed slogans about unity and kindness.

Born and raised on a council estate in north Woolwich, east London, Reggie was excluded from school aged 14, had brushes with the law and knew he was in danger of going down the wrong path.

As a way of proactively seeking guidance, Reggie spent an entire day knocking on the front doors of some of the UK’s richest individuals. Hours after repeating the same phrase Reggie got his break. Reggie mentors young teenagers at Victory Youth Group in London – the very place he was inspired to take the leap into the corporate world.

Wendy has been nominated for her commitment to volunteer work. For over 14 years she has volunteered on a Saturday to help staff at Oxfam’s Cardiff City Centre branch - giving up her time during busy periods on a Thursday evening throughout December, straight after work.

Her commitment raises awareness of the charity’s existence and the importance of its objective of helping those suffering in poverty and injustice.

Kerekerdo Tanoda is a Hungarian cultural club and Saturday school which has been recently set up by Karolina and a small group of Hungarian parents living in Leeds. The school helps Hungarian families socialise and support one another in adapting to life in the UK. Karolina acts as the school’s dedicated marketing expert, helping to manage their website and social media platforms.

In 2019 they plan on providing English language workshops to parents and other Hungarians living in Leeds. These lessons will not only help to alleviate cultural shock, but will also help develop their professional lives.

Karolina has also set up an international relations project with a Hungarian school in Washington DC, which gives interesting insights into how other Saturday schools are run.

Inspiring Young People

As a qualified Duke of Edinburgh leader and assessor, Billie is leading a group of young people that have difficult and extremely challenging home lives as young carers. The opportunity for them to complete their Duke of Edinburgh award gives them the chance to achieve something for themselves and enables them to socialise with their peers, which many of them are isolated from.

Billies aim is to champion the young people who would perhaps otherwise not choose or have the opportunity to access the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Paul is currently the Scout Leader for an all-inclusive group made up of 25 boys and girls of all abilities.  He writes and supports the scouting programs, completing the necessary training so to safely complete activities and is qualified in Archery, Tomahawk throwing, Narrowboats and lock usage.

In addition to his volunteer work as a Scout Leader, Paul is also a level 2 inline skating coach and under 10’s Hockey manager.  He designs and runs the weekly training sessions - helping other age groups when necessary.

Since the age of nine, Vicki has been a member of a Majorettes club - up until recently when she decided to hang up her dancing shoes and agreed to take over the club so that local children can continue to dance. 

Vicki looks after all the finances for the team (and fundraising campaigns) that help pay for training halls, memberships Associations, competition entry and uniforms.

Based in an under-privileged area of Leeds, children from different backgrounds (including those with disabilities and young carers) are taught many skills including team building.

In Birmingham, Zara has helped to promote and develop many tutoring initiatives that have helped local students within her community.

At the BMET College and Birmingham City university she signing up as a mentor, and organised workshops as the Matthew Brown College. Furthermore, Zara was the driving force behind a fundraising drive on behalf of Smiling families - providing support to families who have been directly affected by serious illness as a result of childbirth.

Charity Fundraiser

When her father was diagnosed with cancer in January 2015, the staff at the Velindre cancer centre treated her father with the utmost respect which allowed him to pass away in a dignified way, in addition to providing outstanding support to her family.

It quickly became apparent that the centre lacked funds, so Helen conducted many fundraising events including a trek around Cambodia which raised over £4,700, with plans for another trek - this time in Vietnam - in 2020.

Helen also volunteers as a counselor at the charity New Pathways - a support service for those who have suffered from sexual abuse.

When Ross joined CALA Homes he found out they were affiliated with the Prince's Trust and wanted to get involved, so decided to design and complete the Tour de CALA - a 740 mile bike ride from Farnham to Aberdeen via all the CALA offices.

The journey engaged employees across our 10 offices, raising £15,000 for the trust.

Joanne volunteers at RozMogz Reborn Cat Rescue every Saturday - something she has been committed to for over three years, cleaning cats’ pens, socialising with them and ensuring their overall well-being.

She also helps to run their Facebook page to help the animals find homes, including an Amazon Wishlist to enable people to donate goods rather than money.

Charity/community Champions

Growing up with Cystic Fibrosis after a diagnosis at 3 weeks old, Louise was inspired by the efforts of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in their fight for a life unlimited. Unfortunately Louise has lost a lot of close friends in their 20’s from Cystic Fibrosis and wanted to make a difference whilst she could.

Her fundraising efforts over the years have helped to raise over £20,000 for the trust.

Robin is actively involved with TAPA, an organisation that offers pre-school education and a safe haven for children who live in Africa's largest slum.

Her adopted TAPA work has now become a family passion, devoted to assisting in providing education to those not so fortunate over the last decade. Last summer they traveled to Kenya to see what small efforts could bring huge opportunities to help lift children out of poverty.

The support that has been provided by Robin has enabled 15 students to take (and pass) their high school entrance exams - giving them an opportunity to continue their education.  

At local football club View F.C., members decided they wanted do more for the game and their community after the death of people close to the club.

They host Mental Health in Sports Workshops that are free to the community, and are looking to roll 20 workshops around Brighton and Hove. Currently, they are looking at reducing the number of youths dropping out of football by offering them a safe and structured path into adult football after they've finished their journey with the youth teams.

Last year Deon decided to share his experiences of bullying and harassment to raise awareness and highlight the challenges that LGBTQ individuals face in the work place.

He is a role model and mentor to LGBTQ individuals and continuously raises awareness on LGBTQ issues and legislation through social media. In 2018 he was awarded an Inspirational role model award for helping to drive LGBTQ inclusion within the industry.

For world AIDS day, Deon raised over £1,200 for the Terrence Higgins Trust - providing support towards education and research on HIV.