The Active Kindness Awards

What a night! Our first Active Kindness Awards was held on Tuesday 5 December 2023 at the beautiful Monstary in Manchester. 

Hosted by BBC presenter Jason Mohammad, it was a chance to shine a spotlight on the great work of the Charitable Trust and Social Enterprise sector and the volunteer journey some of our members have been on. 

Four years ago we were successful in securing funding from Sport England and launched Active Kindness – a volunteering approach specific to the Charitable Trust and Social Enterprise sector. We had to wait until 2022 to really getting going due to Covid but since then, we’ve worked with partners at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) to support 14 Community Leisure UK members to develop, implement, enhance and monitor their own volunteer strategy – all within a consistent framework that supports ongoing individual improvements. 

Our approach has been root and branch, working with big and small organizations to embed sustainable volunteering programmes through building an understanding of their current provision, improving data collections and sharing insights, learning and tools to embed positive volunteering experiences for everyone in their communities. 

As well as hearing individual success stories on the night, we also handed out some well deserved trophies: 

The ‘Consider It Done’ Award – WINNER Active Luton, Graham Simpson, Relationship Manager 

This award recognises the decisive and swift action a person or company has made to embed volunteering within the business model of the company or enhancing the pivotal role volunteers play within their Business Strategy. It recognises the importance of volunteering at the heart of the organisation alongside social value provision and business goals. 

Active Luton was awarded the accolade because of Relationship Manager Graham Simpson’s total commitment to the project from day one and his continued ongoing support. 

The ‘Above & Beyond’ Award – WINNER – LED Community Leisure, Lottie Edwards, Engagement Manager 

This award recognises a company or individual that has gone above and beyond with their involvement in the Active Kindness project. It could be awarded in recognition of additional support for a particular volunteer or group of volunteers. Equally, it may be awarded in recognition of the contribution made to the Active Kindness project by showing support that goes further than being simply part of the project but actively developing the work of Active Kindness. 

LED Community Leisure was awarded the accolade because of Community Engagement Manager Lottie Edwards’ commitment to volunteering and Active Kindness. Lottie clocked up more than 1,000 miles to attend meetings bringing with her contagious enthusiasm, inspiring both volunteers and Active Kindness members alike. 

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Award – WINNER – Caroline Beardmore, Volunteer Coordinator, Rossendale Leisure Trust 

This award goes to the company that has shown exemplary development of their volunteering programme with specific focus on the creation of inclusive, equitable and diverse volunteer groups. 

Rossendale Leisure Trust was awarded the accolade because of Volunteer Coordinator Caroline Beardmore’s passionate pursuit to include the whole community as well as her work introducing volunteer roles to enable refugees to volunteer. 

The Spirit Of Volunteering Award – WINNER – Leila Bendrimia, Community Sport and Health Manager, GLL (Manchester) 

This award recognises an individual passionate about volunteering and committed to supporting their company to develop their volunteer strategy or supporting a company who has just begun their volunteering journey. It is recognition of an individual’s spirit, passion, pursuit and promotion of the power of volunteering and its ability to create cohesive communities as well as personal development.

GLL was awarded the accolade because of Community Sport and Health Manager Leila Bendrimia’s passion and commitment to the programme. 

Outstanding Contribution Award – WINNER – Lee Malkin, Sports Development Manager & Keith Rogers, Youth Participation & Talent Lead – Everybody Health and Leisure 

This award recognises the individual/company who has wholeheartedly embraced the Active Kindness volunteering model and applied it root and branch across their organisation; from incorporation at a strategic level, through to investment in promotion, uniforms and volunteer group development. 

Everybody Health & Leisure was awarded the accolade because of Lee Malkin, Sports Development Manager and Keith Rogers, Youth Participation & Talent Lead, commitment to embedding their volunteer strategy business wide. 

A huge thank you to all the following members who have made the first two years of Active Kindness a true sector success story: 

Early in 2024 we’ll be publishing the Final Evaluation Report for Active Kindness. If you’re a partner, member or simply interested in finding out more please do email [email protected] 

You can find Year 1 Results here