Inspirational stories at the Porchlight Awards
1 June 2017
Inspirational people who’ve overcome homelessness became the stars at an awards night hosted by Porchlight.
The Porchlight Service User Awards, held at Kent College last night, featured many remarkable and heartwarming stories. The awards are a reminder that people who use homelessness services have many talents and much to contribute to the community.
Mark Baker – The 100% Award
Mark was named the most committed person who uses Porchlight’s services. He’ll put 100% into anything he’s doing whether it’s volunteering at a community social group, developing his skills on an IT course or encouraging other residents to try new things.
Anthony Pickup – Service User Involvement Champion Award
Anthony takes great pride in his role as a Porchlight peer mentor – somebody who supports new arrivals. Thanks to his support and encouragement, many people who are at the beginning of their journey with the charity have been able to move forward. He has also worked alongside Porchlight staff to help shape and improve the services we provides.
Fraser Black - Service User Involvement Champion Award
Fraser plays a big part in Porchlight’s decision-making processes, and has sat on our job interview panel. She’s campaigned in support of a new bill to tackle homelessness, and helps with experts’ research into new preventative measures for homelessness.
Aaron Borda – Service User Involvement Champion Award
Aaron is passionate about improving the support available for vulnerable people. He gives Porchlight advice and guidance from a resident’s perspective which has helped shape our award-winning Jobs, Education & Training programme. He’s also shared his knowledge and experience of homelessness with other charities and local authorities.
Charley Wallace - World of Work Achiever Award
Charley has shown outstanding to Porchlight’s employment scheme. From the outset, Charley has been adamant that she wants to build a career and support herself and currently juggles her work as a care assistant with college studies.
Simon Din – Active Lifestyle Champion Award
Fitness fan Simon gives up his time to help run Porchlight sports activities and has encouraged other residents to pursue healthy lifestyles. He can often be found in the gym, pushing people to reach new goals. Physical activity can have therapeutic properties if somebody is trying to overcome the trauma of homelessness.
Lauren Kneeshaw – Creativity Award
When Lauren first came to Porchlight she was withdrawn, but has used art and music to overcome her struggles. She’s naturally creative and often produces artworks for staff members as expressions of her gratitude.
Several other Porchlight residents received certificates for various successes over the past year, including employment qualifications and overcoming personal obstacles on our Jobs, Education and Training programme.
The event was attended by business and community figures who support the work we do.
The Porchlight Service User Awards were given out by Deputy Lieutenant of Kent Paul Auston, Dean of Canterbury the Very Revd Dr Robert Willis, honorary president of Porchlight Tim Brett, and several of our patrons and trustees.
The night was sponsored by Kent College who provided the venue and a meal, Mirage Designs who did the decorations, and City Awards who made the winners' trophies. Everyone provided their services for free.
The Abode Hotel, South East Coach Works, Canterbury Rugby Club, Hayward Design & Print, Thanetian Weddings & Events, Sainsbury’s Faversham and 121 Cleaning Services also kindly donated time and resources so that the awards could go ahead.