Celebration Event: The Winners

There was a double triumph for plastics company Nylacast when Leicestershire Cares presented its 2014 annual awards to companies and their staff whose volunteering has made a huge difference to the lives of disadvantaged people in Leicestershire. The 2014 Annual Celebration was held at British Gas in Leicester.

Guests were invited to the celebration to thank them for their contribution to Leicestershire Cares. Food was kindly donated by Samworth Brothers and entertainment provided by Redmoor High School’s steel pan drummers.

The Company of the Year and Winner of the Nicholas Corah Memorial Cup is engineered plastics manufacturer Nylacast, which is headquartered at Hastings Road in Leicester. Nylacast and its staff have shown commitment to every one of Leicestershire Cares’ projects, including donating 70 packs for the Collect for Christmas campaign. The runners up are National Grid and Bellrock.

The Volunteer of the Year is Ian Mallabone of Nylacast. Ian has dedicated a huge amount of personal time to both the Flying Fish Employ Me Project and the Education Employability Project, inspiring others and galvanising apprentices and staff alike. The runners up are Victoria Curtis of Alltruck and Carla Loughrey of Hinckley & Rugby Building Society.

Team of the Year goes to Grant Thornton for its work at St Mary’s Church Hall. The accountants worked exceptionally hard and, in the words of the hall manager, “transformed the look of the building beyond all recognition”. The runners up are Hinckley & Rugby Building Society for its team challenge at Hinckley Mencap and Everards for its work at the Zinthiya Trust Women’s Drop-In Centre.

Placement Provider of the Year is facilities management firm Bellrock, based at Sunningdale Road in Leicester. Bellrock, formerly named SGP, has employed 12 of the 85 people the business has taken on work placements. The runners up are Leicester City Council and PTS.

The ProHelp Award, for companies who provide professional advice to community groups for free, goes to John Fowkes Architects. The practice, based at Long Clawson, is a small firm that only joined the ProHelp group last year but has been incredibly active and currently supports three community organisations. The runners up are Corporate Architecture and Rock Kitchen Harris.

There was a special celebration marking four companies who have been volunteering with Cares for 10 years. They are National Grid, Office Depot, Grant Thornton and Bray and Bray.

And Cares’ community development coordinator Katharine Lightbown was applauded for reaching her own 10 year milestone with the charity. Monica Kimche, director of Leicestershire Cares, said: “Katharine is so enthusiastic and good at rallying our troops with her energy and zeal. She’s an absolute joy to work with.”

Presenting the awards, John Bowler, Cares trustee and a partner at Grant Thornton, said: “It has been a year of continued delivery and innovation. At a time when many local charities have cut back due to funding being withdrawn Cares has continued to grow and last year enabled more than 30,000 volunteer hours worth more than £800,000. Cares and its business volunteers have much to be proud of.”

Ian Mallabone, Volunteer of the Year from the Company of the Year Nylacast, said: “It’s fantastic to win these awards which are for everyone in the company for their dedication. The Cares projects give so much to everyone involved; the people we help and Nylacast as well. Hopefully we will be working with Cares for many years to come because it brings tremendous benefit to us as an organisation.”

Monica Kimche said: “Congratulations to all the winners of the Leicestershire Cares’ Awards and their fellow nominees. Our immense thanks also go to the four companies each marking a decade helping Cares – they have been tremendous supporters over the years.”

Photos kindly taken free of charge by Lionel Heap.

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