The awards, which have been created by Voluntary Action LeicesterShire, will celebrate the ‘real world heroes of the pandemic’ in Leicestershire and Rutland, taking place on Friday 16th September.

Image: Overall Charity of the Year Winners, 2019: Woodhouse & Woodhouse Eaves Good Neighbourhood Scheme

The 2022 VAL Awards – whose headline sponsor is Morningside Pharmaceuticals – are a chance for the public to celebrate the amazing people, groups and organisations that make up the voluntary and charity sector in Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland – and help shine a spotlight on their amazing and inspiring contributions, especially over the pandemic.

Finalists for each category are as follows:

City Charity of the Year:

  • Eyres Monsell Club for Young People
  • Together Against Cancer
  • After18

County Charity of the Year:

  • Hope Against Cancer
  • Charnwood 20:20 (TwentyTwenty)
  • Melton and District Money Advice Centre

Rutland Charity of the Year:

  • Rutland Clothing Bank
  • SSAFA – the Armed Forces Charity
  • Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland

Social Enterprise of the Year

  • Access Rating
  • Leicester Mammas CIC
  • Action Trust – Action Homeless

Volunteer-Led Organisation of the Year

  • Koi Sports
  • We Care UK
  • The Zoomers

Trustee of the Year

  • Ian Pritchard – Leicester Animal Aid
  • Usha Mehta – Jain Samaj Europe
  • Denis Kenyon – Hallaton Church Restoration Trust
  • Ian Knight – Menphys
  • Jean Voller – VISTA

Volunteer of the Year

  • Michael Condon – Headway Leicester
  • Praful Thakrar – Shreeji Dham Haveli
  • Sam Killip – Enrych
  • Raj Gill-Harrison – Carers Health & Wellbeing Forum
  • Jill Magee – Leics & Rutland Youth Sailing Association

Inspiring Leader of the Year

  • Moneer Noori & Narges Farahi – Bright Path Futures
  • Rev Alison Adams – Diocese of Leicester
  • Yasin El-Ashrafi – HQ Recording
  • Dr Iris Lightfoote – The Race Equality Centre

Kevin Allen-Khimani, Executive Manager – Public Sector Contracts and Projects at VAL, commented:

“It was fantastic to see the calibre and number of nominations for the 2022 VAL Awards. The past two years has seen unprecedented pressure and stresses on our charity and voluntary sector here in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, so it will be wonderful to come together again and celebrate their achievements and hard work.

“The only problem we can foresee is that the Judges are going to have a really tough job deciding on the winners in each category!”

The ticketed event is planned for September 16th will take place in the Grand Hall at Leicester’s The Mercure Grand Hotel.

The awards are made possible by the generous support of local businesses which include headline sponsor, Morningside Pharmaceuticals, alongside BHIB, Hastings Direct, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, Mortgage Advice Bureau, Everything Global, Paragon Sales Solutions and Fraser Urquhart Media. Monies raised allow the event to run without charge to nominees.