Stars of the local voluntary sector celebrated at inaugural Voluntary Awards for Leicester and Leicestershire

On 5 November we were proud to host our first annual Voluntary Awards for Leicester and Leicestershire (VALLs) to celebrate the positive impact volunteers and charities have on our local community in 2019.

Winners for Woodhouse and Woodhouse Eaves Good Neighbour Scheme pose with their award

The awards took place at Leicester’s Morningside Arena and were sponsored by Morningside Pharmaceuticals Ltd, which manufactures and suppliers quality Generic and Branded medicines to the UK and International markets.

The ceremony was hosted by BBC Radio Leicester presenter Rupal Rajani and Voluntary Action LeicesterShire’s Kevin Allen-Khimani. Kevin is VAL’s Executive Manager for Public Sector Contracts and Projects, and he came up with the idea of the VALLs as a way to recognise the important role played by thousands of voluntary organisations across the city and county, and the vital services they provide within their communities.

Kevin commented:

“We were thrilled with the number of entries we had for the VALLs, especially as it’s only our first year, and the calibre of our finalists was outstanding. So much so, that we didn’t envy the judges having to choose just one winner in each category!”

“We wanted the awards to give the unsung heroes in our sector the recognition they deserve and have thoroughly enjoyed celebrating with all our finalists and winners this evening.”

Award winners

VAL received 432 nominations for 11 award categories – the winners and finalists are all listed below:

City Charity of the Year (Sponsored by Action Coach)
  • The Bridge Homelessness to Hope (winner)
  • Hope Against Cancer
  • FreeVA
City Small Charity of the Year (Sponsored by Next)
  • Sound Café Leicester (winner)
  • Leicester City of Sanctuary
  • Team Troupers Dance Academy
County Charity of the Year (Sponsored by Freeths Solicitors)
  • Bodie Hodges Foundation (winner)
  • Norton Housing & Support
  • Menphys
County Small Charity of the Year (Sponsored by BHIB Insurance Brokers)
  • The Well (winner)
  • The Heera Foundation
  • Quorn Mills Park Bowling Club
Trustee of the Year
  • Linda Jones (winner)
  • Eileen Richardson
  • Christine Ringrose

Volunteer-Led Organisation of the Year (Sponsored by Zinthiya Trust)
  • Woodhouse & Woodhouse Eaves Good Neighbour Scheme (winner)
  • Baby Basics
  • Help the Homeless
Volunteer of the Year (Sponsored by Dluxe Magazine)
  • Emma Hallam (winner)
  • Adrian Key (special recommendation)
  • Capt. Matthew Taylor
  • Azar Richardson
  • Prue Padmore
Social Enterprise of the Year (Sponsored by East Midlands Chamber)
  • Dear Albert (winner)
  • Soulful Group
  • Iconic
Voluntary Sector Ally of the Year (Sponsored by Business 2 Business)
  • Caterpillar UK Limited (winner)
  • Barrie Stephen
  • Nicola Bassindale
Overall Charity of the Year
  • Woodhouse and Woodhouse Eaves Good Neighbourhood Scheme (winner)
Lifetime Achievement Award (Sponsored by Voluntary Action LeicesterShire)
    • Rick Moore (winner)

Find out more

You can read more about the VALLs in the Leicester Mercury, or by following us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

If you’re a charity who would like support with anything from recruiting volunteers to funding a new project, or if you are a local business who would like to know more about how you can support our voluntary sector, contact us via or on 0116 257 5050.