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New awards ceremony celebrated Leicestershire community champions last night

The first ever Leicestershire Community Champions Awards went down a treat last night, with Midland Langar Seva Society taking the flagship award of Charity of the Year.

Simon Winfield, Ian Stringer, and Stefan Fura

The event was set up by the Furnley House Foundation in partnership with Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL), to celebrate the amazing people and organisations who have gone above and beyond to help their local communities throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Furnley House Foundation was born out of Furnley House’s ambition to create opportunities and improve the lives of the local community.

Usually, the company holds a number of events to help bring the community together and have previously raised in excess of £40,000 each year for charities and not for profits.

For the Leicestershire Community Champions Awards, the Foundation asked people to nominate their local heroes over ten categories including registered charities, community organisations, local businesses, as well as individuals.

Hosted by local celebrity Ian Stringer, the virtual awards evening last night and was attended by more than 160 people online.

Over £650 was raised, plus an additional £250 from some generous Furnley House clients, which will be split equally between the five Charity of the Year finalists.

Stefan Fura, Gareth Padfield, Simon Winfield and Ian Stringer with cheque

Midland Langar Seva Society was awarded the title of Charity of the Year, which was sponsored by Furnley House, winning a £5000 grant as well as a share of the proceeds from the next Furnley House Foundation Summer Ball. The runner up, Charity Link, will also receive tickets to the Ball.

Stefan Fura, co-founder of Furnley House and Trustee of the Furnley House Foundation said: "It was great to see the community of Leicestershire pulling together during this difficult year. We are delighted that we’re able to raise awareness and support so many local causes as well as celebrating the fantastic individuals and organisation who have really made a difference. Congratulations to all the very deserving finalists and winners.

"Thank you to all our judges and sponsors for their generous support of the Awards and the Furnley House Foundation."

The full list of winners, runners up and sponsors:

Charity of the Year - sponsored by Furnley House

Winner: MLSS – Midland Langar Seva Society

Runner-up: Charity Link


Help the Homeless

Steps Conductive Education Centre

Zinthiya Trust

Charity employee of the year – sponsored by The Miller Partnership

Winner: Nicola Rhodes – Bodie Hodges Foundation

Runners up: Francesca Pearson – Macmillan Cancer Support

Louise Wylie – Eyres Monsell Club for Young People

Young fundraiser of the year - Sponsored by Mark J Rees

Winner: Alex Hallam

Runners up:

Faye Callaghan

George Wright

Martha Whittaker

Fundraiser of the year – Sponsored by Octopus Energy

Winner: Glynis Wright

Runners up:

Janet Gilchrist

Richard Frape

Sustainability – Sponsored by Fischer Future Heat

Winner: Red Circle Angling Club and Nature Reserve

Runners up:

Your Local Air Ambulance

Soar Valley Press

Community Spirit Champion – Business – Sponsored by Glynis Wright & Co

Winner: Ben’s Kitchen

Runners up:

Thaliwal & Veja Solicitors

Wigston Fields News and Deli

Community Spirit Champion – Individual - Sponsored by Pattersons Commercial Law

Winner: Gareth Padfield

Runners up:

Dr Abeer Kholghi

Yvette De Sylva

Community event of the year – Sponsored by Paradigm Wills & Legal Services

Winner: Suits & Vinyl

Runners up:

Inderjit Bajaj – Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning

Pie Cycle

Community Organisations – Sponsored by Soar Valley Press

Winner: Woodgate Community Food

Runners up:

Syston Charity Crafting Group

We Care UK

Best Social Media Presence – Sponsored by The Beauty Barn and Winfields Bookkeeping

Winner: Help the Homeless

Runners up:

Leicestershire Cares

Soft Touch Arts


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