The Chief Executive of a Gloucester community charity and an indefatigable woman who’s dedicated the last 30 years to fundraising have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Julie Kent, who has just retired after thirty years at Dean Close school in Cheltenham, was recognised for her charity work which included the setting up of the Emily Kent Charitable Trust
following the death of her first child at the age of three. The Trust raised hundreds of thousands for children with cancer in Gloucestershire and donated £50k to Bristol Children’s, and to Gloucester Royal Hospital, where the paediatric oncology unit is named after Emily. Julie then fundraised for CLIC Sargent, Teenage Cancer Trust and Breast Cancer before joining the Pied Piper Appeal and she has since become Chair of Cheltenham Open Door and a Trustee of Goals beyond Grass.
Cordell Ray, Chief Executive of the Cheltenham based charity Caring for Communities and People
(CCP) has also been appointed a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Birthday Honours List.
Cordell said: “I am immensely proud to be leading this organisation and of what we achieve, making a difference to peoples’ lives day in day out. The way in which we continued to do this during the first spike of COVID was quite remarkable, as was how we responded to increased demand for emergency food parcels when people were most in need”.
“I very much hope that this award will help make even more people aware of the vital work we do in the community and potentially result in more individuals and organisations wanting to support us. That really would be a tremendous outcome”.
“When I look back and think about myself as a young person, to get where I am today and receiving this award is all the more remarkable. It is fair to say I was a bit wayward back then. I left school with a pretty negative attitude towards life, got into trouble and totally lacked a sense of purpose and direction. It took me until I was 23 to seriously ask myself “where is my life going?” – I was in a job I didn’t really enjoy (actually I was working 3 jobs to make ends meet), had no qualifications and had the dawning realisation that I was going nowhere fast. That awakening eventually resulted in me gaining a BA Honours Degree in Social & Community Studies and the start of my life working in Charity. I have never looked back. I hope that young people who are feeling now as I did then, will hear my story and recognise there is always a way to turn things round”.