Rossendale Leisure Trust is celebrating after winning the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Award trophy at the inaugural Active Kindness Awards. 

Organised by Community Leisure UK, the glitzy awards night – held in the Monastery, Manchester on Tuesday – celebrated the work of Charitable Trusts and Social Enterprises in developing sustainable volunteering programmes in the public leisure and culture sector. 

The Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Award recognizes a company that has shown exemplary development of their volunteering programme with specific focus on the creation of inclusive, equitable and diverse volunteer groups. 

Rossendale Leisure Trust was awarded the accolade because of Volunteer Coordinator Caroline Beardmore’s passionate pursuit to include the whole community as well as her work introducing volunteer roles to enable refugees to volunteer. 

Bryony Hudson, Active Kindness Programme Manager, said: “Caroline is one of the most passionate advocates of volunteering I think I’ve ever met. Her commitment to including everybody in her community is exemplary. Her work to promote volunteering to refugees was particularly inspiring.”  

 “I am so pleased that Caroline has been recognised, this award is thoroughly deserved and is a testament to Caroline’s passion and commitment to volunteering”. – Samantha Sandford, CEO

The Active Kindness programme began life four years ago following funding from Sport England with the aim of creating a volunteer approach specific to Charitable Trusts and Social Enterprises delivering public leisure and culture. However, the project had to wait until 2022 to really getting going due to Covid but since then, Community Leisure UK has worked with partners at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) to support 14 Community Leisure UK members with training which supports the implementation, enhancement and monitoring of volunteer strategies. 

Winners at the Active Kindness Awards Ceremony also included: 

  • The Spirit of Volunteering Award – GLL (Manchester) 
  • Outstanding Contribution Award – Everybody Health and Leisure 
  • Above & Beyond Award – LED Leisure 
  • Consider It Done Award – Active Luton 

Kirsty Cumming, CEO of Community Leisure UK, said: “Developing a strategic resource for our members that strengthens and celebrates volunteering in public leisure and culture has driven this project since day one. Tonight wasn’t just about those who received an award. Most importantly it was about recognizing of all those who have taken part in Active Kindness to date and the great strides taken by them to improving the volunteers experience which, ultimately, supports our members to get more people involved in creating healthier, happier and more creative communities.” 

Find out more about Active Kindness