The award is “in recognition of 20 years of exceptional community service through the creation of a hub for local groups and activities, tireless charitable fundraising and as a selfless volunteer caring for others through cooking and provision of supplies during the Covid lockdowns of 2020.”
Cllr Callum Knowles said: “It was an honour for me to present a Mayor’s Achievement Award to Karen Barrett for her outstanding dedication and commitment to the community by reaching out to those in need with warmth, love and compassion.
“Karen is an exceptional member of the community, and we are proud of all she has accomplished.”
It isn’t Karen’s first honour in recognition of her community work as she was also presented with a Heart of the Community Award at Shepherd Neame’s annual Pub Awards in 2019.
The Walnut Tree is a meeting place for a host of local organisations including the Aldington Women’s Institute, men’s church group, Microlight Society, Knit and Natterers, and the local bridge club, along with supporting Aldington’s football and cricket clubs.
Karen’s charity work includes volunteering as a trustee at Kaleidoscope Childcare, hosting a quiz for the charity on the last Sunday of each month and she is also currently running a raffle to raise £5,000 for the Fire Fighters Charity.
Karen said: “I am absolutely thrilled to receive this award. We pride ourselves on being a village pub at the heart of the community, which is why we have always placed so much importance on raising funds for charity and supporting local residents and groups.
“Throughout the difficulties of the pandemic, we have maintained a ‘glass half full’ attitude, thinking about what we can do to help others. We delivered meals to village residents, with no charge for the vulnerable, and also organised grocery supplies.
“For some people, we were their only point of contact during lockdown so it was a real privilege to be able to help them.”