The fund, established in memory of Faversham schoolboy Silas Pullen who lost his battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer in 2013 at the age of 11, donates all money raised to the Brain Tumour Foundation.
The 2018-19 award marks the first time Shepherd Neame has chosen a charity of the year, and has been announced as part of the relaunch of its Sheps Giving charitable arm – the committee of which co-ordinates the donation of thousands of pounds' worth of beer each year, along with vouchers for its pub and hotel estate, to local groups and individuals in support of their fundraising activities.
The Sheps Giving committee will be working with the Silas Pullen Fund and Brain Tumour Charity to organise fundraising activities at the brewery and across its pub estate over the next 12 months.
Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame said: “We are committed to supporting the community we serve, and are delighted to announce this partnership with such a worthy cause.
“The Silas Pullen Fund has special significance for our company, not only because of the Pullen family’s local links, but because we have lost two members of staff to the illness, and several other employees have lost loved ones.
“By choosing the Silas Pullen Fund as our charity of the year, we hope to not only raise a significant amount of money, but also raise awareness of this devastating disease.”
Silas’s mum, Sarah Pullen, added: “My husband Ben and I are delighted that Shepherd Neame has chosen the Silas Pullen Fund as its charity of the year.
“It is fantastic to be supported by a national business with such strong local connections.
“We look forward to working with their team to raise awareness and funds, and make a real difference to other families affected by a brain tumour.”
Brain Tumour Charity chief executive Sarah Lindsell said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Shepherd Neame and are grateful that they have chosen to support the Silas Pullen Fund.
“As a charity, we are committed to fighting for all those people whose lives are turned upside down by this devastating disease and we couldn’t do this without Shepherd Neame behind us. Thank you to everyone involved.”