Merlin, which took home the award for best Website, was among the winners on the night
A humorous British Heart Foundation TV advert featuring former footballer Vinnie Jones resuscitating a heart attack victim and a partnership between the Prison Radio Association and Victim Support that brought offenders and victims together were among the winners at last night’s Third Sector Excellence Awards.
The awards, which recognise the outstanding work carried out by charities, not-for-profit organisations and their partners, were presented at a black-tie dinner attended by almost 500 guests at the London Lancaster hotel. The comedian Paul Sinha was compere.
Winners included the human rights charity Reprieve, which won the Communications Team award for work including halting the export of drugs used for executions, and the Children’s University Trust, which won the Small Charity, Big Achiever award for encouraging thousands of young people from underprivileged backgrounds to aspire to go to university.
Social Enterprise UK, the membership body for the social enterprise sector, won the Big Impact Award for its successful campaign to get the government to introduce legislation requiring commissioners of public services to take into account social value when awarding contracts.
Individual winners were Liliane Umubyeyi, a refugee of the Rwandan genocide who won Charity Chair of the Year for her work with Survivors Fund, which supports survivors of the conflict; and Alex Williams of Meningitis Trust and Hannah Louise Jones of the Brain Tumour Charity, who were named joint winners of Volunteer of Year for their efforts with their respective charities. Williams sadly died in August and his award was collected by representatives of the Meningitis Trust.
The Luke FitzHerbert Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Dame Mary Marsh for her outstanding contribution to the third sector. Marsh was chief executive of the NSPCC, the child protection charity, between 2000 and 2008 and oversaw its highly successful Full Stop campaign and its amalgamation with ChildLine. Over the past four years, she has also made a significant contribution to the future development of voluntary sector leaders by setting up and running the Clore Social Leadership Programme.
Stephen Cook, editor of Third Sector, said: "It was a fantastic night, with some very impressive winners. Recession doesn’t stop the dedication and the flow of ideas in the voluntary sector – if anything, it seems to stimulate them. The sector is in very good form."
Full list of winners
Lifetime Achievement: Dame Mary Marsh
Small Charity, Big Achiever: Children’s University Trust
Big Impact Award: Social Enterprise UK
Annual Report: Cardboard Citizens
Brand Development: Blind Veterans UK
Communications Campaign: British Heart Foundation: Hands-only CPR
Communications Team: Reprieve
Use of Digital Media: Diabetes UK: iPhone app
Direct Marketing Campaign: WSPA UK: Animal Protector
Fundraising Event: Shelter: Vertical Rush
Fundraising Team: Alzheimer’s Society
Innovation in Fundraising: Giveacar
Financial Management: Kent Union
Enterprise: Blue Sky Development & Regeneration
Public Sector Partnership: Tenovus with NHS Wales and the Welsh government
Corporate Partnership: Mencap and Enable Scotland with The Co-operative
Charity Partnership: Prison Radio Association with Victim Support
Best Employer: Phoenix Futures
Charity Chair of the Year: Liliane Umubyeyi, Survivors Fund