Ruth Ibegbuna of youth leadership charity Reclaim wins Social CEO of the year award

The awards, now in their fourth year, also included 13 new entries in the top 30

Ruth Ibeguna with her award (image courtesy of Reclaim)
Ruth Ibeguna with her award (image courtesy of Reclaim)

Ruth Ibegbuna has been awarded the accolade of Social CEO of the year for her social media campaigns for Reclaim, a charity which mentors young people in inner-city areas.

Ibegbuna topped the poll of the 30 leading Social CEOs announced at an awards night at JustGiving’s headquarters in London, hosted by the marketing and digital communications consultant Zoe Amar and Matt Collins, managing director at the agency Platypus Digital, who co-created the awards.

The chief executive of the Manchester-based youth leadership charity was one of 13 new entries to feature in the top 30 since the awards were launched four years ago.

Others included Philip Goodwin of VSO, Paul Streets of Lloyds Bank Foundation, Helen Milner of Tinder Foundaton, Chris Askew of Diabetes UK and Anna Smee of UK Youth.

This year is the first time the judges picked an overall winner from the top 30, which was whittled down from the original 169 nominations for the awards that recognise the social media presences of senior leaders and up and coming voluntary sector talent.

Three more individual awards were made this year alongside the top 30. They were won by Tom Baker of Bond (Best Senior Leader), Maya Dibley of Girlguiding (Best Trustee) and Catherine Deakin of Tommy’s (Rising Star).

The awards were judged by a panel of digital leaders chaired by Simon Blake, chief executive of the National Union of Students, and included Karl Wilding, director of public policy and volunteering at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, who was the 2015 senior leader winner; Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC; Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the Charity Finance Group; Rohan Hewivasenti, group director of resources at the RNIB; Beth Kanter, US-based author and trainer; and Lucy Caldicott, charity leadership and governance consultant.

Amar welcomed the fact that nearly half the top 30 were new entries and said the winners showed how charity leaders were growing in confidence in their use of social media.

"It is good to see a lot of change in the top 30, as I think it shows how there is a new digitally savvy breed of chief executives emerging who are hungry to make their mark online," she told Third Sector.

"Our judges were very impressed by the way in which they were using social to manage stakeholders, show thought leadership and lead from the front," she added. 

"We’re living in uncertain times and resources are tight but the work these charity leaders are pioneering online should be a source of hope to the voluntary sector." 

To coincide with the awards, she and Collins have launched a free briefing guide to help charity leaders develop their use of social media which can be downloaded here.

2016 Top 30 Social CEOs

Deborah Alsina - Bowel Cancer UK

Cathy Ashley - Family Rights Group

Chris Askew* - Diabetes UK

Lang Banks - WWF Scotland

Paul Breckell - Action on Hearing Loss

Nicola Brentnell* - The Queen's Trust

Stephen Cornish - Doctors Without Borders/Médicins Sans Frontieres

Cathy Evans* - Children England

Brita Fernandez Schmidt* - Women for Women International UK

Mark Flannagan - Beating Bowel Cancer

Steve Ford - Parkinson's UK

Philip Goodwin* - VSO

Liam Hackett - Ditch the Label

Stephen Hale - Refugee Action

John Hibbs - Hibbs Lupus Trust

Ruth Ibegbuna* - Reclaim Project

Petra Ingram* - Brooke

Dalton Leong - The Children's Trust

Sophie Livingston* - City Year

Louise MacDonald - Young Scot

John May- The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award

Helen Milner* - Tinder Foundation

Polly Neate - Women's Aid

Theresa Shearer* - Enable Scotland

Micheal Sheridan* - Mercy Foundation Cork

Anna Smee* - UK Youth

Matt Stevenson-Dodd - Street League

Paul Streets* - Lloyds Bank Foundation

Jan Tregelles - Mencap

Jo Youle - Missing People

(* new entries)

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