Tory think-tank launches awards scheme

Indira Das-Gupta

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has launched an award scheme to celebrate charities that tackle social need. Prizes will include up to £10,000 in cash and membership of the new CSJ Alliance.

The Conservative think-tank, established last July and chaired by former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith MP, will form the alliance from 30 to 40 organisations. Membership is expected to last for three years.

Another former Tory leader, William Hague, was due to give a speech highlighting the growing problem of human trafficking for sex at an event marking the launch of the awards on Monday night.

In the first Abraham Lincoln address organised by the centre, Hague described the issues as modern forms of slavery. "The harrowing truth is that today, in a new form, there are an estimated 27 million slaves around the world, generating roughly $13bn (£7bn) a year for their owners. In fact, there are more slaves today than all the people sold from Africa during the time of the transatlantic slave trade."

A dozen organisations will be short-listed for the 2005 CSJ Awards, but the number of winners will depend on the quality of the entries. The prizes also include lunch or dinner with four senior politicians and councillors in the Houses of Parliament and a day of intensive coaching in an area of the charity's choice.

The winners will be announced in June and will be judged by a panel including Camilla Batmangheldi, director of Kids' Company, and Theresa May MP.

FACT FILE

How to enter: Charities must describe in 500 words or less how they make an exceptional contribution to meeting the social needs of their client groups. Supporting evidence, such as press cuttings, of up to 20 A4 pages, may be attached. Entries should be sent to cameron.watt@ centreforsocialjustice.org.uk by 16 March.

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