Britain's Most Admired Charities: 'Whatever tests we face, therules of the game don't change'

"I guess this is what Mr Duncan Smith meant when he talked about encouraging the awkward squad," Shami Chakrabarti said as she accepted her accolade as Britain's Most Admired Chief Executive.

"I have been a lawyer in the private sector and a civil servant in the public sector, and now I am a professional teenager in the voluntary sector," the Liberty chief joked. In a reference to Tony Blair's justification for tough new terror prevention measures - that "the rules of the game have changed" - she added: "Whatever the challenges we in the sector face, the rules of the game don't change - they are what make us who we are."

Jean-Michel Piedagnel, executive director of Medecins Sans Frontieres UK, honoured as Britain's Most Admired Charity for the second year running, said: "We represent ideas, not institutions. The challenge is to keep the idea alive so it represents an empowerment of the people who give to us."

Bob Geldof, voted Most Admired Celebrity Charity Champion, sent a message from Lisbon that read: "There is no easy downward glide to poverty eradication; rather a gruelling climb of incremental justice."

Harriet Lamb, director of the Fairtrade Foundation, dedicated the award for Most Innovative Charity to farmers in the developing world. "It's not just about making poverty history; it's about making charity history," she said.

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