We are delighted to continue our association with the Third Sector Excellence Awards as headline sponsor for 2010, because they recognise examples of excellence by organisations and individuals who make such a difference to many people's lives.
Unfortunately, the current economic uncertainty means there is likely to be an even greater call on the good work done by these organisations - and yet there are likely to be funding issues that will make the challenges they tackle even tougher. It is therefore extremely important that we at least recognise their achievements as a token of our appreciation.
As a specialist insurer for the sector, we are fully aware of the variety of work that our third sector clients perform, and we try to play our part by providing support and expertise alongside insurance protection in order to help our clients reduce and contain their own risks.
The finalists' stories showcase the depth, originality and diversity of the talent in the sector and highlight the tremendous spirit of cooperation and teamwork that exists. The awards are a celebration of this work and afford all of us the opportunity to acknowledge some exceptional projects, excellent teams of people and extraordinary individuals. I hope the talent and ideas on show will also serve as inspiration to us all.
Examples of the hard work, dedication and commitment of employees and volunteers in the third sector abound on evenings such as these. Your work is particularly valued by those who you continue to serve during these tough times, so a big thank you to you all on their behalf.
We are pleased to sponsor the Volunteer of the Year award once again this year, but this is only one of a number of praiseworthy categories. So we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the winners and nominees; the judges really do have a difficult task in selecting the outright winner for each category.
Finally, we at Markel hope everyone who attended the awards had a very enjoyable evening.
- Steve Carroll is managing director at insurance firm Markel (UK) Limited