Guide Dogs partnership with Microsoft among Third Sector Award winners

The 11th edition of the annual awards, incorporating Britain's Most Admired Charities, occurred at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on 24 September, with 23 awards presented

Guide Dogs and Microsoft
Guide Dogs and Microsoft

An innovative partnership between the IT company Microsoft and the sight-loss charity Guide Dogs was among the winners at this year’s Third Sector Awards.

The awards, now in the their 11th year, recognise the outstanding work carried out by charities, not-for-profit organisations and their partners, and were presented at a black-tie dinner at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on 24 September. The presenter Alex Brooker hosted the evening.

Guide Dogs and Microsoft won the Corporate Partnership award for their work with developing Cities Unlocked, a smartphone device that helps people with sight-loss to navigate their way around cities.

Other winners on the night included the charitable housing provider Golden Lane Housing, which won the new category of Social Investment Award. It won the award after becoming the first charity to raise money through a retail bond issue on the London Stock Exchange. The £11m it raised through the bond will be used to buy and adapt houses for more than 100 people with learning disabilities.

Other winners among the 23 awards that were handed out on the night included Look Good Feel Better, a charity that provides beauty advice to women undergoing treatment for cancer. It won the Marketing Campaign award for #Warpaint4Life, an initiative to which the advertising industry donated digital billboard space across London to help raise awareness of the charity’s work.

Individual winners included Alice Walker-Shakespeare, who won Volunteer of the Year for her tireless support for the children’s respite charity Chicks, and Dallas Pounds, chief executive of the Royal Trinity Hospice, who was named Rising Chief Executive for her work placing the south London hospice on a firmer financial footing during her first two years in charge.

The evening also incorporated Britain’s Most Admired Charities, a set of three awards voted for by the chief executives of charities. Most Admired Charity went to the Alzheimer’s Society, which has experienced a massive growth in income and reach in recent years. Lesley-Anne Alexander was named Most Admired Chief Executive for her work at the sight-loss charity the RNIB. This year’s Celebrity Charity Champion was Sir Lenny Henry, who has shown unwavering support to the charitable funder Comic Relief over the past 30 years.

Stephen Cook, editor of Third Sector, said: "This year’s Third Sector Awards are a welcome antidote to the bad publicity some charities have been getting recently. The winners are testament to the sector’s unstoppable innovation on behalf of beneficiaries and wider social causes, domestically and worldwide."


Click on the red links to read about this year's winners.

Brand Development: RNLI

Communications Campaign: Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

Marketing Campaign: Look Good Feel Better

Digital Innovation: Royal Mencap Society

Digital Marketing Campaign: WaterAid

Annual Report: Keech Hospice Care

Enterprise Award: Shared Interest Society

Social Investment Award: Golden Lane Housing

Breakthrough of the Year: Quaker Social Action

Fundraising Event: Unicef UK

Fundraising Campaign: Save the Children

Fundraising Team: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

Volunteer Manager: Claire Jenkins, Grow Movement

Volunteer of the Year: Alice Walker-Shakespeare, Chicks

Corporate Partnership: Guide Dogs with Microsoft

Charity Partnership: The Big Give with the Charities Trust

Small Charity, Big Achiever: Diversity Role Models

Big Impact Award: Muntada Aid

Charity Chair of the Year: Caitlin Dean, Pregnancy Sickness Support

Rising Chief Executive: Dallas Pounds, Royal Trinity Hospice

Britain’s Most Admired Charities

Most Admired Charity: Alzheimer’s Society

Most Admired Chief Executive: Lesley-Anne Alexander

Celebrity Charity Champion: Sir Lenny Henry

Click here to view pictures of the winners.

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