Help for Heroes is Britain's Most Admired Charity

Third Sector also names Juliet Lyon of the Prison Reform Trust as Most Admired Chief Executive, Chance UK as Most Innovative Charity and Sir Terry Pratchett as Celebrity Charity Champion

[L-R] Help for Heroes founders Bryn and Emma Parry, Chance UK chief executive Gracia McGrath and Prison Reform Trust director Juliet Lyon
[L-R] Help for Heroes founders Bryn and Emma Parry, Chance UK chief executive Gracia McGrath and Prison Reform Trust director Juliet Lyon

The armed forces charity Help for Heroes was awarded the title of Britain’s Most Admired Charity by Third Sector last night.

Juliet Lyon of the Prison Reform Trust was named Most Admired Chief Executive, the youth mentoring charity Chance UK Most Innovative Charity and the fantasy author Terry Pratchett the Celebrity Charity Champion.

The Britain’s Most Admired Charities awards, hosted by Barclays at its headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf, were attended by more than 100 sector chief executives and Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society.

Speaking at the event, Hurd said: "This is about as challenging an environment for Britain’s charities as we have ever seen. There’s a lot less money around and conditions are very tough. The people we are trying to help are demanding more and want more support.

"This is very hard. This is a time for extremely strong leadership and I think that this is in some ways what we are celebrating tonight in terms of Britain’s Most Admired Charities."

Bryn Parry, who co-founded Help for Heroes with his wife Emma four years ago, attributed the charity’s success to the British public. "The charity is non-political, it’s non-critical and we simply want to help. I think what happened was that the great British public responded and felt the same," he said.

"Take away the politics, take away the rights and wrongs of war and give people the opportunity to do something. We are privileged to be sitting on the top of this enormous tidal wave and are very aware of the responsibility that brings."

Second place in Most Admired Charity went to the British Red Cross and third to the National Trust.

The runner-up for Most Admired Chief Executive was Catherine Johnstone of Samaritans and third was Ben Summerskill of the gay rights charity Stonewall.

For Most Innovative Charity, the disaster relief charity Shelterbox came second and the Small Charities Coalition third.

The second-placed Celebrity Charity Champion was the newsreader Jon Snow; third was the former cricketer Sir Ian Botham.

Speaking in a video shown at the awards, Pratchett, who suffers from Alzheimer's, said that he wanted to emulate broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, who made it acceptable to talk about cancer. 

"In order to kill the dragon, you have to say its name. Richard Dimbleby’s family got people naming the dragon. I think it’s a good thing to make a noise when making a noise might achieve things."

Read about the winners

See our gallery of images from the night

Watch Pratchett's acceptance speech here:

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