Paul Farmer, head of the mental health charity Mind, has been voted Most Admired Chief Executive at this year’s Britain’s Most Admired Charities awards, run by Third Sector.
Farmer had an eventful year in which he resigned from the panel that scrutinises Work Capability Assessments, which decide eligibility for Employment Support Allowance, saying the process was faulty.
The Trussell Trust, a Christian charity that runs food banks, won the title of Britain’s Most Admired Charity, Movember was named Britain’s Most Innovative Charity and the TV presenter Clare Balding took the Celebrity Charity Champion award.
Charity chief executives voted to decide the winners from shortlists drawn up by Third Sector on the advice of a group of selected nominators.
The former EastEnders actor Brooke Kinsella was presented with a Special Award for her anti-knife crime campaigning work. Kinsella’s half-brother Ben was killed in a knife attack five years ago; since then she has helped to set up a charity in his name and supported a range of other charities.
The awards ceremony, hosted by Google at its headquarters in central London, was attended by more than 100 sector chief executives.
The second-placed Celebrity Charity Champion was Kinsella and Prince Harry was third.
Stephen Cook, editor of Third Sector, said the BMAC awards were special because the winners were chosen by charity chief executives: "They know what it’s like at the sharp end, and that knowledge makes their choices more authoritative. The winners this year really stand out in a sector that is full of organisations and people who make our society more civilized and compassionate."