Third Sector Awards 2014: Charity Chair of the Year - Winner: Becky Hill, Back Up

Awarded to the chair of a charity's trustees who has made the most outstanding contribution to the performance of the charity during the year

Becky Hill
Becky Hill

This award is sponsored by Ansvar

Who is the chair?

Becky Hill has been chair of the spinal injury support charity Back Up twice: first between 2005 and 2008, then from 2013 until now. Hill, who is paralysed from the chest down, has been a senior HR professional at BT for much of that time and is currently starting up her own business in Dorset.

How and why was she recruited?

Hill first used Back Up’s services in 1991 after sustaining a spinal injury in a car accident at the age of 17. She became interested in supporting the charity in 1999, when she volunteered at it. She was recruited to the board because of her experience in HR, organisational development and diversity.

What has she achieved?

Under Hill’s leadership, Back Up has tripled its reach to 750 spinal-injured people a year and doubled its income from £650,000 to £1.3m. She has personally raised more than £10,000. The staff has grown from four to 25, and services have expanded to include wheelchair skills training, mentoring for people with spinal cord injuries and family members, peer support and a service for children and young people. Hill uses her experience to ensure the charity’s governance arrangements remain up to date, and she represents Back Up at events and in the media.

What did the judges say?

John Williams, vice-chair of the Association of Chairs, said: "Hill displays an inspiring combination of leadership, good governance and practical support."

Highly commended

Judy Dewinter, Myeloma UK
Heather Love, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home


Dame Susan John, The Brilliant Club
Daphne Pullen, Clic Sargent

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