Third Sector Awards shortlist unveiled

Third Sector's annual celebration of the achievements of charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises will take place in London on 18 September

Third Sector Awards
Third Sector Awards

More than 70 charities and social enterprises have been shortlisted in this year’s Third Sector Awards.

Finalists include the Alzheimer’s Society, which has been shortlisted for the Big Impact Award for its Dementia Friends project, and Rethink Mental Illness, which has been shortlisted for Communications Campaign for its high-profile campaign Finding ‘Mike’, which sought to reunite a formerly suicidal man with the person who saved his life.

The Third Sector Awards – previously called the Third Sector Excellence Awards – recognise the achievements of charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. 

A partnership between the food poverty charities FareShare and the Trussell Trust and the retailer Tesco is among the finalists in the Corporate Partnership category, and Macmillan Cancer Support is in contention for the Direct Marketing Campaign award. 

Less well-known organisations to make the shortlist this year include the Scottish homelessness charity the Bethany Christian Trust, which will compete for the Annual Report prize, and Practical Action, a charity that uses technology to tackle poverty in developing countries, which has been shortlisted for the Big Impact Award.

Individual finalists include Mark O’Sullivan of Age UK Isle of Wight, who has been shortlisted for Volunteer Manager, and Polly Neate of Women’s Aid, who is in the running for the award of Rising Chief Executive.

Almost 450 entries were received across 16 categories for this year’s awards.

The winners will be announced at a black-tie dinner at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on Thursday 18 September.

Stephen Cook, editor of Third Sector, said: "Many of the best things that are happening in charities and the voluntary sector make an appearance in this shortlist in some shape or form. There has been no drop in the quality of entries in the recent lean years, and this year they have really blossomed."

To find out about how to book a place at this year’s awards or to get information on sponsorship opportunities, visit

Annual Report

Alzheimer's Society
Bethany Christian Trust
Blue Cross
Brandon Trust
British Heart Foundation
Newcastle United Foundation

Best Start-up

Dare2Dream Foundation
MOE Foundation

Big Impact Award

Alzheimer's Society for Dementia Friends
Barnardo's Scotland for the Coalition for Continuing Care
Diabetes UK for amending the Children and Families Bill
Practical Action for Practical Answers for Poverty Reduction
Principle Consulting for securing opt-out Hepatitis C testing for all prisons in England

Brand Development

All We Can
Shooting Star Chase
The Spark

Charity Chair of the Year

Judy Dewinter, Myeloma UK
Becky Hill, Back Up
Dame Susan John, the Brilliant Club
Heather Love, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
Daphne Pullen, Clic Sargent

Charity Partnership

Advanced Life Support Group with Maternal & Childhealth Advocacy International
Central England Co-operative with Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council
Community Safety Glasgow with Apex Scotland
Family Lives with Grandparents Plus, Family and Childcare Trust
National Federation of Women's Institutes with Friends of the Earth

Communications Campaign

Anthony Nolan for Shake4Mike
Leonard Cheshire Disability for End 15-minute Care
Prostate Cancer UK for Men United v Prostate Cancer
Rethink Mental Illness for Finding 'Mike'
Social Enterprise UK for Buy Social

Corporate Partnership

AfriKids with Allen & Overy
FareShare and Trussell Trust with Tesco
National Literacy Trust with British Land
Prostate Cancer UK with Millwall FC
Support Dogs UK with JTM Service

Direct Marketing Campaign

Breakthrough Breast Cancer for Turning Spontaneous Engagement into a Lifetime of Support
Breast Cancer Campaign for You Can't Save My Life
The Christie for Help Us to See Cancer
Macmillan Cancer Support for Greatest Gift Appeal
Unicef UK for Syria DRTV Emergency Appeal


Local Hospice Lottery
Prison Radio Association

Fundraising Success

Clic Sargent
Everton in the Community
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal

Rising Chief Executive

Rhian Bowen-Davies, Calan Domestic Violence Services
Lucy Carter, Sound Seekers
Sandra Currie, Kidney Research
Leigh Daynes, Doctors of the World
Polly Neate, Women's Aid
Jo Youle, Missing People

Small Charity, Big Achiever

Partnership for Children
UK Network of Sex Work Projects
Yorkshire and Humberside Circles of Support and Accountability

Use of Digital Media

Anthony Nolan for Capes vs Cancer
Alzheimer's Research UK for FaceDementia
Cancer Research UK for Citizen Science Programme
Rethink Mental Illness for Finding 'Mike'
Tourettes Action for **** the firewall

Volunteer Manager

Cath Dawson, Home Group
Nafisa Miraf, Touchstone
Mark O’Sullivan, Age UK Isle of Wight
Nicholas Snow, Imperial College Union
Lisa Thipthorp, RAF Association

Volunteer of the Year

Aileen Davis, Cancer Research UK
Ena Day, RAF Association
Heather Eves, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland
Sacha Langton-Gilks, the Brain Tumour Charity
Sarah Scott, the Stroke Association

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