Third Sector Excellence Awards 2011: Sponsor's welcome

Simon Fell, managing director of Markel, says it is extremely important to recognise the achievements of charities

Simon Fell
Simon Fell

We are delighted to continue our association with the Third Sector Excellence Awards as headline sponsor for 2011. The awards recognise examples of excellence demonstrated by organisations and individuals who make such a difference to many people's lives.

Charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations are finding an even greater call upon their work, yet access to funding is becoming increasingly difficult. It is therefore extremely important that we can collectively recognise their achievements as a token of our appreciation of the good work they do.

As a specialist insurer for the sector, we are fully aware of the variety of work that third sector clients perform. We try to play our part by providing support and expertise alongside insurance protection, helping our clients to reduce and contain their own risks.

The finalists' stories show the depth and diversity of the talent in the sector and highlight the spirit of cooperation that exists. The awards are a celebration of this work and afford us all the opportunity to acknowledge some exceptional projects, excellent teams of people and extraordinary individuals. I hope the talent and ideas on show will act as inspiration to us all.

The evening brought examples of the hard work, dedication and commitment of employees and volunteers from across the third sector. Your work is particularly valued by those who you continue to serve during these tough times, so a big thank you to you all on their behalf.

Once again we are pleased to sponsor the Volunteer of the Year Award. This is just one of a number of praiseworthy categories - we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the winners and nominees. I would also like to thank the judges, because the calibre of entries increases each year and they really do have a difficult task in selecting the winners.

Finally, we at Markel hope everyone who attended the awards had a very enjoyable evening.

Simon Fell, managing director, Markel (UK) Ltd

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