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Beacon Prize 2005/6 winners announced

The 16 winners of this year’s annual Beacon Prize have been announced, all of them recognised for their exceptional philanthropic contributions, through the giving of their time, money and skills in order to benefit specific charitable causes.

Selected by an independent group of six judges headed by Beacon Chair, Martyn Lewis CBE, the winners were selected from more than 300 nominations received from across the UK.

Now in its third year, the Prize has come to be known as the ‘Nobel Prize of the charity world’, a phrase coined by Chancellor Gordon Brown at the inaugural Prize Ceremony in 2003.

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The 2005/6 winners include Paul and Diana Lamplugh, who have been recognised by Beacon for their work for the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, created after the disappearance of their daughter in 1986, with the aim of establishing greater awareness of personal safety whilst addressing the issues of violence and aggression in society at large.

The Big Issue Founder, John Bird, receives his award for his dedication to the support of the homeless; and Vivien Duffield, philanthropist and arts patron, has been recognised for her charitable support through the Clore Foundation which has pledged more than £11 million to charitable causes.

Also included in the line-up of winners are the ‘Angel of Nagpur’, Leah Pattison, whose life has been devoted to working with leprosy sufferers in central India; counsellor Helen Bamber, who for nearly 60 years has worked in the care and support of victims of torture; and Rita Patel, the Leicester-based community builder, who works for the support and integration of the Asian communities in the East Midlands.

The Prize Ceremony will take place in November 2006, when the winners will be inaugurated as Beacon Fellows, a community of Beacon Prize winners who together, champion charitable causes across the globe and nurture a wider culture of giving in the UK.

At the ceremony the overall Beacon Prize winner will also be announced, and he or she will receive £30,000 to donate to a charitable cause of his or her choice.

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