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Winners of The 2009 Alternative Rich List announced

Howard Lake | 8 September 2009 | News

Alternative Rich List Winners - (l-r) Thelma Perkins, Tom Henderson, Susie Howe

The winners of The 2009 Alternative Rich List have been announced. Three winners have been selected by the public from one hundred people nominated for their commitment to society from local community projects to world-wide campaigns.

More than 5,000 members of the public nominated and voted for the shortlist for the awards, a fivefold increase on last year’s awards.


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The three winners are Thelma Perkins, Tom Henderson and Susie Howe.

Thelma Perkins gave up her job as social worker to dedicate herself to distracting young people from joining gangs. After her son was wounded in a shooting, she has worked in schools, youth centres and in the community, educating young people about the impact of street crime.

She founded the Mothers in Pain voluntary organisation for the victims and families of gun, knife and gang crimes: the organisation shares information, educates young people and provides support.

Ex-UK Royal Navy Search and Rescue diver Tom Henderson developed ShelterBox to provide aid following natural disasters. Shelterbox, an easily transportable container, provides shelter and other equipment essential for survival.

With support of Rotary Clubs worldwide, ShelterBox has responded to more than 100 disasters in over 50 countries, providing shelter to more than 80,000 people following earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami, floods and humanitarian disasters such as conflict and the AIDs crisis.

Susie Howe from The Bethany Children’s Trust set up a community-based orphan care organisation in Zimbabwe, helping 8,000 orphan children suffering poverty, deprivation and illness.

Susie also set up Pavement Project in the UK which produces materials for working with street children round the world.

The awards were announced at in the run-up to forum3, the major annual recruitment event for the UK’s third sector. It attracts 12,000 visitors. It is being held on 10 – 11 September at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London.

Forum3’s Director Deborah Hockham said: "We couldn’t have anticipated the massive public interest in this year’s Alternative Rich List.

"It seems to touch a nerve with so many of us who are inspired by the unsung heroes whose wealth is not defined by pounds and pence but by the way they have enriched other people’s lives".