Five small and medium-sized social welfare charities have been announced as winners of the twentieth annual Guardian Charity Awards. The winners, who share a prize fund of £2,500, are chosen for their significant contribution to improving social wellbeing in the UK.
This year's winners are:
- Aspire: an enterprising organisation which provides employment opportunities to homeless and disadvantaged people in the Oxford area.
- The Boaz Trust: a Christian charity which provides accommodation, food and support to destitute asylum seekers in Manchester, as well as campaigning locally and nationally for justice in asylum legislation.
- CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably): CALM was set up to reduce the high suicide rate amongst men under 35 (currently the single biggest killer of young men in the UK) and raises awareness of mental health issues nationally.
- Public Law Project: an independent, national charity which provides legal aid for those who are restricted by poverty, discrimination or other similar barriers.
- Quaker Social Action: a charity which gives help to people living on low income in East London, tackling problems such as poverty and social exclusion.
The awards were open to all UK social welfare charities who had been registered for more than two years, had an annual income of between £5,000 and £1.5 million, and which could demonstrate excellence and achievement in what they do.
David Brindle, chair of the awards and public services editor at the Guardian, said: "To stand out from almost 1,000 entries, our winners are all doing something pretty special. But their commitment, energy and inspiration are typical of the tens of thousands of smaller charities up and down the UK. They are the very backbone of civil society."
As well as the prize fund, the winning charities will also receive:
- a year's free membership to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO);
- resources and training from The Media Trust;
- a tailored package of support from the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) including assessment
- and an iPad from Jigsaw24.
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