This year’s Charity Governance Awards took place online last night (21 May), with the winner of each of the seven categories taking home a £5,000 unrestricted grant.
Public Interest Research Centre won the Board Diversity and Inclusivity award; Embracing Digital was won by upReach, Embracing Opportunity and Harnessing Risk by Muslim Women’s Network UK, and Managing Turnaround by Smallwood Trust.
Judges were impressed by Smallwood Trust (main image) board’s bold action, which included recruiting its first permanent CEO and more diverse trustees, and modernising the 130-year-old trust’s mission. From helping 384 beneficiaries in 2015, the charity is now on track to hit its target of supporting 10,000 financially vulnerable women by 2021. Its application success rate has also risen from just 1% (in 2016) to 70% (2019), with monthly hardship payments rising from £29K to nearly £60K.
There were also three Improving Impact Awards: for charities with 0-3, 4-25, and 26+ paid staff. These were won by Older Citizens Advocacy York, Sport 4 Life UK, and St Mary’s Hospice.
Judges admired the open, collaborative and continual learning approach of St Mary’s Hospice’s Living Well Centre, in the deprived area of Burrow-in-Furness. The hospice has developed partnerships with eleven local organisations to reach further into the community, with reports stating the centre helps improve well-being and connectedness for around 250 people every month.
Stories of all of the winning charities, and the shortlisted entrants, can be found on the Charity Governance Awards site.
Michael Jarvis, who chairs the Awards for organisers The Clothworkers’ Company, said:
“Every year we are hugely impressed by the commitment, creativity and ingenuity shown by charity boards and their trustees.
“Those exceptional skills and ideas have never been more needed than now, as we face the impact of the pandemic. Tonight’s winners, like so many in the charity sector, are at the forefront of providing support to those affected, and the wider economic situation will pose great challenges for most in the coming months. But sharing best practice and brilliant ideas has always aided the sector, so I hope that we can all weather this difficult time and emerge stronger through learning and collaboration.”
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