The 2021 New Year Honours List, announced last night, includes 1,239 recipients, recognised for “their extraordinary contributions in all four nations of the United Kingdom”. Of these 65% have been recognised for their community work, including fundraisers and charity leaders.
Oldest awards recipients
The oldest recipients this year are both fundraisers. Anne Baker from Salisbury in Wiltshire, who is 106, receives an MBE for fundraising for the NSPCC. She is closely followed by 104 year old Ruth Saunders, who receives an MBE for walking a marathon to raise money for Thames Valley Air Ambulance.
Carol Akiwumi and Paul Amadi have both been awarded MBEs in recognition of their fundraising achievements and for their service to fundraisers and the fundraising profession, in particular through the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.
Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, said: “I’m delighted that Carol and Paul have been awarded MBEs in recognition of their great achievements as fundraising leaders. They have been great servants to the fundraising community over the years. Not just a fantastic fundraisers raising millions for amazing causes, but also as long-time volunteers and Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, Paul as a former Chair and Carol, our current Vice-Chair.
“As founders of Black Fundraisers UK and as members of our EDI Committee, they have both driven the agenda on equality, diversity and inclusion within the profession and these honours are hugely deserved and merited.”
Indeed, the Cabinet Office’s announcement of this year’s award recipients claimed that the New Year Year Honours List “is the most ethnically diverse honours list yet, with 14.2% of recipients coming from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background”.
603 women are recognised in the list, representing 49% of the total; 6.9% of the recipients consider themselves to have a disability (under the Equality Act 2010); and 4% of recipients identified as being LGBT+.
Carol Akiwumi, together with Fozia Irfan of BBC Children in Need, took the occasion of their awards to support calls for the honours system to break with Britain’s colonial past and instead confer the awards in the name of ‘British Excellence’ and not the ‘British Empire’. They each shared an image of a joint letter to The Times calling for this change sent by fellow charity and public sector leaders who have received honours.
The Brain Tumour Charity’s Head of Strategy, Clare Normand, receives an OBE. She is also a fundraiser and raises awareness in her son’s name for the charity. She and her husband have raised £700,000 in his memory.
The Small Charities Coalition was quick to spot lots of leaders at large and small charities last night and to congratulate them in a Twitter thread.
Nikki Scott, the founder of bereaved military children’s charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her support for young people who have lost a parent who served in the British Armed Forces.
She set up Scotty’s Little Soldiers in 2010 in honour of her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, who was killed in Afghanistan the previous year. Nikki saw the devastating impact Lee’s death had on their two young children and wanted to help others in the same situation.
Actor Sheila Hancock receives a damehood for services to drama and charity.
Other recipients and responses
How to nominate someone for an honour
You can nominate someone for an honour online on the gov.uk site.
Given how many fundraisers, charity and community leaders, volunteers and supporters deserve recognition for their outstanding work, UK Fundraising has twice featured how to nominate someone for an honour. It is a straightforward process.
More on honours for good work
- Free support to boost recognition of LGBTQ activists (18 June 2021)
- OBE for Mark Astarita, British Red Cross Director of Fundraising (13 June 2015)
- Deadline extended for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Awards 2012 (7 September 2012)