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Charities championing women’s rights win big

In a world where negative headlines about charities are common place, the UK Charity Governance Awards winners celebrate well run charities that improve people’s lives.

Big winners at the recent ceremony included Muslim Women’s Network UK and Derry Well Women, joint winners of an Improving Impact award. Muslim Women’s Network UK is a charity which works to improve social justice and equality for Muslim women and girls.

It won for its range of services that help tens of thousands of people, including the only national faith and culturally aware helpline for Muslim women.

Derry Well Women is a charity addressing the health and social care needs of women, their families and communities in Derry and the surrounding area.

It won for identifying a gap in support for women carers and subsequently creating ‘The Carer’s Agenda’ which has provided practical and social support for over 250 women carers in its first year.

Dementia UK, the sole provider of dementia nurses to families, won the Managing Turnaround award. The trustees and new chief executive transformed the charity’s fortunes from facing possible closure within six months to almost trebling its annual income and reaching close to five times the number of service users.

Deaf people’s health charity SignHealth won the Board Diversity & Inclusivity award for its commitment to creating a trustee board that is largely representative of those it serves. As well as achieving a more equitable gender balance, over half of trustees are deaf and board members represent different racial backgrounds, age groups and professional fields.

Other winners included Parents and Children Together (PACT), Coventry & Warwickshire Mind, Green’s Windmill Trust and YMCA North Tyneside.

Stories of all of the winning charities, and the shortlisted entrants, can be found at The organisers have also put together a useful list of resources for charities and trustees (under ‘Advice and Resources’).

Michael Jarvis, who chairs the Awards for the organisers The Clothworkers’ Company, said:

Congratulations to all the winners – and the shortlisted candidates should also be proud – this was, yet again, a field of a very high standard. These creative, hard-working and inspiring trustees and their colleagues deserve to be celebrated.

I would encourage everyone to read the stories of our winning charities – these real-life experiences and innovative ideas could help any charity seeking to improve their own governance.

It also reminds us all that by improving governance a charity can dramatically improve the lives of those it serves.

The expert judging panel boasts a wealth of experience in charity governance and the voluntary sector. Judges include Dawn Austwick (CEO, The National Lottery Community Fund), Vinay Nair (Co-founder, Lightful), Dan Corry (CEO, New Philanthropy Capital), David Gold (CEO, Prospectus) and Janet Thorne (CEO, Reach Volunteering) among many other notable names.

Image: Kate Darkins Photography

Founder Member of Campaign Collective, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity and Not-For-Profit Group. Write mainly about charity, public sector and social enterprise campaigns.

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