The Trussell Trust scoops top award at the Charity Awards 2016

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The Trussell Trust is delighted to announce that it has taken the Overall Award at this year’s Charity Awards, the longest-running and most prestigious awards scheme in the charity sector.

As well as winning the top prize in the Social Care and Welfare category, The Trussell Trust was chosen as the Overall Winner at this year’s ceremony for its nationwide network of more than 400 foodbanks, which provided over 1.1 million three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis last year.

From the opening of the first foodbank in a garden shed 16 years ago, the network now comprises over 425 foodbanks operating in over 1,200 distribution centres with the help of more than 40,000 volunteers who offer a cup of tea or coffee, a listening ear, and guidance about other support services to people receiving food. Over 30,000 schools, businesses, and frontline professionals participate in a referral system to identify and support those in genuine need. Foodbanks are sustained by the generosity of the public, and some four million people have donated food.

Foodbanks in The Trussell Trust network collect data on the reasons people are referred for a food parcel. In 2015-16, the three primary reasons for referral were benefit delays (28%), low income (23%) and benefit changes (14%). The charity uses its evidence base to make politicians across the political spectrum aware of the impact of welfare issues and other policies, and recently successfully persuaded ministers in Northern Ireland to adopt changes to the new Universal Credit system.

In 2014 it launched a new programme, ‘More Than Food’, which aims to tackle the causes underlying a person’s crisis. The charity is partnering with other services and organisations to offer money and debt advice, fuel vouchers, budgeting and cookery courses, holiday clubs, and even legal advice, all within the foodbank.

Andrew Hind, chair of the Charity Awards judges, said:

“The work of the Trussell Trust was greatly admired by the judges, who described the organisation as representing ‘21st Century charity writ large’. 

“The Trust combines a professionally run foodbank network, and impressive management of data, with an ability to campaign effectively on the basis of constructive engagement with government.

“This powerful combination of service delivery and advocacy makes the Trussell Trust stand out as exceptional charity.”

Alongside nine other category winners and the recipient of the Daniel Phelan Award for Outstanding Achievement, the Trussell Trust was presented with its two trophies at a star-studded black-tie ceremony at the Mermaid Theatre in London on Thursday 9 June, hosted by former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull.

Tania Mason, editorial director at Civil Society Media which organises the Charity Awards, congratulated the Trussell Trust on winning the highly-coveted award. She said:

“We had a record number of entries this year, and the standard was particularly high, so the Trussell Trust should be immensely proud to have won the Overall Award.

“For 17 years the Charity Awards have been identifying and celebrating the fantastic work that UK charities do, and the rigorous judging process ensures that only the very best-run charities win awards.”

“The Trust’s combination of providing emergency food, help to access other services, and the gathering of evidence to support its campaigning work on benefits policy, has been highly effective and really impressed the judges. They really do deserve this fantastic accolade.”

John Low, chief executive of Charities Aid Foundation, overall partner of the Charity Awards, said:

“This year’s Charity Awards celebrate the inspiring people working in neighbourhoods and communities across the UK and overseas to make the world a better place.

“Celebrating these successes – as these awards have now been doing for 17 years – is an important part of maintaining and building Britain’s proud culture of civil action and generosity.

“The organisations which won awards and those who were shortlisted demonstrate a great sense of teamwork, collaboration and management excellence.

“It is humbling to see the amazing work being done by people who are changing lives in so many ways. Their stories are an inspiration, and my congratulations go out to them all.

David McAuley, chief executive of The Trussell Trust, said:

We are delighted that The Trussell Trust won the Overall Award at the Charity Awards 2016, as well as the Social Care and Welfare Award. This prestigious award reflects the dedication and compassion shown by people who are serving their communities in foodbanks across the UK. 

We were pleased to be presented with the award by Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, and accept it on behalf of the 40,000 volunteers who give their time so we can provide the most effective service to people thrown into crisis every day.

The Charity Awards 2016, now in its seventeenth year, is organised by Civil Society Media, publishers of Charity Finance, Fundraising and Governance & Leadership magazines and

The Charity Awards is sponsored by Charities Aid Foundation. CAF’s mission is to motivate society to give ever more effectively, transforming lives and communities around the world. They help people and businesses support the causes they care about, and provide financial and funding solutions designed specifically for the charitable sector.

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