The Beacon Awards for philanthropy were announced at a glittering ceremony at Mansion House last week, with 12 people recognised for their generosity, innovation and collaboration. OCF supporters Jane Wates OBE and Monawar Hussain were amongst those shortlisted, in the company of winners Dame Kelly Holmes and Dame Vivienne Westwood.
Beacon celebrates exceptional philanthropists, changing the world we live in through inspirational and strategic investments of time, knowledge and resource. As well as an annual awards ceremony, Beacon is a fellowship network of diverse individuals, who aspire to positively influence the philanthropy of future generations, sharing achievements and lessons learned in order to help others as they think about and plan their approaches to giving.
On 9th May 2017, philanthropists from the worlds of finance, sport, and arts gathered at the Mansion House, London to celebrate inspiring examples of charitable giving. Winners included equity investor James Thomas, Chair of trafficking charity Justice and Care; fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood for her collaboration with Cool Earth, which works with indigenous villages to protect rainforests; double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes, whose trust helps disadvantaged young people through sport, education and career development; and broadcaster Martin Lewis OBE, who founded the UK’s biggest consumer website MoneySavingExpert.com, and made a personal donation of £2 million to set up a charity tackling mental health problems brought on by debt.
From Oxfordshire, several OCF friends and donors were shortlisted for awards. Imam Monawar Hussain has spent his life promoting religious harmony by educating young people, and helping them realise their full potential, and works with OCF to fund projects promoting interfaith dialogue. Fran Perrin promotes the use of technology to bring about greater efficiency and transparency in the charitable sector, and sits on OCF’s Digital Advisory Board.
OCF trustee Jane Wates OBE was shortlisted for the Beacon Award for Local Community Philanthropy, recognising her outstanding commitment of over 30 years as a key supporter of Oxfordshire and Berkshire Community Foundations, as well as a significant philanthropist via her own family trusts. She was pipped at the post by award winners Helen and Peter Wilde, who tackle post-natal depression, health problems, and bereavement through their work with Quartet Community Foundation in Bristol.
Martin Lewis said: “Anyone who makes it has had luck. So you’re the fortunate one. It might not have happened to you. And I think that therefore you have a responsibility to give back.” The video below features Martin and the other winners talking publicly about their philanthropy.