The awards recognised dynamic and successful organisations in the Thames Valley, and in particular those who had excelled against their business plans in the past year. OCF was a finalist for Charity of the Year, which was won by Thames Valley Air Ambulance.
OCF staff attended the glittering Thames Valley Business Magazine Awards on Thursday evening, where eight prestigious awards were presented to companies across the region that had demonstrated innovation, social responsibility and great leadership. OCF was delighted to be a finalist in the Charity of the Year category, sponsored and judged by accounting and advisory firm James Cowper Kreston. Judges from the firm had met with CEO Jayne Woodley to hear about OCF’s recent successes, including a 254% growth in income during 2014-15 and a 400% increase in grant-making since the previous year – OCF’s most prosperous year yet.
The awards began with a keynote by veteran BBC news anchor Huw Edwards, who emphasised the role of new technology and platforms such as social media in connecting people together – representing many challenges, but primarily an opportunity for news outlets and businesses alike. The charity partner for the awards was Berkshire Community Foundation, which works collaboratively with OCF and other community foundations in the Thames Valley to make the most of their combined philanthropic funds.
Thames Valley Air Ambulance won the Charity of the Year award, in particular recognition of recent advances such as carrying blood on board, which has enabled the charity to offer hospital-quality services to patients at the scene of an accident. Other finalists in the category were: multiple sclerosis support charity Chiltern MS Centre; DEBRA, a national charity supporting people with blistering skin condition epidermolysis bullosa; children’s learning centre Ufton Court Educational Trust; and SeeSaw, a charity that supports bereaved children, and which has received a grant from OCF in the past.
OCF is grateful to be sharing charitable proceeds from the event with Berkshire Community Foundation.