Chairman: Phil Packer, MBE
There are over 100,000 charities working tirelessly across Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenants have not been included on this list, however they are some of the most influential members of society and lend their support to many charities within their respective county. Charity chief executives have also been omitted, as for the most part their influence is as part of a team of staff who all would deserve collective recognition. This list has recognised just a small number of individuals, amongst so many, whose influence continues to shape the charity sector or whose decisions this year are inspiring others to follow their example.
Phil Packer has inspired millions and through his aim, delivers inspiration, creates greater inclusion and influences in the areas of self-harm, depression and mental wellness in order to improve the vital support for young people experiencing trauma in their lives. After sustaining catastrophic spinal cord damage, in 2009, Phil rowed the Channel, walked the London Marathon in 14 days and climbed El Capitan, completing 4250 pull-ups, raising over £1.3million for the wounded. He received the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. He completed the London Marathon in 2010 in 26 hours for 26 charities and in 2012 he walked 2012 miles throughout every county of the UK; with his spinal cord damage this was the equivalent of 310 marathons in 331 days. As a charity ambassador and as founder of the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT), he is a highly respected figure within the charity sector.
HRH The Prince of Wales.
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is a patron to over 350 charities and organisations, and carries out duties related to these throughout the Commonwealth realms. He continues to raise world awareness of the dangers facing the natural environment and has been outspoken on the role of architecture in society and the conservation of historic buildings. For more than 35 years he has been a leader in identifying charitable need and setting up and driving forward charities to meet it. The Prince's Charities is a group of twenty not-for-profit organisations and all of the charities focus on his core interests, including aiding disadvantaged youth, education, responsible business, improvement of the built environment, regeneration of heritage and environmental sustainability. The charities form the largest multi-cause charitable enterprise in the United Kingdom and collectively work in 38 countries.
Also nominated for the Architecture sector.
HRH The Princess Royal.
The Princess Royal is involved with over 200 charities and organisations in an official capacity. She works extensively for Save the Children, of which she has been president since 1970. The Princess Royal initiated The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in 1991 and she is also the Royal Patron of WISE, an organisation that encourages young women to pursue careers in science, engineering and construction. Her extensive work for St John Ambulance as Commandant-in-Chief of St John Ambulance Cadets has helped to develop thousands of young people. This was all in addition to her pivotal role within the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.
The Lord Sainsbury of Turville. Founder Gatsby Charitable Foundation.
David Sainsbury, Lord Sainsbury of Turville, founded the Gatsby Charitable Foundation in 1967. In 1993 he donated £200 million of Sainsbury's shares to the Foundation's assets. By 2009 the foundation had given £660 million to a range of charitable causes. In 2009 he allocated a further £465 million to the foundation, making him the first Briton to donate more than £1 billion to charity. He has donated £127 million of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation's money to Cambridge University in the last decade: he gave £45 million to Cambridge University's Botanical Gardens in August 2005. A patron of science and engineering, he gave an £82 million grant to fund Cambridge’s new Sainsbury Laboratory.
The Lord Ashcroft, KCMG, PC. Founder and chairman Crimestoppers.
Michael Ashcroft, Lord Ashcroft, with an estimated fortune of £1.1 billion, is soon to sign the Giving Pledge; the commitment to giving away at least half his wealth to charity either during his lifetime or on his death. He is an avid anti-crime supporter and is the founder and chairman of Crimestoppers. He supports education and is one of the main backers of Flooved; the online education platform founded in 2011, that seeks to provide free education to a global audience by providing lecture notes, handouts, and study guides online. He has supported various environmental groups and campaigns, as well as many military causes including the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association and the Bomber Command Memorial in London.
Malala Yousafzai. Campaigner.
Hospitalised in the United Kingdom for intensive rehabilitation, the school pupil and educational activist is the youngest nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in history. Known for her education and women’s rights activism in her home country of Pakistan, Malala wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule. Her rise to prominence also led to her being nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. She sustained gunshot wounds to the head and neck during an assassination attempt whilst returning home on a school bus in October 2012. In November 2012, United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, announced that the 10th November will be celebrated as Malala Day. Her bravery continues to inspire the international community.
Christopher and Jamie Cooper-Hohn. Philanthropist.
Christopher Cooper-Hohn was born in Surrey, the son of a car mechanic and a legal secretary. After gaining 13 O levels he gained an MBA from Harvard Business School. After graduating he entered into a career in private equity, eventually earning an estimated £75 million while working for Perry Capital on Wall Street. The financier and philanthropist runs the hedge fund the Children’s Investment Fund which he established in 2003. His wife Jamie runs the hedge fund’s foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. Its aim is to give a proportion of its profit to help children in developing countries. In the five years from 2006 until 2011, Christopher and Jamie gave away almost £1 billion and last year generated £42.7 million for charity.
Sir David Kirch, KBE. Philanthropist.
In 2006 David Kirch, the British businessman, collector and philanthropist, announced on his 70th birthday that he would give everyone in Jersey over 70 years old £100 of Co-op vouchers. He has continued to give away around £1m each year since then. The Jersey resident last year handed his entire £100 million fortune to the island's elderly after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. In 2013 he appeared at the top of the Sunday Times Giving List, and was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services as a philanthropist to senior citizens of Jersey.
David O Akinsanya. Campaigner.
As a broadcaster and journalist, David O Akinsanya campaigns for improved social care and support to ex-offenders. David’s contribution as a film producer, presenter and columnist to raising awareness of adoption and fostering has brought attention and a voice to tens of thousands of vulnerable children who are not fortunate enough to find a permanent home in a stable family. Through his own experience and knowledge, he provides a greater understanding of those young people who, if they cannot be provided with the unconditional love and protection of a family, must have safety within a residential environment that is staffed by a well-paid and trained team who are committed to supporting the emotional needs of the children.
John Caudwell. Founder Caudwell Children charity.
The former Phones4U entrepreneur now puts most of his energy into philanthropic projects, helping sick and disabled children with his Caudwell Children charity. His key charitable pursuit is supporting Caudwell Children; however he is also a significant and regular contributor to and supporter of a number of charities and good causes including The Prince's Regeneration Trust, Marie Curie, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, ARK (Absolute Return for Kids), Great Ormond Street Hospital and The Carers Trust amongst others. John Caudwell's intention is to leave at least fifty percent of his wealth to a charitable foundation which will be run by his children.
Sir Elton John, CBE and David Furnish. Rock star and film producer.
Rock star Sir Elton John and his partner, the film producer David Furnish, have campaigned tirelessly for the prevention and treatment of HIV/Aids and to reduce the stigma sufferers face. The Elton John AIDS Foundation was founded in 1992, and has raised hundreds of millions to support programmes in 55 countries. To raise money for his AIDS charity, Sir Elton hosts annually a glamorous White Tie and Tiara Ball, to which many famous celebrities are invited. They have also backed Cyndi Lauper’s charity True Colors to end the discrimination the Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community faces.
Sir Elton John also nominated in the Music sector.
Martin Lewis. Philanthropist.
Martin Lewis, the journalist and money saving expert, attended King’s School in Chester and studied government and law at LSE. After working at Brunswick Group and an early career in television and radio, he started his website moneysaving expert.com in 2003 for £100. The financial website was sold last year for approximately £87 million. Whilst he will continue to focus on his career as a journalist and in television, he has pledged £10 million of his approximate £60 million fortune to charity, including £1 million to Citizens Advice. This significantly high percentage of his worth being given to charity is a strong statement to inspire and influence others within the entertainment industry to follow suit.
Richard Curtis, CBE and Lenny Henry, CBE. Founders Comic Relief.
Richard Curtis and Lenny Henry founded Comic Relief in 1985 in response to famine in Ethiopia. The highlight of Comic Relief's appeal is Red Nose Day, a biennial telethon held in March, alternating with sister project Sport Relief (founded in 2002, when Comic Relief and BBC Sport teamed up). Comic Relief is one of the two high profile telethon events held in the United Kingdom, the other being Children in Need, held annually in November. The BBC is responsible for the live television extravaganza on Red Nose Day; BT provides the telephony, and Sainsbury's sells merchandise on behalf of the charity. Since the charity was launched in 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £750 million. The 2013 event raised £75,107,852, the highest so far.
David and Heather Stevens. Founders The Waterloo Foundation.
Heather and David Stevens were part of the small team which launched the insurance group Admiral in 1993 in Cardiff. Since its launch the company has grown to become one of the largest private sector employers in Wales. Heather and David established The Waterloo Foundation in 2007 to support a variety of charitable causes. Heather and David made a donation of Admiral Group plc shares to a value of £99 million to establish the Foundation’s endowment fund. In 2012, The Waterloo Foundation celebrated their five year anniversary. During this period the Foundation had made over 1,000 grants and disbursed over £30m in support of their charitable objectives.
Stephen Fry. Television presenter and actor.
It can be hard to find the courage to speak out on mental illness, particularly when it affects you personally. Stephen Fry has spoken publicly over many years about his experience with bipolar disorder. He is involved with the mental health charity Stand to Reason and is president of Mind. In an interview with Richard Herring earlier this year, Stephen revealed that he had attempted suicide the previous year while filming abroad. His candidness and conviction when explaining his emotions has not only raised positive awareness of mental illness, but he has undoubtedly given strength to so many millions of others. Whilst we feel we know this remarkable man so well from his many character portrayals, it is through voicing his own life in such an honest and open manner that he is continuing to inspire us.
Sir Tom Hunter. Founder The Hunter Foundation.
Sir Tom Hunter and his wife, Marion, established The Hunter Foundation in 1998 which has donated millions to supporting educational and entrepreneurial projects in Scotland. In 2001, he coined the term “venture philanthropy” – using his investment pledges to leverage more cash from others to invest with him and becoming involved in the strategic delivery of the initiatives he backed. In July 2007 it was reported that Sir Tom had pledged to donate a further £1 billion to charity. He credits his father as his inspiration, saying he taught him the importance of giving back. When receiving the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, he said “he totally understood that he could make a living only if the community prospered”.
Sir Richard Branson. Businessman and philanthropist.
In the late 1990s, Sir Richard Branson and musician Peter Gabriel discussed with Nelson Mandela their idea of a small, dedicated group of leaders, working objectively and without any vested personal interest to solve difficult global conflicts. Nelson Mandela announced the formation of a new group, The Elders, in a speech he delivered on his 89th birthday. The Elders is independently funded by a group of donors, including Sir Richard. In February 2013, twelve new signatories added their names to the Giving Pledge initiative started by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates. Under the pledge, wealthy individuals commit to donating at least half their wealth to philanthropy and February’s signatories, including Sir Richard, marked the first time billionaires from outside the US have joined the initiative.