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Four charities win national award

Four charities from across the country received a national quality award on Monday. The Winifred Tumim Memorial Prize, awarded annually by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), recognises charities which have demonstrated an exceptionally high standard of governance. The awards were presented at NCVO’s annual Trustee Conference, which marked the launch of this year’s Trustees Week.


The winning charities have all used NCVO’s Good Governance Tool to strengthen their board of trustees and deliver greater public benefit, including by filling skills gaps, improving understanding between staff and trustees, and increasing transparency.

The winner was The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, based in Hampshire, which provides entertainment and education opportunities for the local community. The charity was awarded £1000 and a year’s free membership of NCVO. The Spring used NCVO’s Good Governance Code to develop a new business plan, and the charity has since engaged 8000 people in the arts with a new strand of outreach work.

Second prize went to Cumbria Action for Sustainability, a charity which promotes low carbon living and sustainability across Cumbria. The charity used the Good Governance Code to clarify roles and dramatically widen their audience and reach when they were awarded a grant to deliver a three-year programme in partnership with other charities.

Keech Hospice Care, based in Luton, and national disability charity Walsingham were awarded joint third prize. Keech Hospice Care delivers palliative care to children and adults across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. They used the Code to create a governance manual and ensure good communication across the organisation.

Walsingham supports disabled people to lead fulfilled lives by providing care for vulnerable individuals. The board used the Code to agree priorities and future direction for the charity, and feels that the profile of the charity has been raised.

The awards were presented by Lindsay Driscoll, a consultant at the charity law firm Bates Wells.

The minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, was also present at the reception and praised the work that trustees do:

‘I’m proud to be here as part of Trustees’ Week to recognise what often goes unrecognised: the incredibly valuable work trustees do day in, day out. Without it, charities wouldn’t exist and certainly wouldn’t flourish in the way that they do. I thank you for your commitment to the charities you serve and the offices you hold. Your work can be difficult, but it’s important and it’s appreciated.’

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:

‘I warmly congratulate the winners of this year’s Winifred Tumim Memorial Prize. They have demonstrated that taking time to think about good governance can bring enormous benefit, both to organisations and the people they serve. Trustees Week is the ideal time to celebrate the contribution that trustees make to society and inspire others to think about the difference they can make.’

Roger Harrison, chair of the board of trustees of The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, said:

‘We are absolutely delighted to have been named as the 2014 winner of this prestigious award. Such external validation is a tribute to the hard work that is carried out daily by a dedicated team of staff, trustees, volunteers and other key stakeholders. We would like to thank NCVO for both recognising and rewarding the tremendous work that is done by a lot of committed individuals for the good of their community.’

Hazel Graham, manager at Cumbria Action for Sustainability, said:

‘We are delighted that our work has been recognised in this way. We will continue to work to improve our governance and effectiveness, and have recently been lucky enough to welcome three new Trustees to the charity. Thank you to NCVO for coordinating this award. It adds a validity to our work and hopefully will provide us with a platform which will allow us to take further action to do what we do best; supporting individuals to take practical action to reduce carbon emissions in Cumbria. As a result of improving our governance we have been able to really focus our attention on the projects which make the most difference, from our training courses and events to our free draughtproofing service, right though to our annual Cumbria Green Build Festival in September.’

Mike Keel, chief executive of Keech Hospice Care, said:

‘We are thrilled to have won third place in the Winifred Tumim Memorial Prize. Keech Hospice Care is enormously proud to receive such recognition at a national conference and it supports our ambition to not only provide the very best hospice care to everyone who needs it but also to have outstanding leadership and governance at the charity.’

Paul Snell, chief executive of Walsingham, said:

‘We were thrilled to simply have been shortlisted for the prize, so to have been awarded joint third place is fantastic. Our Board of Trustees has gone through considerable changes in order to attain best practice in charity governance, and for this to be recognised on a national scale is a great testament to all their hard work.’



  1. A photo of the winners, taken with Lindsay Driscoll at NCVO’s Trustee Conference, is available upon request.
  2. The Winifred Tumim Memorial Prize was established by NCVO in honour of the work done by Lady Winifred Tumim, chair of NCVO from 1996-2001, to improve the quality of charity governance. Lady Tumim was instrumental in the formation of the 2006 Charities Act and, as chair of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, helped to clarify the duties and liabilities of trustees.
  3. For more information please contact Helen Raftery, external relations, NCVO, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./020 7520 2424.
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