Samantha Jones. Smart Works

Samantha Jones | Smart Works

As the manager of the new Smart Works centre in West London, it is my job, and my privilege, to bring our amazing Smart Works service to more women who need our help to succeed at interview and get their lives back on track.  Over the last year, I am proud to say that I have increased the number of appointments we’ve delivered by 41%, from 545 to 770, recruited and managed over 30 volunteers to deliver our service, who have together clocked up over 2000 hours of service.  Most importantly, over one in two, 59%, of the women who came to see us in West London went on to succeed at their job interview.

A visit to Smart Works takes just two hours, and during that time each woman receives a high-quality outfit, theirs to keep, and one to one coaching tailored to that upcoming interview.  Many of the women that walk through our doors have been unemployed for years.  We see single mothers with no support, women with physical and mental disabilities and ex-prisoners.  They frequently arrive nervous and feel daunted by the prospect of interview however they always leave confident, charged and lifted by the support they receive.  At Smart Works we believe every woman has many wonderful talents they can offer the world, what they lack is confidence.  My role is to assist them in unlocking their confidence so that they can showcase their skills and shine in their interview.

I have made it my mission to reach out to as many women as possible and welcome them through the Smart Works doors.  This meant rapidly building relationships with people who could refer, the Job Centres, Work Programme providers and other charities working to support women back into employment.  It has also meant building a skilled and reliable network of volunteers who could deliver an impeccable service to the women we see.  It also meant building a support network in the local community and spreading the word.

It has been a fantastic year for me and for Smart Works in West London and I am looking forward to building on this in the year ahead.

Frah Saeed

Frah Saeed | YMCA

 Youth Development Officer | YMCA

Frah is professionally experienced Youth and Community worker who works extensively with young people and communities in the voluntary and statutory sectors as a young volunteer and qualified youth & community worker. Frah has been working for the YMCA  for over 6 years  and has also been part of a programme called (Roots for Reconciliation) which is YMCA Europe’s initiative for stronger youth activism towards peaceful transformation of conflicts in Europe, South Caucasus and the Balkans especially considered  and was awarded as The Young Leader of the year 'Youth Matters Awards 2015 England'.

Whilst working with the YMCA Frah has also been engaged as a Trainer and Peace Advocate for a number of organisations and national Government working groups e.g ‘Youth Spirit’ which is a youth work unit in Jordan Working on gender equality & sustainable development), which works in partnership with European Youth Foundation throughout the ‘middle east’ to strengthen equality for all in order to respond to the needs of the most disadvantaged young people.


Emma Baldry

Emma Baldry | Broken Rainbow

 Training Coordinator | Broken Rainbow

After nine years as a secondary school teacher; I decided to focus on volunteering and fundraising for LGBT charities (Diversity Role Models, Stonewall, Albert Kennedy Trust). Several of these involved abseiling off high structures (a huge achievement). In 2014, I set up an LGBT Youth group in Catterick Garrison to support the needs of local young people and in 2015 took the initiative to coordinate Liverpool Pride’s first ever ‘education for all' area; its success will act as the footprint for 2016.

Last year, I co-founded Planet L Events creating unique safe spaces for inclusive cultural events across the North West, the first event being the inaugural Pride in Sport event held at Liverpool Football Club celebrating LGBT and Ally sporting role models.

Realising supporting the LGBT community is a natural vocation, I’m now the training coordinator, Broken Rainbow (National LGBT Domestic Violence Charity).


Rising Star in Charity Shortlist 2016


Katie Goates

Katie Goates | Breast Cancer Now

 Senior Research Communications Officer | Breast Cancer Now

As a Research Communications Officer at Breast Cancer Now I help engage our supporters, the public, and everyone at the charity with the science we fund. I also work as an in-house expert and external spokesperson on developments in the wider breast cancer research community.

I make complex ideas easy to understand, accurate, consistent and exciting for all our audiences - whether that’s students shaking buckets or philanthropists pondering annual reports.

I’ve previously worked at the Institute for Cancer Research and volunteered for Crisis at Christmas and The National Literacy Trust.


Rising Star in Charity Shortlist 2016


Eve Mitchell

Eve Mitchell | Cancer Research UK

 Business Development Manager | Cancer Research UK

I am a dedicated and highly driven account manager, with vast experience in business development, project management, event delivery, and relationship development. During my career I have worked across various roles within the charity sector. Starting my career at Cancer Research UK working as an event executive. Moving to Canada working for the Canadian Cancer Society, developing the Relay For Life Youth Programme, and achieving 100% growth in income. Moving back to the UK I re-joined CRUK as an Account Manager successfully managing a partnership with Ronan Keating, delivering the 10th anniversary Emeralds & Ivy Ball, developing corporate partners and high-net worth individuals driving maximum value for CRUK, raising £1 million against a target of £850,000. Most recently I have taken on a dual role managing a celebrity partnership whilst taking on a corporate partnerships role as Business Development Manager looking after multi-million pound partnerships such as TK Maxx and Tesco.


Rising Star in Charity Shortlist 2016


Sophie Richardson

Sophie Richardson | Free The Children

 Manager of Speakers and Facilitators | Free The Children

Originally from Blackpool, Sophie came to London to study French and Linguistics at Queen Mary, University of London. After graduating, Sophie was elected Vice President Education and Welfare 2010-11 and President 2011-12 of Queen Mary Students’ Union, representing 16,000 students. She also served on the National Union of Students’ National Executive Committee as the Higher Education representative. Since then she has worked at Disneyland Paris, at Hotcourses supporting young people going into Higher Education and worked on a Blackpool Council funded programme supporting young, homeless and NEET 16-19 year old women. She currently works for Free The Children and WE Day as Manager of Speakers and Facilitators, the WE Schools delivery team. Sophie is also an alumna of UpRising and PwC’s leadership programmes and volunteers as a governor at Thornton Heath Nursery School. Sophie is passionate about equality, young people and the transformative power of education.


Mary Dobson

Mary Dobson | LYCP

 Founder | LYCP

Mary founded London Young Charity Professionals (LYCP) in 2014, noting a lack of support for London-based young professionals working in the charity sector. Alongside a day job managing NSPCC Special Events, she launched the network with regular, free-to-attend networking drinks, creating an informal, friendly space for members to be able to share ideas, challenges and to support each other.

The network gained 1,500 LinkedIn members within the first six months and a stellar committee of two. Last year Mary organised 'LYCP Inspirationals', featuring seven sector-leading charity CEOs, including Barbara Frost, Ciaran Devane and Mark Goldring, each talking about their five greatest failures.

Sold out, and supported by The Guardian, Blackbaud & Harris Hill, the series provided an unrivalled opportunity for young professionals to be inspired and motivated by leading lights.

Recently named one of Eventbrite's top 100 movers & shakers in the Events Industry, she's "frequently touted as one to watch!"


Rising Star in Charity Shortlist 2016


Michelle Thorpe

Michelle Thorpe | UK Homes 4 Heroes

 Charity Director | UK Homes 4 Heroes Pride and Passion

My name is Michelle Thorpe. I am a director of a charity called UK Homes 4 Heroes Pride & Passion. It is only a small charity which helps ex-service personnel. We go out on the streets to feed and clothe them. We also  house and get them back into work when possible along with just being there for them to have a shoulder to cry on or listen to them when needed. There is only two of us that run the head office.

I am also the pearly queen of Rotherhithe which I am very proud to be. I have done a lot of charity work in my life including abseiling, sky-diving, bungee jumping and lots more. I get great pleasure out of helping other people.


Rising Star in Charity Shortlist 2016


Julia Garden

Julia Garden | Women and Children First UK

 Administrator | Women and Children First UK

I am honoured to have been nominated for this award. I have worked in the charity sector for all my life with vulnerable people.

I have worked with Women and Children First for 2.5 years. Women and Children First is an international development organisation dedicated to reducing unacceptably high, but largely avoidable, levels of mortality in the world's poorest communities. Their approach is simple and effective. They support women to take control of their own and their newborn babies’ health by learning and acting together in women’s groups. They work with partners in Malawi, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Uganda to educate women about how to maintain their own health before, during and after pregnancy and how to care for their new baby.

My skills lie in relationship building. I support our supporters and encourage them to fundraise for us. I know what the competition is like out there and so if I can engage more supporters I feel that I have done a good job. We are a small charity and our supporters feel that they are really part of an organisation that makes a difference. Our supporters are very loyal, which is evident in the repeat donations we get from them. I feel that the personal touch that I offer them ensures their loyalty. I initiate events and through our events we are raising the profile of the charity which in turn encourages more supporters. I love my job!


Emma Lawrence

Emma Lawrence | Action for Children

 Internal Communications Officer | Action for Children

I’m passionate and determined that my communications – whether article, blog, film, or our awards – is positive and inspiring for our 5000 staff, 2500 volunteers and the children and young people we support. It’s an honour to work alongside and learn from the incredibly brave young people in our services, and I feel very fortunate that I can devote my energy on equality. You’ll find me the proudest advocate of female power, and of our inclusive LGBT network, which I have dedicated hundreds of hours to right from when it was just an idea, to now – being the leading network and mouthpiece for diversity in the organisation. There’s a lot to do when it comes to creating a world where children are safe, the LGBT community is accepted and equal, and women are truly championed. I’m a survivor, and I work in the service of other survivors – this is my motivation.