All the biggest charities are well-represented at Westminster. With their public policy teams and large marketing budgets, they can exercise disproportionate influence. Smaller voluntary and community groups are often doing the best work in tackling poverty a local level. However they get little opportunity to demonstrate their effectiveness and value to national politicians.
The Centre for Social Justice Awards, sponsored by the Pears Foundation, recognise, reward and celebrate the work of innovative grassroots poverty-fighting groups. Winners get the opportunity to showcase their work to senior policymakers from across the political spectrum. David Cameron, Charles Kennedy and Stephen Timms have attended previous CSJ Awards presentations. Last year Ruby Wax and rugby legend Keith Wood were among those who presented prizes.
Most charity awards are run for profit by trade magazine publishers. Recipients have to make do with a perspex bauble. CSJ Awards are different – winners will receive prizes of £5,000 at the high-profile presentation to be hosted by JPMorgan Asset Management in July. Most Awards will be made to grassroots projects working in the UK with another going to a group tackling poverty or advancing social justice overseas. A local authority award will also be made to a council doing innovative work to tackle deprivation.
ConservativeHome readers who get organisations to apply that are subsequently short-listed will receive a pair of tickets for the prize-giving event on July 11th. For further information or to discuss sponsorship opportunities for individual Awards contact Cameron Watt at the CSJ.