Making a difference awards - 2011 Winners.

The winners of this year's awards were announced at an event hosted by our Chairman John Stewart, on 15 December in Coleman Street, London.

The event brought together employees from across the business to celebrate the difference they all make. Helping to present the awards were last years winners, Mohani Seaman, Kirsten James and Alex Nicholson.

An amazing 3,100 votes were cast this year, an increase of over 50% from last year.

John Stewart said: "Here are a group of people who are incredibly inspirational to us all - shown by the amount of you who voted for them."

There winners are:

Charity Award - Sean Conboy (Chairman, Sean Conboy and last years winner Mohani Seaman) (photo)

Charity Champion – Sean Conboy. (Birmingham)

Sean has spent time trekking in Nepal, where he witnessed animal cruelty first hand. This motivated him to raise funds for the Donkey Sanctuary, a charity that also provides therapy sessions with autistic children. Sean sponsors a child in Vietnam, funding his education for the last 5 years.

Finalists – Laura Hallsmith , Rebecca Young , Matthew Hall, Chris Wilson, Jane Litchfield, Peter Barker, Mark Brooke, Dave Figg, Tim Furber and Claire Steel.

Community Award - Kelly Kelpin (Chairman, Kelly Kelpin and last years winner - Alex Nicholson) (photo)

Community Spirit – Kelly Kilpin. (Homebased)

After suffering the loss of her twin girls, Kelly became an ambassador for the Baby Care Appeal, for University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire. Their aim is to raise £225,000 in support of the neonatal, maternity and children's units to supply ground breaking equipment and create new family rooms within the hospital. Kelly has told her story many times to help fundraise and give support to other grieving mothers.

Finalists – Alison Crabbe, Jane Davies, Wendy Dutton, Dougie MacEachran, Joanne Barnard , Sarah Baldwin and Shelly Moledina.

Education Award - Richard McKenna ( Chairman, Richard Mckenna and last years winner - Kirsten James) (photo)

Education/Youth - Richard McKenna. (Edinburgh)

Richard and his wife have been foster carers for over three years, providing respite care and emergency support. - Regular breaks may make all the difference in helping a family cope. This support enables the child to remain living with their own family. A few months ago they started out with their first longer term placement for a 12 month old boy. They also have a 6 year old girl with them for the foreseeable future. Richard says “It can be a challenge, like getting back into the routine of getting up at 6am with a 1 year old, but it's rewarding too.”

Finalists – Claire Sullivan, Edward Reardo-Smith, Simon Owens, Tina Henry, John Hillman and Amanda Laurenson .

Help the Elderly Award - Ian Bourn (Chairman, Ian Bourn, Lynne Sheehy) (photo)

Helping the Elderly – Ian Bourn. (Hove)

After his father was a victim of elder abuse, Ian got in touch with Acton on Elder Abuse. They supported him through this difficult time and Ian found a safe place for his father. Since then Ian has campaigned for “Stop Elder Abuse” and runs anti elder abuse campaigns and awareness campaigns on Facebook which has gone international.

Finalists – Catrin Williams and Femi Bart-Williams.

Tour De Blackett Team (Chairman, Matt Baynes, Jim Ennis and Nick Manns)  (photo)

Team Award – Tour De Blackett. Jon Rice, Pete Milner, Mike Darby, Dave Thomas, Jim Ennis and Matt Baynes.

In 2009, Fraser Blackett in our GI Birmingham office, passed away. Fraser had Huntingdon's Disease, a terminal condition. Following his death, a group of colleagues got together and cycled from their Birmingham office to Hillsborough, the home of Fraser's beloved Sheffield Wednesday. Late in 2010, the now 'Team Tour de Blackett' decided to do more to remember their friend Fraser. So they organised a 300 mile sponsored cycle ride from Birmingham to Paris which took them five days to complete this summer. The team received fantastic support from GI staff in Birmingham and Ipswich in the lead up to this exciting event. Duncan Finch, GI's Managing Director, even cycled with the team to London to show his support. To date, the team has raised £27,000 for the Huntingdon's Disease Association.

Finalists – Dawn Watkins and Sue Wilson, Mike Williams and Betty Simpson , The Annuities Charity Committee (Cardiff), Camilla Edlin, Danny Jones and Geraint Rowlands, Keith Stoneham & Andy Stuart Williams, L&G Network – Brokeraging Change Initiative and Silver Surfers, Annuities (Cardiff).


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