Press Release: 2015 Social Change Awards Ceremony

The 2015 Social Change Awards took place on Monday 7th December at the Hotel Russell in London. The ceremony celebrates and recognises the achievements of all the fantastic social change makers in the voluntary sector.

The ceremony was opened by Debra Allcock Tyler, DSC’s Chief Executive, and featured a keynote speech from Peter Wanless, NSPCC’s Chief Executive.

‘We have the best charitable sector in the whole wide world’ said Debra before handing over to Peter: ‘Whatever your cause, aim high. You are all engaged in such important work it deserves to be recognised – and to succeed – as together we build a better world’.

The Awards aim  to increase the public knowledge about how brilliant the charity sector is in all its diversity. For the Ninth Social Change Awards, DSC received around 150 nominations and received almost 3,000 public votes. Each category had three finalists.

Anthony Lunch, Mondo Foundation’s Chief Executive, was the first winner of the evening with the Influencer Award, for those able to win people over creating positive change. Mondo Foundation has supported educational work in Nepal for more than 10 years, working together with local people.

The Great Giving Funders Award was given to Pears Foundation for their ability to work in partnership with their beneficiaries, demonstrating a response to changing needs in the fundraising environment.

Sheila Cunningham has been involved with Individuals with learning disabilities since 1966, supporting people to live independent lives in their local communities. In recognition for her work with Way Ahead, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Rising Star Award is a very special prize for those under 26 who have made a major impact in their organisation or community. Named one of five stand-out community projects by The Guardian, Silent Secret is a social network app for young people that increases emotional wellbeing and connects users to support organisations in times of need. Seun Oshinake defines himself as a social entrepreneur and is Silent Secret co-founder and Chief Executive.

The Everyday Impact Award has two different categories. The Long Term Enterprises Award was awarded to Bubble Club, which has been challenging the notion that people with disabilities are passive receivers of care. This year, they celebrate their 10th anniversary and have run more than a hundred events in the community so far.

Tina Jackson and Kath Dowson received the New Enterprises Award for The Link (Redcar). The last winner of the night supports local authorities in addressing the needs of children and young people who have emerging health issues through art, drama and one to one therapy.

All the winners were presented with unique cartoons by Grizelda, which can be viewed here

If you wish to interview one of our award winners or need more information please contact Cristina Galan, 020 7697 4142,



Here are the winners and finalists for each category:

The Influencer Award

  • Winner –  Anthony Lunch
  • Finalist – Fiona Jeffery
  • Finalist – Jack Welch

The Great Giving Funders Award

  • Winner –  Pears Foundation
  • Finalist – UBS
  • Finalist – The Vintners Company

The Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Winner –  Sheila Cunningham
  • Finalist – Malcolm Kitson
  • Finalist – Dr Tuppy Owens

The Rising Star Award

  • Winner –  Seun Oshinaike
  • Runner Up – Adam Seldon
  • Runner Up – David Walsh

The Everyday Impact Award – Long-Term Enterprises

  • Winner –  Bubble Club
  • Finalist – Partnership for Children
  • Finalist – Changes UK

The Everyday Impact Award – New Enterprises

  • Winner – The Link (Redcar)
  • Finalist – 20 More Project
  • Finalist – International Children’s Ostomy Educational Foundation


Notes to editors:

Photos and more information about the winning entries and finalists can be viewed here.

The 2015 DSC Social Change Awards were hosted by the Directory of Social Change at the Russel Square Hotel, London on 7 December 2015

The Directory of Social Change (DSC) is an independent charity with a vision of an independent voluntary sector at the heart of social change. They believe that society can be changed for the better when citizens take responsibility for themselves, their communities and each other. The activities of independent charities, voluntary organisations and community groups are fundamental to achieve social change.