Winner of Sheila McKechnie Foundation London Social Justice award (sponsored by the Trust) announced
The winners of the 2011 Sheila McKechnie Foundation campaigner awards were announced at a special ceremony hosted by Channel 4 newscaster Jon Snow at St Martin-in-the-Fields.
The winner of the London Social Justice Award for campaigners tackling poverty and inequality in the capital is Vicky Simister, whose campaign is called 'The Anti-Street Harassment Campaign UK'. Vicky is working to raise public awareness about the sexual harassment of women on London's streets. Her aim is to make this socially unacceptable and to work with MPs, local authorities, and other agencies to provide support and assistance where necessary. She has been working with the media to raise awareness and highlight the effect that harassment has on women. Vicky is committed to creating a safe public space for women that is free from all types of harassment.
Vicky said: "I am delighted to have won the SMK London Social Justice Award, sponsored by Trust for London. My campaign against sexual harassment has gained the support of London politicians such as Hackney North MP Diane Abbott and mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone. It is now time for Mayor Boris Johnson to support my campaign and pledge to tackle sexual harassment on London's streets".
The Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK), is the UK's only charity dedicated to connecting, informing and supporting campaigners. The awards recognise the outstanding contribution that a new generation of campaigners are making towards achieving social, environmental and economic justice both in the UK and abroad. We have been working closely with SMK for many years and are proud to sponsor one its annual awards.
The London Social Justice Award was presented to Vicky by Maria Adebowale, Director of Capacity Global. Other award presenters included 105 year-old peace campaigner and former suffragette Hetty Bower; David Babbs from campaign group 38 Degrees; Baroness Newlove; Anna Raeburn, broadcaster and journalist; Guardian journalist Paul Lewis; Tony Juniper, environmental sustainability advisor and former Director of Friends of the Earth; and Dr. Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive of the London Cycling Campaign.
The London award judges were Peter Lewis, until recently the Chief Executive of London Voluntary Service Council and now the Director of the Institute of Fundraising; Sarah Shimmin-Gilbert who leads the National Council of Voluntary Organisation's work on campaigning and influencing; and Mubin Haq, Director of Policy & Grants at Trust for London.
The two other finalists were Susan Carini for her campaign to stop the closure of an employment service for people with learning disabilities in Hounslow; and Russell Gwebu who has been campaigning against the closure of services for disabled people in Westminster.
Linda Butcher, Chief Executive of SMK said: "During this time of socio-economic instability it is incredibly positive to see such a wide range of campaigners working tirelessly to tackle the wrongs, abuses, injustices and inequalities in society. These inspiring and tenacious individuals prove that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. We are proud to be providing support for our award winners' next steps and we look forward to working with them to make a more just and equal society."
The awards were featured in The Guardian