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The Steve Morgan Foundation Conference & Awards sees more than £100,000 awarded

Earlier this week, on Monday, April 22, at the Carden Park Hotel in Cheshire, the Steve Morgan Foundation Conference & Awards took place. Over 160 individuals from the Foundation’s network of charities came together for a day of inspiration, resources, and celebration.

The day’s events included motivational keynote addresses, a live interview with Steve Morgan CBE, a series of collaborative workshops, and the presentation of the prestigious awards, which acknowledged the invaluable contribution that the organisations and individuals supported by The Steve Morgan Foundation make to improving lives.

This year, eight award categories awarded prize money totaling more than £100,000 for outstanding service delivery and commitment. The winning charity of each award received £10,000 with a further £2,000 awarded to the remaining two category finalists. During the awards presentations, Steve himself revealed the winner of a discretionary award, Outstanding Contribution.

Commenting on the award entries, the Foundation’s founder and Chair of Trustees, Steve Morgan, said:

“It was fantastic to read about all the amazing work that is being done for our communities within our family of charities and every entry we received was worthy of recognition. The standard of entries to this year’s awards has been extremely high and it was certainly no easy task to select the finalists and winners from over a hundred entries.”

Unlike other awards, the ethos behind the event is to bring charities together to foster collaboration rather than competition and to recognise and celebrate all of their incredible achievements in making a positive difference to people’s lives. 

Hosted by award-winning journalist, Chris Maguire, the day got underway with a conference designed to offer support, advice and share best practice through a series of workshops covering a range of topics from planning for organisational growth to rediscovering the value of community. The workshops were interspersed with speeches from inspiring guest presenters including Matt Parish, CEO of Liverpool FC Foundation, Andy Cook, Chief Executive of Centre of Social Justice and professional yachtsman and three times World Record holder, Jack Trigger.

Liam Eaglestone, CEO of The Steve Morgan Foundation, said:

“The Steve Morgan Foundation Conference and Awards not only honours and celebrates the fantastic achievements of the organisations and people within our family of charities, but also provides an opportunity to recognise and share some wonderful best practice in our region as well as learn from, and inspire, one another. This year we are continuing that learning with follow-on communities, kindly hosted by the leaders of our Associate Charities, promoting peer-led discussion and reflection to support each other in the work we are doing.”

The day ended on a celebratory note with the Awards presentations.

Having undergone intense scrutiny by the judging panel consisting of the Trustees of the Foundation, Steve and Sally Morgan, Vincent Fairclough, Rhiannon Walker OBE, Ashley Lewis, Jane Harris and Brian Clark, all of whom have first-hand knowledge of the charities having worked closely with them, three finalists were agreed on for each of the categories (details below).

Charity Leader of the Year was awarded to Kathy Wright who is Centre Head at Maggie’s Wirral. Maggie’s delivers support, help and advice for families who are affected by cancer. The centre offers a warm, safe environment for people to talk, connect and seek refuge. Kathy is a true ambassador for Maggie’s, embodying their values with kindness, with integrity, with each other and with courage in every aspect of her work. Her extraordinary leadership, compassionate nature, and exceptional commitment to Maggie’s Wirral have undoubtedly maximised the impact Maggie’s Wirral has been able to make in recent years. Kathy leads by example, never more apparent than when she took part in last year’s triathlon.  

Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Ben Meadows of Cerebral Palsy United Football Club. Ben began to volunteer at the age of fourteen in the Club’s ‘Our Futures’ program, remaining behind after his own training session, to work with and support the sessions of his younger club mates. He is now 23 and is a lead coach at the Liverpool centre. Over the last 18 months Ben has gone above and beyond his coaching duties and has become a mentor to ten student physiotherapists from LJM university.

Young Volunteer of the Year was scooped up by Rebecca Clark of Pure Insight.  Rebecca is a member of the Experts by Experience group and has helped to design and deliver ‘through our eyes’ training to new volunteers, team members and other professionals and decision makers supporting care leavers. Rebecca also regularly sits on interview panels helping to recruit the right team and volunteers.   

Collecting Best small or medium charity or social enterprise award (t/o less than £1m) was Breckfield & North Everton Neighbourhood Council. Breckfield and North Everton Neighbouring Council has a small team of dedicated staff and community volunteers and provides its residents in Everton and Anfield with information, advice, support, training, community events and access to resources.  

Best large charity or social enterprise award (t/o more than £1m) went to End Furniture Poverty. End Furniture Poverty was created nine years ago to raise awareness of furniture poverty and to work with partners to develop scaled solutions. End Furniture Poverty supports social landlords to create furniture schemes for tenants and with the support of the Steve Morgan Foundation recently launched Time for Bed, a fundraising appeal giving away free beds to children across Merseyside. 

Collecting the Disruptor for good award was Everton in the Community. Everton in the Community (EitC) is the charitable arm of Everton Football Club and is one of the UK’s top sporting charities. EitC is considered to be one of the Premier League’s leading community schemes due to the quality and reach of its programmes which seek to transform lives and create positive change. 

Partnership of the Year award was picked up by Right to Succeed. Right to Succeed supports communities in areas of high deprivation, aiming to give children and young people the best start in life by bringing together residents, professionals and decision-makers to co-design long-term, sustainable programmes that are bespoke to the needs of the local community. They received this award for the delivery of the Cradle to Career programme in partnership with over 100 organisations.

And finally, taking the accolade of the discretionary Outstanding Contribution award was the Foundation’s own Jane Harris. Jane has been the driving force behind the Foundation for a number of years and is now a Trustee. Steve Morgan personally selected Jane as the winner due to her unwavering commitment, not only to the Steve Morgan Foundation, but also to the charities and organisations supported by the Foundation.  

Steve added:

“This award was created to recognise the individual that I felt had gone the extra mile in the contribution they make towards their charity. It was a difficult decision as there were several worthy contenders, but I was delighted to present the award to Jane, who has been instrumental to the development of the Steve Morgan Foundation over the last 17 years. As well as her outstanding contribution while working for the Foundation, Jane remains passionately involved as a Trustee in supporting our charities and helping us deliver philanthropy at its best.”

Below is a complete list of the finalists:  

Charity Leader of the Year

Winner:      Kathy Wright, Maggie’s, Wirral Centre

Finalists:     Deryn Basnett, The Martin Gallier Project

                Kim Steele, Pure Insight

Volunteer of the Year

Winner:      Ben Meadows, Cerebral Palsy United FC

Finalists:     John Mcateer, Sean’s Place

                Janet Health, NEO Community

Young Volunteer of the Year (under 21)

Winner:      Rebecca Clark, Pure Insight

Finalists:     Milly Holmes, CREDU

                George Cole, Wirral Society of the Blind & Partially Sighted

Best small/medium charity or social enterprise (t/o less than £1m)

Winner:      Breckfield & North Everton Neighbourhood Council

Finalists:     CELLS Project

                Imagine If Trust

Best large charity or social enterprise (t/o more than £1m)

Winner:      End Furniture Poverty

Finalists:     Everton in the Community

                The First Step

Disruptor for Good

Winner:      Everton in the Community

Finalists:     Down Syndrome, Cheshire

                Open Door Charity

Partnership of the Year

Winner:      Right to Succeed

Finalists:     JDRF & Diabetes UK

                Koala Northwest

Outstanding Contribution

Winner:      Jane Harris, Trustee, Steve Morgan Foundation


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