The Inspiring Communicator Awards (ICAs) celebrate those whose services to charity communications truly go above and beyond. Our awards highlight people who particularly demonstrate spirit, insight, skills, and, above all, are inspirational in their use of communications for a cause or charity.
To mark a decade of the awards in 2023, we launched 10 categories to recognise the breadth of impressive and impactful work and individuals in the sector. We hosted a fantastic awards ceremony for the Inspiring Communicator Awards 2023 on 28 February, 2024 in London, with more than 170 charity professionals in attendance.
This webpage shares more about the awards, as well as the winners and shortlisted nominees in each award category.
Together, the work of our winners are prime examples of the value of communications for charities and the exceptional ability of our sector’s communicators to bring people together for a cause.
We received hundreds of nominations for this year’s awards, and we loved hearing about the brilliant work communicators are doing in the sector in a wide range of areas. A huge thanks to our judges for working so diligently to select our worthy winners. I’d also like to thank everyone who took the time to shout about inspiring communicators and submit a nomination.
Accessible Comms Award
A devoted award for communicators advocating and practising accessible communications.
Winner – Social Media Team, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
The RNIB is directly influencing key figures, organisations and brands – like Rishi Sunak, the Met Office and Uber Eats – to make social media a more accessible space.
When they’re not directly influencing public figures or accounts, they are utilising their creativity to spread the word about accessibility – from drawing on the lived experience of their team and their users, to reacting to emerging trends and pop culture references to raise awareness.
Visit the RNIB website to find out more.
Accessible Comms Award shortlisted nominees:
- Bassetlaw Community and Voluntary Service, Rachel Wood, Head of Marketing and Communications
- British Trust for Ornithology, Nick Moran, Training Manager
- SeeAbility, Marketing, Digital and Communications Team
- St Christopher’s Hospice, Communications team and LD Nurse, Phoebe Mooney
Accessible Comms Award judges:
- Georgie Wishart, freelance Charity Content Creator at Plant Based Digital
- Ettie Bailey-King, freelance Inclusive and Accessible Communication Specialist
- Gary Mazin, Stories Library Manager at RNIB
Please note: Gary recused himself from the voting, due to being a colleague of the RNIB social media team.
Best Collaboration (agency and charity)
Recognising the power of the agency and charity combination to achieve great things.
Winner – Breaking Barriers and Postcard Productions
This mighty agency and charity collaboration produced ‘My (Refugee) Life’: a poignant film following the lives of five refugees who navigate temporary accommodation, employment, love, family and education in the UK. The film brings human stories to the forefront to inspire compassion in its viewers, and counter misconceptions and harmful narratives about the lives and ambitions of refugees in the UK.
The organisations worked in collaboration with a trainee crew of refugees. The award was dedicated to everyone involved.
Discover the film on the Breaking Barriers website and more about the charity’s work.
Best Collaboration (agency and charity) shortlisted nominees:
- Bite Back / Wolff Olins
- Changeworks Resources for Life / The Lane
- Dementia UK/ Lark
- Tommy’s / VMLY+R
- Unseen UK / BBD Perfect Storm
- Women’s Aid Federation of England / House 337
Best Collaboration (agency and charity) judges:
- Akriti Farmahan, Senior Campaign Manager at The British Red Cross
- Liz Rawlins, Head of Policy Engagement and Communications at Elrha
- Jo Addison, Director of Add10
Best Collaboration (freelancer and charity)
Recognising the power of the freelance and charity combination.
Winner – Unlimit Health and Nuits Balnéaires
Unlimit Health’s Anna Georgeson (Associate Communications Advisor) commissioned Ivorian visual artist, Nuits Balnéaires, to work on their Big Give Christmas campaign: She is Seen. The work aimed to support women at risk of a parasitic infection called female schistosomiasis (FGS) in Côte d’Ivoire.
The nomination highlighted many inspiring qualities: from the duo’s commitment to ethical content gathering principles, working closely with their storytellers, to the artistic creativity on display. The campaign smashed their fundraising goals, but most importantly, had significant impact by providing vital services for thousands of women.
Best Collaboration (freelancer and charity) shortlisted nominees:
Diabetes UK / Claire Harrison
Nursing and Midwifery Council / Dani Hughes
The National Brain Appeal / Joy Baker
Best Collaboration (freelancer and charity) judges:
- Trina Wallace, freelance Charity Copywriter and Communications Consultant
- Murat Ismail, previously Head of Direct Marketing at King’s College London
- Natasha Lokhun, Head of Communications at Global Action Plan
Best In-house Campaign
Spotlighting strong campaigns designed in-house that are making waves at local, national or global levels.
Winner – Communications Team, Bone Cancer Research Trust
The Bone Cancer Awareness Week has been steadily growing over the years. However, the small comms team at Bone Cancer Research Trust recognised the potential to increase their impact further, achieving this in 2023 through the delivery of a campaign which put the bone cancer community at its heart.
Some impressive comms figures were shared in the nomination, from a collective 5.8 million views of content on socials to a campaign webpage that was visited 45,651 times. The charity also brought together individuals, from service users to healthcare and research professionals, for vital conversations.
Best In-house Campaign shortlisted nominees:
Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Gorki Duhra, PR Manager
Transport for All, Campaigns and Communications Team
WWF UK, Forest Matrix Team
Best In-house Campaign judges:
- Rebs Curtis-Moss, Charity Communications and Digital Fundraising Consultant
- Brân Devey, Engagement and Communications Manager at Ramblers Cymru
- Yasmin Glover, Founder and Managing Director at The Olive Training and Consultancy
Comms Changemaker of the Year
Committed comms individuals who are addressing the biggest and most pressing issues to influence lasting environmental, sectoral or social change.
Winner – Tara Carey, Global Head of Media at Equality Now
A glowing nomination was made for Tara who has made significant contributions to the global gender equality movement. Tara holds many roles beyond her official job title: as a leader, activist, creator, a catalyst, cheerleader and inspiration, Tara works tirelessly to make a better, fairer world for everyone.
Tara is a charity communications specialist with extensive experience in public relations, multimedia production and international development.
Comms Changemaker of the Year shortlisted nominees:
Ali Gunn, Head of Public Affairs, Policy and Communications, United Response
Andrew Howells, Chief Marketing Officer, Northern Consortium (NCUK)
Jessica Stillwell, Social Media Officer, Hatch Enterprise
Sophie Taylor, Head of Communications, Speakers for Schools
Comms Changemaker of the Year judges:
- Maria Castellina, Director of Impact at Frameworks UK
- Nicky Hawkins, freelance Strategic Communications, Framing and Narrative Change Consultant
- Gauri Sarjine, Senior Communications Manager at HelpAge International
Inclusive Comms Award
Celebrating those who are innovating and blazing a trail for other comms professionals in the sector to follow.
Winner – Communications Team, The Prince’s Trust
The Prince’s Trust communications team ensure their audiences see different backgrounds and lived experiences reflected in their storytelling. The foundation for this work is weaving Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) throughout everything they do as a charity.
The Prince’s Trust have a goal to become one of the UK’s most equal, diverse and inclusive organisations serving young people.
Inclusive Comms Award shortlisted nominees:
Emily Hill, PR & Communications Manager, Hatch Enterprise
Matty Fearon, Head of Communications, BMS World Mission
Stacey Johnson, Communications Advisor, Activity Alliance
Inclusive Comms Award judges:
- Jake Furby, former Communications Manager at Friends Provident Foundation
- Ipek Leni Candan, Trustee at CharityComms
- Advita Patel, Founder of Comms Rebel
Celebrating those who are innovating and blazing a trail for other comms professionals in the sector to follow.
Winner – Saving Our Wild Isles partnership – WWF, RSPB and National Trust
An innovative partnership between three influential charities, who used their collective voices to drive mass societal changes. The Save Our Wild Isles campaign, underpinned by the BBC series Wild Isles, has shown nature in the UK like never before and inspired action.
Working as one team, the cross-organisational comms group worked on a joint strategy to turn this ambition into results. Over 10 million people are more aware of the nature crisis through the BBC series, powerful businesses are standing up for nature, the public signed pledges and contacted their MPs, and three leading political parties are committing to act for nature.
Innovation Award shortlisted nominees:
Dementia together special issue panel, Alzheimer’s Society
Jason Davidson, Host of On the Marie Curie Couch and Marie Curie’s Head of Safeguarding, Marie Curie
Jed Chapman, Social Media Manager, Empower Agency
Innovation Award judges:
- Alex Blake, Director of KEDA Consulting and host of the Charity Impact Podcast
- Julie Wilson-Dodd, Transformation Consultant
- Ben Holt, Global Lead for Strategic Foresight at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies – IFRC
Recognising the sector’s emerging talent and future leaders.
Winner – Kelly Taylor, Senior Campaigns Officer at Kinship
As a kinship carer herself, Kelly brings her whole self to work, drawing on her experiences to be a champion for others. Kelly epitomises the Rising Star category, bringing passion, drive, a commitment to learning and strong interpersonal skills to her work.
Her nominee noted her confident, sensitive, and compassionate leadership which has empowered a diverse group of kinship carers to take active roles in impactful campaign moments. She is personally influencing national policy, including her role with the Department for Education’s Kinship Carer Reference Group which helped to shape the first National Kinship Care Strategy.
Rising Star shortlisted nominees:
- Emilie Kerr, Events Marketing Coordinator, Lingen Davies Cancer Fund
- Lauren McMinn, Interim marketing communications coordinator, Scottish SPCA
- Naomi Fleet, Communications Officer – Families, Demelza
- Neve McLaughlin, Media and Communications Officer, Shakespeare North Playhouse
- Rebecca Lindsay, Internal Communications Manager, Demelza
Rising Star judges:
- Bevis Man, Head of Marketing and Communications at Hatch Enterprise
- Jasmine Warren, Digital Communications Coach at Lightful
- Saskia Konynenburg, Director of Strategic Communications and Insight at NCVO
Strategic Leader of the Year
Celebrating leaders who are winning hearts and minds.
Winner – Victoria Beevers, CEO of The Sleep Charity
Vicki has inspired her colleagues to achieve big things, even as a small organisation, by working collaboratively through strong partnerships in the sector. All the while, she upholds staff wellbeing through transparency, praise and support.
As well as thinking about her colleagues, she explores how best to meet the needs of the charity’s diverse users and draw their lived experiences into their services and communications.
Her strategic vision led the charity through the difficulties of the pandemic and the development of innovative ways the charity communicates to a wider audience, like the charity’s eLearning platform.
Strategic Leader of the Year shortlisted nominees:
- Anita Grover, Chief Executive, Auditory Verbal UK
- Carrie Lyell, Head of Digital and Communications, Mermaids
- Claire Bloor, CEO, Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (SARSAS)
- Debbie Chapman, Head of Communications, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
- Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive Officer, Tom’s Trust
Strategic Leader of the Year judges:
- Noha Al Afifi, Interim Chief Executive Officer at Arthritis Action
- Jessica Abelscroft, Interim Director of Advice Strategy at Citizens Advice
- Frankie Garforth, Strategic Programme Lead at RNID
Team of the Year
For two or more individuals who are the dream team.
Winner – Communications Team, Child Bereavement UK
The communications team works together to develop supportive and engaging content for their users, reaching over 8 million people in the last financial year. The charity connects with their audience by championing the voices of bereaved children, young people, parents and carers.
Child Bereavement UK’s work aims to increase the accessibility of information and support, making a huge impact to bereaved families and professionals working in this area.
Team of the Year shortlisted nominees:
- Mercy Ships, Communications Team
- Mermaids, Digital and Communications Team
- Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, Digital and Marketing Team
- Tommy’s, Communications Team
Team of the Year judges:
- Scot Bower, Chief Executive Officer at CSW
- Aferdita Pacrami, Head of Communications at Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales
- Shree Rajani, Communications Director at Impact on Urban Health
Inspiring Communicator Awards 2024
We will announce the nominations portal for 2024 across our channels when it’s live, so you can join in the excitement and spotlight exceptional work and peers in charity communications. Stay tuned for updates.
In the meantime, read more about the winners of our previous awards and their work.