After we received more nominations than ever before, find out who took home the silverware at this year’s Welsh Charity Awards.
The Welsh Charity Awards celebrate the positive impact and outstanding contributions made by charities, community organisations, not-for-profits, and volunteers across Wales.
We had a fantastic evening at our awards ceremony, which took place on 11 October 2023, where we celebrated all the amazing finalists and announced this year’s winners. The journalist and BBC presenter Sian Lloyd hosted the ceremony, which opened with a video message from the actor Michael Sheen, President of WCVA.
Read on to find out about the winners and runners up for the 2023 Welsh Charity Awards.
2023 WINNERS & RUNNERS UP
Volunteer of the year (volunteers aged 26 or over) – sponsored by The Open University in Wales
Winner: Nicola Harteveld
- Nicola Harteveld (middle) at the 2023 Welsh Charity Awards with BBC’s Sian Lloyd (left) and Helen Thomas from The Open University in Wales (Right)
Nicola was ‘absolutely distraught’ after her 14-year-old daughter, Megan, took her own life in 2017 because of cyberbullying. Her appearance on ‘This Morning’ to tell Megan’s story kick-started ITV’s ‘Be Kind’ campaign and also ignited in her a passion to warn other parents of the dangers of bullying.
This led her to establish Megan’s Starr Foundation, which has since provided over 300 hours of professional and peer support to disadvantaged young people in Pembrokeshire, including barista training, food hygiene courses and other training to 36 young people.
Entirely volunteer-led, Nicola spends over 40 hours a week volunteering for the charity, co-ordinating other volunteers in the Community Coffee House, undertaking assessments for counselling referrals, and writing grant applications. She also gives anti-bullying talks at schools, colleges and other organisations.
- Gill Faulkner
- Dr Susan J Davies
Young volunteer of the year (volunteers aged 25 or under) – sponsored by Utility Aid
Winner: Sara Madi
- Sara Madi (middle) at the 2023 Welsh Charity Awards with BBC’s Sian Lloyd (left) and Stephanie Steele from Utility Aid (Right)
Sara, a 21-year-old asylum seeker from Lebanon, has established herself at the African Community Centre (ACC) as an invaluable volunteer, offering Arabic interpretation but also successfully setting up and leading the young women’s group, Women Breaking Borders, which champions volunteering to culturally diverse young people.
As an ambassador on ACC’s youth panel she advocates for good mental health and system change, kick-starting an ACC partnership with University of Wales Trinity Saint David to offer ‘an introduction to counselling’ for young people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.
- Thandiwe McDonnell
- Charlotte Cooke
Income generator of the year – sponsored by Tantrwm
Winner: Tŷ Hafan
- The Tŷ Hafan team at the 2023 Welsh Charity Awards with BBC’s Sian Lloyd (left), and Dawn Penny from Tantrwm (right)
Owing to the cost-of-living crisis, donations to Tŷ Hafan were down 50% compared to the year before. In order to ‘supercharge’ their public fundraising, the team developed a standout 60-hour campaign, based on a new ‘Appeal Champion’ model of fundraising, focused on end-of-life messaging.
Exceeding all objectives, it raised £344,649 – almost £100,000 more than any other Tŷ Hafan public fundraising campaign – garnering almost 800 new donors.
- Cardiff Rivers Group
- Sistema Cymru – Codi’r To
Champion of diversity award – sponsored by Hugh James
Winner: Women’s Equality Network (WEN)
- The Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales team at the 2023 Welsh Charity Awards with previous Director, Catherine Fookes (right), and BBC’s Sian Lloyd (left)
WEN Wales is a trailblazing organisation that collaborates extensively to create impactful campaigns, such as ‘Diverse 5050’ and ‘Make Care Fair’, to promote diversity and inclusion for women experiencing intersecting discrimination. Recent successes include a commitment to legally binding gender quotas in Senedd reform and a commitment from the Social Justice Minister to provide funding to survivors of domestic abuse with no access to public funds.
Significantly, their ‘Equal Power Equal Voice’ mentoring program, co-led by Disability Wales, the Ethnic Minority Youth Support Team (EYST), and Stonewall Cymru, has empowered 100 mentees per year to enter politics and public life. Last year 85% of mentees reported increased confidence to participate in public life, nine mentees standing as councillors (and six elected) in 2022.
- Môn Communities Forward
- TGP Cymru Refugee and Asylum Programme: ‘Belong Project’
Best use of Welsh language award – sponsored by Nico
Winner: Alzheimer’s Society Cymru Dementia Support Telephone Service
- Alzheimers Society Cymru Dementia Support Telephone Service team at the 2023 Welsh Charity Awards with BBC’s Sian Lloyd (left) and Nia Davies from Nico (right)
Alzheimer’s Society Cymru has bolstered its provision of local and national Welsh Language services this year, improving its community and telephone support, as well as quality and accuracy of its translated materials for Welsh speaking service users. This is important as research shows that people living with dementia can revert to their first language only as the disease progresses.
In 2022/23 alone, its nationwide Welsh Telephone Dementia Support Service, supported 281 first language Welsh speakers affected by dementia. Where they struggle to provide face-to-face Welsh language support in areas with no fluent staff, they now pay for existing Welsh speaking Dementia Advisers from elsewhere to travel to the service user.
- Mind Cymru
- Pride y Bontfaen
Trailblazer award – sponsored by Salesforce.org
Winner: Community Volunteers Wales
- The Community Volunteers Wales team at the 2023 Welsh Charity Awards with BBC’s Sian Lloyd (left)
The Pantri, established in February 2023 by Community Volunteers Wales, introduces a unique approach to food assistance in Risca that diverts approximately 400kgs of discarded food from landfill each and every week. This innovative community food pantry distinguishes itself from traditional food banks, as it empowers customers to make sustainable and affordable choices, at their own pace, while combating food waste.
Open to all, but particularly to those on a tight budget, members pay a £2 subscription, every three months, then £4 for a basket of food. This provides enough food for ten nourishing meals. The Pantri offers members cupboard staples and fresh produce, all of which are usable and in-date, sourced through partnerships with Blakemore & Sons and leading charity Fareshare.
- Cwm Taf Morgannwg Dementia Support Team
Health and wellbeing award – sponsored by Improvement Cymru
Winner: Wye Gymnastics & Galaxy Cheerleading
- The Wye Gymnastics & Galaxy Cheerleading team at the 2023 Welsh Charity Awards with BBC’s Sian Lloyd (left) and Sarah Patmore from Improvement Cymru (right)
Wye Gymnastics & Galaxy Cheerleading provides inclusive opportunities for people living in Monmouthshire and Newport to participate in gymnastics and cheerleading activities.
Located in the very heart of Caldicot, it offers an excellent foundation for people of all ages to take part in physical exercise, supporting and inspiring residents to live happy, healthy, and prosperous lives. In 2022, they delivered 225 sessions, across ten venues, impacting 122 people.
- Cerebral Palsy Cymru
- Gwent Wildlife Trust Wild Health Project
Organisation of the year – sponsored by SCG Wales
Winner: Welsh Refugee Council
- Welsh Refugee Council CEO Andrea Cleaver (second from left) and some of the team with BBC’s Sian Lloyd (left), and Gary Pepper, SCG Wales (right,) at the 2023 Welsh Charity Awards
Against the hostile backdrop of the Nationality and Borders Act and Rwanda Plan, the Welsh Refugee Council (WRC) has worked tirelessly to support asylum seekers and refugees across Wales. Trusted by the diverse communities it serves, the team speaks over 30 languages, with over half of staff having migrant heritage.
WRC has succeeded in securing 15 new funding streams and increasing its income by 60% since 2020. Altogether, WRC has delivered 3,000 support sessions to 700 sanctuary seekers from over 50 countries, securing homes for well over 200 refugees who would have otherwise been homeless.
- FareShare Cymru
- Calan DVS
A BIG THANK YOU
Thank you to each and every person that got involved in this year’s Welsh Charity Awards. The work volunteers and voluntary organisations in Wales do is incredible and it’s an absolute privilege to celebrate it.
We’re looking forward to next year’s ceremony already!