Alternative Rich List 2010 winners announced

Top Quote Three Britons recognised for their contributions to building a better society. Three of Britain's Big Society heroes will be honoured for their charity work this week, after being voted the winners of The Alternative Rich List. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) September 24, 2010 - A forum3 initiative, The Alternative Rich List is in its third year and recognises individuals who enrich other people's lives in ways money can't.

    The three winners, Judy Ledger, Gary Foxcroft and Virginia McKenna will be honoured at the UK's biggest not-for-profit recruitment, networking and volunteering event, forum3 on Friday.

    Three winners were selected by the public for their unwavering commitment to society from local community projects to world-wide campaigns.

    Judy attracted the public's vote for creating the national charity Baby Lifeline, which supports pregnant women.

    Judy, from Cuckfield in West Sussex, started the charity after tragically suffering three miscarriages of her own.

    Since Baby Lifeline's inception in 1981, Judy has raised more than 8 million and attracted the support of Sir Ben Kingsley, Sir Richard Branson and Dame Judy Dench.

    Gary, from Lancaster, received recognition for his charity Stepping Stones Nigeria which helps to provide shelter, education, literacy, healthcare, food and hope to thousands of vulnerable children of the Niger Delta.

    His work has led to the rehabilitation of over 200 children as well as improved conditions for many street children and those children accused of witchcraft.

    Virginia, one of the UK's leading actresses in the 1950s and 60s, was recognised for her work as co-founder the Born Free Foundation, a charity which helps to release animals from captivity and conserve them in the wild.

    In 1992, the Dorking resident helped release the last three dolphins from UK captivity into the wild, and she is currently campaigning to end the use of wild animals in UK circuses.

    More than 5,000 people voted for a shortlist of 11 worthy activists and charity leaders, after the public nominated more than 150 people from across the UK to be part of this year's Alternative Rich List.

    forum3 Director Deborah Hockham congratulated the winners, saying they were a true reflection of how everyday Britons can contribute to creating a 'Big Society.'

    "The 2010 Alternative Rich List was bursting with kind, self-sacrificing people who consistently put other people's needs ahead of their own," she said.

    "It is people like Judy, Gary and Virginia who contribute more than money can buy to building a bigger, better society, and who are wealthier than billionaires if you measure the richness of their in hearts and spirits.

    "The three winners are truly deserving of the award, but everyone who was nominated has made a difference to the world we live in. It is the work these people do that makes the biggest difference to society."

    About forum3
    Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2010, forum3 is the leading annual recruitment event for the UK's Third Sector. It has attracted more than 100,000 visitors from the full spectrum of the not-for-profit sector, including 100 top charities such as Cancer Research UK, Action for Children and Macmillan Cancer Support.
    forum3 started in 2001 as a recruitment event for the charity and not-for-profit sector and has grown into one of the most high-profile network forums in the country. In addition to the event, forum3 now also has a dedicated charity jobs board, transforming forum3 into a fully integrated charity recruitment resource.

    forum3 enables charities to network with their peers and identify the most talented and dynamic candidates to join their organisations. It gives job seekers one of the most comprehensive and varied resources for Third Sector employment, whether for part-time voluntary work, longer careers or just an opportunity to create personal connections and debate the latest issues.forum3 2010 takes place on 24th & 25th September at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. To find out more, please visit http://www.forum3.co.uk

    Alternative Rich List 2010 winners

    Gary Foxcroft, from Lancaster founded the charity Stepping Stones Nigeria to provide shelter, education, literacy, healthcare, food and hope to thousands of vulnerable children of the Niger Delta. Gary campaigns internationally, nationally and locally on behalf of children who are accused of witchcraft and subsequently abused. Gary has established partnerships with the United Nations, governments, churches and the Nollywood film industry and has created a number of sister organisations. Working in extremely challenging circumstances, his advocacy, fundraising and grassroots work has lead to the rehabilitation of over 200 children as well as improved conditions for many street children. The school he runs is one of the best in Akwa Ibom, providing scholarships to hundreds of poor children without access to education. He fights corruption and puts his life at risk when he visits the Niger Delta, threatened with kidnap by local militia and intimidation from those who profit from accusing children of witchcraft.

    Judy Ledger, of Cuckfield West Sussex is Chief Executive of Baby Lifeline, a national charity that offers loving care and support to pregnant mothers and newborn babies across the UK. Judy started the charity in 1981 after tragically losing three premature babies, determined to improve hospital equipment and help others in similar situations. Her dogged determination has raised more than 8 million for the charity, equipping neonatal units across the UK with essentials including incubators and scanners, and providing training and education programmes for doctors, midwives and other health professionals. Despite advances to medical science, more than 8,500 babies still die at or around the time of birth in the UK, a figure Baby Lifeline aims to decrease. Attracting the support of Sir Ben Kingsley, Sir Richard Branson and Dame Judy Dench, Judy has also travelled to the Middle East, including Kuwait and Iraq and much of Europe, training thousands of health professionals.

    Virginia McKenna, from Dorking was one of the UK's foremost actresses in the 1950s-60s, with films including A Town Like Alice and Born Free. Her experience making Born Free with late husband Bill Travers proved life-changing, and in 1984 she co-founded the Born Free Foundation (formerly Zoo Check) with Bill and her eldest son Will. A committed campaigner, Virginia is best known for her passionate work to help animals in captivity and conserve wildlife in the wild, in 1992 she helped release the last three dolphins from UK captivity into the wild and has been involved in numerous wild animal rescues from lions, tigers and leopards to moon bears. She is currently campaigning to end UK circuses using wild animals. As well as her work with animals, Virginia also actively supports humanitarian causes, including Children of the Andes, WaterAid and Plan International, and recently highlighted challenges facing elderly people in care institutions. In 2005, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Genesis Awards in Hollywood and in 2008 was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen.

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