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Westminster hails UK’s best poverty-fighters at CSJ Awards

The Centre for Social Justice last night honoured the work of leading charities tackling disadvantage and social breakdown at its annual Awards ceremony.

High-profile figures from the worlds of politics, entertainment and business gathered in London to recognise the work of six outstanding charities and groups that are helping to tackle poverty and turn lives around.

The event, which was hosted by TV presenter Davina McCall, saw six cash prizes of £10,000 awarded to groups that were selected by an expert panel of judges.

Awards were presented by a host of celebrities and CSJ founder and Patron Iain Duncan Smith MP concluded the event, which was taking place for the ninth consecutive year.

The first winner named on the night was JAN Trust, which was founded in 1989 to support and provide services to hard to reach migrant women. Their award was presented by celebrity hairstylist John Freida.

Rotherfield St Martin, who address social isolation and rural deprivation experienced by older people, received an award from ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen.

The inaugural Mark Duncan Award was presented to Exaireo Trust, a Loughborough-based charity who rehabilitate homeless people through a mixture of accommodation provision, work experience and educational and social support. The award was established to honour our former colleague who sadly passed away this year. It was presented by Mark's father, Ian.

TV presenter June Sarpong presented the next award to Unseen, a Bristol-based NGO who support victims of human trafficking and campaign against modern slavery.

Hope into Action, a Peterborough-based charity which provides housing and support to ex-offenders as well as other vulnerable groups also received an award, presented by actor Neil Morrissey.

The prestigious Maxie Richards Award, named after the former headmistress who established a drug rehabilitation centre at her home in Glasgow, was awarded to Strength to Change – a Humberside-based charity helping both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. It was presented by Victoria Cross winner Johnson Beharry

Now in its ninth year, the CSJ Awards has brought over 80 winning voluntary groups to the attention of the national media and policy-makers and nearly £400,000 has been given out to date.

Go to the CSJ YouTube page for videos of last night’s winners and previous winners. A picture gallery of the event is also available here.

Read Spectator editor Fraser Nelson’s blog about the Awards here.