Who are the judges this year?
Each year SMK invites a diverse and experienced group of people to be judges of the Awards from across civil society including campaigners, activists, previous award winners, senior charity managers and leaders. We are grateful for all the hard work that our judging panel put into the selection process.
Brand Strategist, Brand Ethos
Peter is co-owner of award-winning brand and design agency, Brand Ethos, working with organisations making a positive difference.
He has over 30 years’ experience in design, communications and brand. He has worked with the NHS, central and local government, leadership development and improvement bodies, think tanks, universities, the BBC, charities, including SMK, social enterprises and purposeful businesses.
He is a member of the RSA and Chartered Institute of Public Relations, and is a business mentor. He is a trustee of Local Trust and a garden owner as part of the National Garden Scheme.
Outreach Officer, We Belong
Kimberly joined as Outreach Officer at We Belong in October 2019 and is dedicated to changing how society relates to marginalised groups.
Kimberly was born in Zimbabwe and migrated to the UK aged 9. She applied for student finance in 2015 and realised that her immigration status became the barrier to going to university because it meant she wasn’t eligible for a student loan. In the same year, Kimberly attended a Leadership Academy, which provided support and importantly awareness that she was not alone. In 2018 she started university alongside work as a Culturosity Facilitator; promoting youth development through creative learning of equality and diversity principles. She recognises the importance of young people seeking out opportunities for further development and challenging societal constraints.
Bushra is an experienced board trustee, business woman, strategic consultant and community activist, with a wide cross-sector network and over 20 years of experience in community engagement.
She is a Trustee for HomeStartUK, a member of the Survivors Advisory Forum at National Emergencies Trust, a member of the Victim Care Improvement Forum at Met Police and a Civic Futures Leader at the GLA.
Bushra is a former Chair of the Small Charities Coalition, and is currently the co-chair of Big Local BroadGreen, co-vice chair of the Croydon Refugee and New Communities Forum and an Ambassador for the Terriers Tour & Eves Story.
Bushra is best known for founding West Croydon Voice, a campaign group set up after her family business was destroyed in the 2011 Riots, to fight for the victims rights to compensation. She is a public speaker and mentor and uses her lived experience to advise on issues around diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural awareness.
Partner, Bates Wells
Simon Steeden is a partner at law firm Bates Wells, where he is head of Bates Wells’ specialist political and campaigning law team.
Simon helps charities and issue-based campaigners navigate the complex regulatory environment that can be relevant to their electoral and policy goals. Simon and the team advise across all areas of campaigning law, from election and referendum law to campaign finance, transparency of lobbying, data privacy, charity law, public law, strategic litigation, advertising and reputation-management. Simon is continually inspired by the new and innovative approaches developed by his clients to advance their social aims, which often require creative and innovative solutions in new and untested areas of law.
Bates Wells are the title sponsor of the SMK National Campaigner Awards.
Chief Client Officer, Helping make business a force for good
Ben is Chief Client Officer at Given, the agency for purpose led brands.
Ben is an experienced brand and innovation consultant, having worked for over 20 years on projects for organisations across the world. He has pioneered co-creative approaches to brand strategy; bringing customers, employees and stakeholders into the process to build more effective and ambitious solutions. Ben has worked with charities, NGOs and some amazing businesses and brands including IKEA, John Lewis, Aveda, Nationwide, PepsiCo and Shelter among others. He is an expert in brand strategy, innovation and purpose. Ben joined Given in 2016 and is responsible for overseeing the quality of the work that the team is delivering as well as agency growth. Given is a business of 35 people based in the UK.
Founder, Changing Ideas
David Graham is the founder of the charity Changing Ideas that supports scalable ideas addressing social injustices and human rights.
Changing Ideas and Laura Kinsella Foundation has founded the Law for Change Fund that is the sponsor of the Best Use of Law Category.
Public Affairs and National Programmes Officer Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales
Rachel previously managed the Sheila McKechnie Foundation’s Social Change Project, aiming to learn from examples of successful social change in order to strengthen future efforts.
She has experience of working with charities and in politics, including as a Senior Researcher at the Directory of Social Change, and is from Liverpool.
Director of Research and Engagement, IPPR
Harry is Director of Research and Engagement at IPPR, the UK’s leading progressive think tank.
Harry heads up the Institute’s research, policy and influencing work in Westminster. Prior to this Harry was Associate Director for Work and the Welfare State at IPPR where he led work on health and care, education and skills, social security and austerity. He is co-author of Making change: what works?, a guide for social entrepreneurs and campaigners.
Head of Campaigns, Which?
Neena leads Which?’s Campaigns team, securing changes on the big issues affecting UK consumers to make their lives fairer, simpler and safer.
Some major achievements include improving supermarket food safety, securing enhanced rail compensation rights for passengers, and the establishment of the new Higher education and product safety regulators. Previous to this, Neena worked in policy and capacity building roles at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, including training local organisations across England to campaign and influence local decisions.
Which? is the sponsor for Best Consumer category in 2022.
Head of Campaigns & Digital, Unlock Democracy
Shaun is Head of Campaigns & Digital at Unlock Democracy, a small non-profit that campaigns for a better democracy in the UK. He has been leading political and non-profit campaigns for over thirty years.
Shaun is passionate about campaigning and the change it delivers. His campaigning roots come from over a decade spent as a volunteer activist, leading campaigns at a local level. His professional campaigning career has included time at Which?, the Liberal Democrats, the successful Gurkha Justice Campaign and now Unlock Democracy, building up a wide range of skills and experience along the way. He has also worked on campaigns in the US and Africa.
Director of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust
Sue is also Professor of Political Philosophy, University of York where she has taught Politics for 35 years.
Sue specialised in theories of justice, feminist theory, and problems of toleration. In addition to her work on the Reform Trust, Sue is also a member of the North Committee of National Lottery Heritage Fund, and a volunteer guide at York Minster. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and was its Vice President (Social Science) 2008-2012.
Patrick Vernon OBE
Social commentator & Windrush Campaigner
Patrick is a social Commentator, campaigner and cultural historian.
Patrick Vernon is a social commentator and campaigner and has been at the forefront of several high-profile campaigns on cultural heritage and social justice in the UK over the last decade. He has used experience in senior management in the voluntary and public sector plus his passion in for cultural history to develop new models of thinking around transformation changes in service development, equalities, innovative thinking for social change. He is a trained life coach and mediator where his experience and knowledge has been used for leadership development and public speaking from grass roots organisations to public and private bodies.
Head of Advocacy and Communications, Little Village
Sophia is a multi-award winning campaigner and currently the Head of Advocacy and Communications at the anti-poverty organisation Little Village.
Sophia was previously a shortlisted for the SMK Young Campaigner of the Year award, after having previously received training from the Sheila McKechnie Foundation. Sophia’s specialism is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, which is threaded into her work in various sectors over the past 10 years. Sophia has a background in investigative journalism, research and participation, which she uses to build public will and tackle inequalities.
Youth Led Change Programme Lead, The Blagrave Trust
Callum works at the Blagrave Trust and co-leads on the Trust’s second strategic objective: investing in young people to create change.
A key aspect of Callum’s role is working with young campaigners and the organisations that support them to help build and scale the UK youth-led change and activism landscape in the UK. Prior to this, Callum worked for multiple civic youth organisations, engaging other young people in changemaking.
Callum grew up in both the East Midlands and Aberdeenshire and throughout his teenage years has been involved in different organisations and movements. He is passionate about changing the power dynamics that currently exist in society to ensure those in power are fully accountable to those they aim to serve.
The Blagrave Trust is the sponsor for the Young Campaigner Award category in 2022.
Head of Campaigns and Public Affairs, Action for Children
Rossanna is Head of Campaigns and Public Affairs at Action for Children, delivering campaigns that have engaged activists, influenced decision-makers, and secured change for vulnerable children and families.
Previously Rossanna led the Campaigns and Activism team at Mencap. Delivering the award winning Hear my Voice campaign, they embedded a new model of beneficiary-led activism, utilising both cutting edge online campaigning tools and grassroots, face-to-face campaigning, which led to a step change in our politicians recognising people with a learning disability as a political force.
Driven by a passion for making meaningful change to people on the ground, she has extensive experience in delivering coalition campaigns where the collective might of campaigners, politicians and charities has made a tangible difference to the lives of disabled people and vulnerable children. This includes the life-changing campaign for Changing Places Toilets, which Rossanna was key in establishing, the Care and Support Alliance’s campaign to influence what became the Care Act 2014, and last year’s SMK award winning Domestic Abuse campaign.
Zainab Ali Khan
Zainab joined Netflix in 2019, working in the commissioning team for Original Documentaries. Zainab has held several roles across non-profits, The World Wide Web Foundation and The ONE Campaign.
As Chief of Staff at the Web Foundation, Zainab worked closely with the CEO and co-founders Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Rosemary Leith to manage global campaigns including the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web.
At ONE, Zainab worked across media, advocacy and project management – coordinating national, regional and global projects including ONE’s involvement in the G7 and G20 summits. She also worked closely with the Youth Ambassador programme, managing their 2017 annual gathering in Brussels.
Zainab began her career at ITV News as a researcher for current affairs programmes ‘Tonight’ and ‘On Assignment’.
Grants Manager at John Ellerman Foundation
Gareth Clayton is Grants Manager at John Ellerman Foundation. In his role he assists with all aspects of the Foundation’s grant making, working closely with the Head of Grants and Director.
Gareth has worked in the Third Sector for over 7 years and previous roles included Programmes Manager at UK Community Foundations and Monitoring and Evaluation Manager at the SHINE Trust.
Prior to entering the third sector he completed an MA in Art History in Canada and worked as a Gallery Manager at a commercial art gallery in London.
John Ellerman Foundation is the sponsor for the Amplifying Voices Award category in 2022.
Editor, Tortoise Media
David Taylor is an Editor at Tortoise Media. He was deputy editor for Guardian US and before that worked at The Times as Head of News and US Editor.
SMK has become a member of the Tortoise Community Network, which brings together non-profit, charitable and campaigning organisations and helps the people they work to support become fully-funded members of our newsroom. And this year Tortoise are partnering with SMK for this year’s National Campaigner Awards.