Marjorie Wallace CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of SANE, has been named the Prudential Women of the Year Outstanding Campaigner at the 2016 Women of the Year Awards Lunch. The glittering ceremony was held at the InterContinental Hotel in Park Lane and attended by an invited audience of over 500 women from across the globe and representing all walks of life.
Marjorie received her award for ‘courage, resourcefulness and flair’ in her effective campaigning on behalf of mentally ill people and their families in the UK over the past thirty years.
Established in 1955, The Women of the Year lunch seeks to celebrate achievement and diversity and has been recognising women who inspire others with their selflessness and dedication for over 60 years. The awards are presented in six categories and are chosen by a judging panel of accomplished women: Sandi Toksvig CBE, Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE, Ronke Philips, Sue Walton, Maureen Lipman CBE, Andrea Coleman, Anne Aslett and Rt. Hon the Baroness Tina Stowell of Beeston MBE. The awards were presented by Prime Minister Theresa May, Katie Derham, Sara Khan, Baroness Helena Kennedy, Denise Gough and Lorraine Kelly.
Jane Luca, Chair of Women of the Year, said “I am extremely proud to be Chair and able to give recognition to such extraordinary, selfless and hard working women such as Marjorie Wallace. She has fearlessly fought for a better life for people who suffer with mental illnesses and their families, and has changed the health of the nation as a result. We are delighted to recognise such a successful and impassioned campaigner.”
Jane Rawnsley, Prudential Head of Group Corporate Responsibility, said “her award is richly merited and acknowledges her extraordinary achievements not only in establishing the pioneering work of SANE but also in advocating and raising greater awareness of mental health as a major issue for the 21st century.”
Marjorie is a multi-award winning British writer, broadcaster, investigative journalist and former BBC film director. She was a member of the Sunday Times Insight team exposing the Thalidomide scandal and author of the book and screenplay The Silent Twins. In response to her ground breaking Forgotten Illness campaign in The Times, she founded SANE in 1986. She has been a respected and credible voice for many years and is regarded as one of the strongest influences on reforms in mental health.
“She stands firmly and consciously in the tradition of 19th century social reformers like Charles Dickens. For almost all her adult life she has been an outstanding campaigning journalist and her greatest campaign of all has been on behalf of the most unloved and unwanted people – the mentally ill.” (Minette Marin, Sunday Times)