Margaret Humphreys CBE, founder of the charity Child Migrants Trust, has been named the Vitalise Woman of Achievement 2013 at a gala award ceremony in Birmingham today.
Margaret received the illustrious award in recognition of her exposure of the scandal of the British Government’s Home Children programme, which forcibly relocated tens of thousands of poor British children around the Commonwealth nations, often without their parents’ knowledge, and the achievements of her charity, the Child Migrants Trust, in enabling former child migrants to reclaim their identities and reuniting them with their long lost families.
Margaret’s campaign gained such momentum that Both Kevin Rudd and Gordon Brown, the respective former Prime Ministers of Australia and Britain, issued public apologies for the Home Children programme and thanked Humphreys for her contribution to the cause of UK child migrants and their families.
Margaret Humphreys takes over from the current holder Martine Wright, who overcame the horrific loss of both her legs in the 7/7 terrorist bombings of 2005 to rebuild her life and compete at the London 2012 Paralympics.
Former winners of the Vitalise Woman of Courage or Achievement Award include Katie Piper, whose personal story My Beautiful Face inspired millions, and disabled yachtswoman Hilary Lister, who became the first ever quadriplegic person to sail solo around Great Britain and whose story was recently featured on BBC TV.
The 31st annual Vitalise Women of the Year luncheon and awards ceremony was presented by Arti Halai, formerly of ITV’s Central News, and took place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, NEC on 11 October 2013. Double gold winning Team GB Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes was the keynote speaker and the afternoon’s entertainment was provided by the UK Ten Dance Champions Morgan Hemphill and Richard Still.
The gala event was in support of the charities Vitalise, Alzheimer’s Research UK and Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer. Proceeds from the event will be divided between the three charities.
Vitalise Chief Executive Chris Simmonds said:
“Congratulations to Margaret on this well-deserved accolade. Margaret has spent her career championing people who have been forgotten by society through no fault of their own. Her story strikes many chords with the work of Vitalise, since for 50 years we have dedicated ourselves to supporting people with disabilities and carers, who also struggle against isolation and discrimination in society.
I would also like to thank all the women who attended this fantastic event for their support of Vitalise. Your generosity will help us continue and expand our vital work supporting people with disabilities and carers from the Midlands and across the UK.”
Miranda Johnson, Head of Corporate and Community Partnerships at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We are thrilled to be chosen once again as one of the charities to benefit from the Vitalise Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards. Every £20 donated towards our work will pay for another vital hour of pioneering research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people across the UK living with dementia today. Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future but funding still lags significantly behind other serious diseases. We rely on our wonderful supporters to fund our world-class research and the money raised from the Vitalise Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards will make a big difference.”
The Vitalise Business Woman of the Year Award went to Julie Kenny CBE, who founded the Rotherham intruder alarm manufacturer Pyronix Ltd. In 1986 and is now its Chair and CEO. Julie received the award for her achievements over 25 years in the industry. Julie received a CBE in 2002 and recently served as High Sheriff of South Yorkshire.
The Vitalise Women of the Year Awards honour women’s outstanding individual achievement in all professions. In addition to the Woman of Achievement Award, the Vitalise Businesswoman of the Year Award recognises outstanding achievement in the sphere of business and provides positive role models to encourage other women to enter the business arena.
Vitalise has been a beneficiary of the awards since the event’s foundation. Vitalise is a national charity providing essential services for disabled people and carers. Vitalise provides short breaks for disabled people and carers, with 24-hour nursing care on-call and personal support, at three accessible Centres in Essex, Southampton and Southport. All of Vitalise’s Centres offer a wide range of activities and excursions. For more information visit www.vitalise.org.uk