The winners of the first awards to honour excellence amongst the over 65s, the Churchill Awards, have been announced today.
Sir George Young (Politics), Sir Henry Cecil (Sport), Baroness James (Literature), David Hockney (Art), Sir David Lees (Business), June Brown (Entertainment), Her Majesty The Queen (Promoting Britain), Professor Peter Higgs (Scientific Research), Tom Harrison (Contribution to Charity) and Eddie Grenfell (Community) are the inaugural recipients of the Awards, which recognise excellence and outstanding achievement by individuals over 65 years old.
Supported by Churchill Retirement Living and run in conjunction with the Daily Telegraph, the Churchill Awards have been created to demonstrate that older people still have a significant role to play in British society and they should be celebrated for their achievements. The Awards recognise specific achievements made by individuals in 2012.
Many of the most successful and committed members of our society today are over 65, they are still pushing the boundaries of excellence and they still have a huge amount to contribute to life in Britain today.
It is not just our most loved actors and actresses that remain at the peak of their powers well into their seventies, increasingly the over 65s play an important role in all realms of society – in politics, art, scientific research older people are still at the forefront of excellence in their field.
The Churchill Awards were determined by a panel of expert judges with the exception of the Community Award, which was determined by readers of the Daily Telegraph.
The winners will receive their Awards at a lunch on HMS Belfast on June 7th.
Spencer McCarthy, Chairman and Group Managing Director of Churchill Retirement Living and the driving force behind the awards, explains why older people remain vital to our society:
“There are 10 million people in the UK that are over 65 years old - nearly a quarter of all those eligible to vote. The latest projections are for 5½ million more elderly people in 20 years time and the number will have nearly doubled to around 19 million by 2050.
“This older generation remain vital to the health of our society, they have substantial spending power, they represent a significant proportion of the popular vote and they will continue to increase as a percentage of the overall population.
“Yet as a society we tend to view older people as simply old - not as ex-war heroes, ex-Olympic athletes, previous captains of industry or life long teachers and nurses. As a group the older generation still has an awful lot to contribute to society and the Churchill Awards honour and recognise that contribution.”