It was a star-studded affair at this year’s Churchill Awards, with famous faces including former England football manager Lawrie McMenemy MBE, actor Sir Roger Moore KBE and TV presenter and journalist Dame Esther Rantzen DBE walking the proverbial red carpet. Judges, winners and their guests gathered at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London for a VIP event to recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals aged 65+ who continue to push society’s perceptions of age.
Held in The Roseberry Suite at the prestigious Mandarin Oriental, overlooking Hyde Park, the relaxed afternoon kicked off with a sumptuous lunch prepared by top chefs at the hotel’s world-class restaurant. And while the wine flowed, the afternoon turned to the very important task of honouring the winners in each of the 12 specialist award categories.
Awards were presented by Churchill’s Chairman and CEO, Spencer McCarthy, who was joined at the event by each of the category judges to congratulate the winners as they collected their awards.
This year’s judging panel was made up of a number of well-known faces including Dame Esther Rantzen DBE, novelist Helen Dunmore, Classic FM’s Nick Bailey and former England football manager Lawrie McMenemy MBE. There were also those championing the cause for older people including Age UK’s Caroline Abrahams and Gransnet editor Cari Rosen. Churchill’s own Spencer McCarthy, Co-Founder and Director of the Emerge Group Matt Fleming, The Telegraph’s Anna White, Show House’s Rupert Bates, and Wave 105’s Jon Brooks completed the panel.
This year, the judges had a particularly tough time, as more and more over 65s continue to push the boundaries of age. However, after much debate, the winners of the 2015 Churchill Awards were announced as follows:
- Art – Sir Antony Gormley OBE
- Business – Margaret Miles-Bramwell OBE
- Charity – Paul Freedman MBE
- Literature – Pat Barker CBE
- Music – Sir Karl Jenkins CBE
- Politics – Harriet Harman MP
- Radio – Sue MacGregor CBE
- Sport – Arsène Wenger OBE
- Stage & Screen – Sir Roger Moore KBE
- TV – David Dimbleby
Special awards were also given to Local Heroes:
- Brenda Hipkin – volunteer for Hordle Stroke Group
- Brian Holly – volunteer worker
- Stan Fitz-Gerald – local campaigning and fundraising for Shine South & Carers Together
Churchill Retirement Living’s Owners were also given the opportunity to nominate a fellow Owner who they believed to be a worthy winner for their work in both the Lodge and the local community. This year’s winner was Pat Duarte of St Richards Lodge, Chichester for her avid work volunteering for the RNLI.
Now in its fourth year, the Churchill Awards, which run in partnership with The Telegraph, are designed to honour the work of the UK’s over 65s and celebrate the significant role older people have to play in British society. The awards recognise specific achievements made by individuals in the last 12 months.
Spencer McCarthy, Chairman and CEO for Churchill Retirement Living, comments: “Despite the vast majority of over 65 year olds remaining active and valuable contributors to society, as a group the older generation feel their views are being overlooked. They are viewed as simply old – not as ex-war heroes, ex-Olympic athletes, previous captains of industry or lifelong teachers and nurses.
“Increasingly however, the over 65s play an important role in all realms of society – in politics, art and scientific research for example, older people are still at the forefront of excellence in their field. As a group, the older generation has an awful lot to still offer to society and the Churchill Awards are designed to honour and recognise this very valuable and real contribution.”