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National Advocacy Awards 2023

The National Advocacy Conference is an annual event bringing together the advocacy community for a week of learning, celebration and sharing. As part of the week, Blackbelt Advocacy hosts an awards ceremony that spotlights contributions from people and organisations to the field of advocacy.

We’re delighted to have been nominated for the Best Supporter award in 2023 by three self-led and community groups that we worked with throughout the year. This award “focuses on people who do not directly deliver advocacy but who contribute to and improve standards within the sector.” From over 80 nominations, four supporters were shortlisted. In shortlisting BIHR, the panel noted, “the judges were impressed by three different organisations nominating BIHR - this level of impact across the community needed to be recognised and showcase the support BIHR is offering to the advocacy community.”

Organisations that nominated BIHR for the Best Supporter award said: "BIHR supported us to make a human rights challenge in the case of one of our members... they helped us challenge the care service and local authority. It led to a reversal in decision making!" and another shared: "The BIHR project has been monumental in equipping our staff and volunteers to understand and implement the Human Rights Act in their day-to-day work in supporting women."

Our work with the groups involved building confidence amongst advocates and self-advocates to use human rights law in their everyday lives and work as well as co-producing resources– all made possible thanks to the kind support of our funders at the Baring Foundation, the Tudor Trust, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the John Ellerman Foundation and the Bromley Trust.

Our CEO, Sanchita, and Senior Human Rights Officer, Katrin, attended the awards ceremony in Birmingham on Monday 6th November, and were thrilled to win and accept the Best Supporter Award on behalf of the BIHR team and all the groups we support.

In accepting the award, Sanchita, shared:

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive the Best Supporter National Advocacy Award, which is a testament to our whole small but mighty team, and to the thousands of people and groups we work with across the UK each year. The Awards are a chance to share the many stories of how advocacy really does make the world of difference to people, who are all too often forgotten or made vulnerable by avoidable situations, poorly designed systems, or arbitrary decision-making. We’ve been inspired to hear about so much positive work. We are passionate about our communities work to support advocates of all types to use the power of our Human Rights Act in advocating with and for people to ensure that dignity and respect are not just values, but are a reality.”


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