Just a Drop is delighted to announce that it has taken one of three top honours at this year’s Charity Awards for its outstanding response to the Covid-19 crisis.

The Charity Awards is the longest-running and most prestigious awards scheme in the charity sector, and this year the organisers decided to open up a special new category specifically to recognise the fantastic contribution of the charity sector in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Just a Drop won the Rathbones Covid-19 Response Award in the international section, for its dissemination of handwashing and hygiene advice to curb the spread of Covid-19 across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The charity expanded the number of soap-making workshops that it ran within communities, and provided health centres with more handwashing stations. It developed and distributed information about the virus and ways to curb its spread in local languages, and bought motorcycles and megaphones to increase dissemination of these messages. And it purchased PPE to shield its local partners and teams working on the frontline.

All this was only possible thanks to the tenacity of the charity’s fundraisers, who had to quickly find new sources of income after their traditional corporate partners in the travel industry were forced to cut their support.

They targeted new corporate partners that had not been as badly affected by the pandemic, such as soap companies and menstrual hygiene companies, and successfully secured nine new partnerships. They raised over £15,000 from charitable trusts. They developed three public-facing fundraising campaigns. And they entered, and won, an industry-wide competition for £10,000 worth of support from a major digital agency to boost donor acquisition.

As a result of these efforts, Just A Drop’s income for 2020 ended higher than 2019’s, and it accumulated record unrestricted reserves. Just a Drop reached 328,000 people across Asia, Africa and Latin America with safe water and sanitation during the year.

Fiona Jeffery OBE, Founder of Just a Drop, said: “We are so delighted to have won this award. It was without question a hugely challenging year and this award is a testament to the entire teams determination and resilience at a time of massive adversity and reflects the huge effort and collaboration across the Just a Drop team, our committed volunteers, trustees and local partners, as well as our funders and corporate partners. A massive thank you and congratulations to everyone involved”

Alongside two other winners of the Rathbones Covid-19 Response Awards, 10 Charity Awards winners and the recipient of the Daniel Phelan Award for Outstanding Achievement, Just a Drop was presented with its trophy in an online ceremony broadcast live on Thursday 10 June, hosted by writer, comedian and political commentator Ayesha Hazarika.

The Covid-19 Response Awards were chosen from more than 300 entries by a team of editorial staff and management at Civil Society Media, organisers of the annual Charity Awards.

Matt Nolan, chief executive of Civil Society Media, congratulated the Just a Drop Appeal on winning the highly-coveted award.  He said:

"For 21 years the Charity Awards have been recognising and celebrating the fantastic work that large and small charities do up and down the UK every day of the week. After putting the awards programme on ice last year while we waited to see how the pandemic played out, we felt the time was right again to recognise charities and celebrate their great work. Just A Drop is an outstanding example of the ingenuity and commitment of charities in a time of crisis, and thoroughly deserves this award."

Andy Pitt, head of charities – London, at Overall Awards Partner Rathbone Investment Management, said: 

"The Charity Awards celebrate leadership, good governance, innovation and excellence. As investment managers we do everything we can to support the work that the sector does and promoting best practice is an important part of our relationship with charities. The past year has brought huge challenges for the charity sector, but it has also highlighted the importance of its contribution, without which people around the world would be significantly weakened. We are delighted to support these awards and to honour the brilliant work of UK charities large and small."

For more details about the Charity Awards, see www.charityawards.co.uk or contact Tania Mason on [email protected].