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SolarAid shortlisted for the Charity Awards

SolarAid is delighted to announce that it has made the shortlist for this year’s Charity Awards, the longest-running and most prestigious awards scheme in the charity sector.

SolarAid has been shortlisted in the International Aid and Development category for its Light a Village project in Malawi, which is a ground breaking programme aiming to bring solar energy to the poorest and remotest communities in sub-Saharan Africa, enabling access to light and electricity in homes and schools for the first time.

The Charity Awards, which announces its shortlist today (17 May), is the sector’s most highly-regarded excellence recognition scheme. All 30 shortlisted charities this year have been judged by an independent panel of sector leaders as having demonstrated best practice in leadership and management, from which other organisations can learn.

Trough the concept of ‘Energy as a Service’, Light a Village aims to overcome the barriers that the poorest households experience in accessing electricity, which is affordability and risk. It aims to create community transformation through providing each household in a community with a Solar Home System, enabling people to light their homes and charge devices, such as mobile phone and radios, allowing the household to only pay for what they use, and ensuring long-term sustainability, replicability and scalability. To date, SolarAid has installed 4000 solar home systems in the Traditional Authority Kasakula in Malawi where 97% of the population live in extreme poverty. SolarAid is now planning to install 3500 solar home systems more to light up 100% of the area with clean, renewable energy.

The 10 category winners, plus the recipients of the Overall Award for Excellence and the Daniel Phelan Award for Outstanding Achievement, will be announced at a black-tie dinner on Tuesday 9 July, held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

The evening will be hosted by broadcaster and commentator Baroness Ayesha Hazarika, who will be joined on the night by a host of celebrities, representatives of the shortlisted charities, as well as leaders from Britain’s best known and best loved charities.

Matthew Nolan, chief executive of Civil Society Media which organises the Charity Awards, congratulated SolarAid on making the highly-coveted shortlist. He said:

“Every year we are astounded and inspired by the breadth and depth of work going on across the UK’s wonderful charity sector. But this year in particular we have noticed a real improvement in the professionalism of the entries, signalling that charities are more cognisant than ever of the need for good governance, strong leadership and effective management. 

“Everything that we do at Civil Society Media aims to help charities have greater impact, and for the last 23 years the Charity Awards has identified and celebrated the sector’s great work. Congratulations to all the charities on this year’s shortlist; in a year of record entries you ought to be very proud of getting this far.

“I wish SolarAid the best of luck on the night.”

Peter Hugh Smith, chief executive at CCLA, Overall Partner of the Charity Awards, said:

“Every year the Charity Awards serve as a moment for the sector to reflect and acknowledge the transformative power of compassion, determination and resilience. The awards amplify the voices of those making a difference, inspiring others to join in creating positive change.

“We’re honoured to renew our role as the Charity Awards’ Overall Partner, championing the remarkable efforts of charities, large and small, right across the UK.”

For more information about the Charity Awards 2024, please contact:

Jenni O’Donovan, 020 7819 1200, [email protected]


The panel of judges for 2024 is:

  • Chris Sherwood, chief executive, RSPCA (chair)
  • AndréClarke, director of charity development, Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales
  • Daniel Chan, audit director, PwC
  • Martin Edwards, chief executive, Julia’s House
  • Anne Fox, chief executive, Clinks
  • Katie Ghose, chief executive, KIDS
  • Richard Hawkes OBE, chief executive, British Asian Trust
  • Jehangir Malik OBE, consultant and adviser to UNICEF South Asia
  • Kris Murali, chief financial officer, the Royal NAAFI
  • Farah Nazeer, chief executive, Women’s Aid
  • Cathy Phelan-Watkins, owner and chair, Civil Society Media
  • Shane Ryan, senior adviser to the National Lottery Community Fund
  • Sharika Sharma, head of business development, CCLA
  • Dr Priya Singh, chair, NCVO and executive director, the Society for Assistance of Medical Families
  • Nicola Toyer, head of charities, Investec Wealth & Investment UK
  • Julie Wilson-Dodd, transformation consultant
  • Karin Woodley CBE, chief executive, Cambridge House


Notes to editors:

The Charity Awards 2024, now running for the 24rd year, is organised by Civil Society Media, publishers of Charity Finance, Fundraising and Governance & Leadership magazines and

The Charity Awards is sponsored by CCLA. CCLA received the highest possible grade (A+) in the most recent Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) survey for its approach to stewardship, ESG integration, in both listed equity and property, and our wider responsible investment strategy and governance. It is also a ‘Tier One’ signatory to the UK Stewardship Code.