Beacon Award for Philanthropy


Shalni Arora is the Founder and CEO of Savannah Wisdom, a foundation which aims to tackle social and gender inequality. The foundation works at a community level in the UK and India. Savannah Wisdom partners with local organisations to challenge corruption in healthcare delivery; and promoting sustainable, non-violent approaches to security.


Siblings Sarah Butler-Sloss and Mark Sainsbury are known for their dedication to supporting action on climate change, and promoting a low-carbon economy. Through Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, both Sarah and Mark have funded solar powered irrigation pumps, electric waste collection vehicles, and more. They have also worked to bring the Divest-Investment initiative to Europe – calling on divestment from fossil fuel industries.


Justin Byam Shaw set up the Felix Byam Shaw Foundation in memory of his son Felix, who died from Meningitis aged only 14 years old. The Felix Byam Shaw project aims to tackle food poverty in London by providing grants to organisations which are addressing hunger in London. It also provides a link between suppliers of surplus food and charities, instead of letting the food go to waste.


Denise Coates is the founder of online gambling website Bet365. In 2013, Denise donated £100 million of her personal fortune and founded the Bet365 Foundation – now named the Denise Coates Foundation. The Foundation has donated to a diverse range of causes both in the UK and abroad, such as relief programmes for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan; Oxfam; and Douglas Macmillan Hospice in Stoke.


Grant Gordon is the Chair of Philanthropy Impact, an organisation which aims to inspire and encourage philanthropy across sectors. Grant also founded The Childhood Trust, which he is now a Chair of. The Trust aims to alleviate child poverty in London by working with local organisations which work with young people. The Trust also provides match-funding for donations and practical support for these smaller charities.


Dr Iain MacRitchie is the Founder of business and management consultancy MCR Holdings. In 2006, Iain founded the MCR Charitable Foundation to provide leadership, advice, and funding for education and welfare projects. The Foundation’s flagship mentoring programme, MCR Pathways, targets young people in Glasgow to engage them in education and vocational training.


Simon Norton established the Foundation for Integrated Transport (FIT) in 2014. The Foundation’s aims are to improve public transport networks, such as local and regional bus routes; and increase car-free accessibility to leisure and tourist attractions. The Foundation has funded a range of projects which encourage sustainable transport.


Professor Nathu Puri is the founder of the Purico Group – one of the biggest family private enterprises in the UK. In 1988, Professor Puri founded the Puri Foundation – which he set up with a £1 million donation. He continues to provide most of its funding. The charity’s aims are to provide financial assistance to those in extreme need; advance education; and provide recreational facilities for young people.


Asif Rangoonwala is an entrepreneur and businessman. He is currently Chairman of the Rangoonwala Foundation, which was founded by his father, the industrialist Mohamed Rangoonwala. The Foundation aims to empower communities by improving educational and healthcare services, and working to eradicate poverty in disadvantaged areas.


Simon Singh MBE is a scientific author and journalist. In 2013, Simon made a donation to start AllTrials, a campaign which calls for past and present clinical trials to be registered, and for full methods and results to be reported. The campaign is vital to ensure people have all the information about a treatment before they start taking it. Since 2013, 719 organisations have joined AllTrials, and over 90,000 people have signed their petition.


Heather and Davis Stevens are co-founders of Admiral, an insurance company. In 2007, they established The Waterloo Foundation. In 2015, the Foundation reached its 8th anniversary, and have awarded over 1,700 grants to various organisations. The Foundation’s grant programmes focus on issues such as world development; child development; and the environment.


Jessica and Adam Sweidan are founders of Synchronicity Earth, which launched in January 2010 after recognising that environment and conservation fields are often overlooked in philanthropic giving. Synchronicity Earth conducts research to identify priority areas in need of funding. The organisation also seeks to inspire people and raise awareness of environmental issues through film nights, discussions, and creative events.


James Thomas is currently a Managing Partner at Phoenix Equity Partners, a private equity investor. James is also Chair of Justice and Care, an organisation which rescues and supports victims of human trafficking; slavery; and other abuses. Justice and Care also works with law enforcement agencies. Over 4400 people have been rescued; 893 arrests have been made; and 339 prosecution cases handled.


Lord Rumi Verjee is a British businessman and a member of the House of Lords. He is also a renowned philanthropist, founding The Rumi Foundation in 2006 to tackle major social issues. The Foundation supports a range of projects across education, conservation, and humanitarian sectors in countries across Asia, Africa and the UK.


Catherine Zennström is the Chair of Zennström Philanthropies, which she co-founded in 2007 with her husband Niklas. Its two main focuses are human rights and the environment. The organisation’s human rights initiatives focus mainly in Europe and Central Asia, and its current grantees include the Fund for Global Human Rights; Human Rights Watch; and Girls Not Brides.