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The Categories 2022

Inspiring Leader of the Year

Sponsored by Smith & Williamson 

The Inspiring Leader of the Year embodies the value to inspire others to achieve great things. The nominees will place quality at the heart of everything they do; they are innovative and value their staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and external partners. They recognise the value of developing others and work tirelessly to lead change for the benefit of all.


Leading People

Sponsored by Willis Employment Services

For this Award, we are looking for role models who create a positive impact in the development of those around them, through their leadership style and willingness to help others to be the best that they can be.

Finalists in the category will have invested in their staff to strengthen leadership capability at every level of their organisation. The impact of which is that people are inspired and motivated to achieve their potential by leaders that lead by example to drive the organisation forward.

This Award is open to both Chief Officers and Senior Managers/Directors. 


Trustee of the Year

Sponsored by Worthingtons Solicitors

Have they gone that extra mile? Have they made a big difference to your effectiveness? Nominate them for the title of Trustee of the Year 2022.

Awarded to a Third Sector Trustee who has made the most outstanding contribution, demonstrating strong leadership and performance of the organisation during the year.



Social Entrepreneurial Leader

Sponsored by Community Finance Ireland

Focusing on the contribution of a dynamic, creative and visionary leader, this award recognises an enterprising individual.  They will have achieved the highest and most sustained levels of growth as well as financial and impact performance through a culture of innovation, market knowledge, and leadership development. 

This Award category is open to a Chief Officer or Senior Manager/Director who has significantly developed the sustainability of the organisation including its impact measurement, commercial activities, income, funding and investment streams to build a strong operational model.


Best Newcomer

Sponsored by OCN NI 

Awarded to a leader who has made an outstanding contribution to their organisation, or the wider sector, during their short time in post.  Finalists in this category will be able to show outstanding passion, dedication and solid commitment to the Third Sector and the organisation they lead.  They will have a clear understanding of how to develop and implement long-lasting strategies that positively impact on the Third Sector.


Leading Forward in Transformation across Health and Social Care

Sponsored by Department Of Health

This award is open to a Chief Officer or Senior Manager who has demonstrated a pioneering approach which has transformed the way that health and social care services are delivered.  The Nominee will demonstrate how their innovative ways of creating change in Health and Social Care is supporting the reform agenda, with a particular focus on preventative care models and care delivered in the community.


Leading Organisational Change

Sponsored by Baker Tilly Mooney Moore

This award recognises successful and structured transition involving major, sometimes transformational changes in how an organisation does things.

Areas that will be assessed include: identifying the need for change, making the business case for change, the communication, implementation and measurement of change.


Leading a Smaller Organisation 

Sponsored by Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland 

An award to recognise a charity leader working in a smaller Third Sector organisation that is having a big impact in making Northern Ireland a better place to live and work in. 

This award helps to raise the profile of smaller charities here who make an invaluable contribution to the lives of millions of individuals, communities and causes across Northern Ireland.

The eligibility of applicants for this award would be limited to organisations with a turnover below £500,000.

One to Watch   

Sponsored by Engage Executive Talent

This award is presented to an individual who is early in his or her management career.

The award will recognise the very best of the Middle Manager talent we have working in the Voluntary, Community or Charity Sector. This individual is viewed as a leader by peers and colleagues within and outside his or her organisation and has demonstrated successes in his or her career. These achievements may include leading successful projects, managing teams, demonstrating exceptional leadership capabilities, mentoring others in or outside the organisation, or other successes.

Social Innovation Award   

Sponsored by Department for Communities

This award will recognise and celebrate individuals who have harnessed innovation to help people live healthier, happier and more prosperous lives.

Social Innovation comes in many shapes and forms, from inventing and building life-changing products to devising far-reaching policies and campaigns, to creators who have come up with new answers to age-old issues.

Team up and save the day  

Sponsored by Ruffer

This is the second year for this award that recognises the importance of teamwork within and between organisations. Partnership and collaboration are essential ingredients of an organisations success and through this Award, we get to celebrate and acknowledgement those who are leading the way when it comes to partnership working through effective teamwork. 

This award recognises the valuable contribution of effective teamwork. The nominees are leading the way to demonstrate key elements of a successful team that has led to a lasting impact. 

Covid Champion

Sponsored by Clarke&Co

Clarke&Co are a brand new award sponsor this year. The ‘Covid Champion’ Award will be awarded for the outstanding contribution of a CEO, Manager or Trustee who have inspired, supported and led through the pandemic. The Nominee will demonstrate how their resilience, determination and compassion helped to steer the organisation through a time of immense uncertainty and change.



Lifetime Commitment to the Third Sector 

Sponsored by CO3

This award will be given to a person who has role modelled effective and committed leadership. The person will have demonstrated dedication, professionalism and integrity throughout their career, and who has produced an identifiably profound effect on the sector through their leadership over at least a 20 year period.

This award is not selected through a competitive process but is awarded by the CO3 Board.