ACEVO announces its Fellowship Awards

The charity leaders’ network ACEVO has named this year’s list of five rising stars in the sector each of whom will receive an ACEVO Fellowship for a year. Sponsored by The Leadership Trust Foundation, the ACEVO Fellowships aim to champion inspirational and emerging leaders from across the country, identifying those who deserve greater recognition for their work and achievements locally, nationally and internationally.

The ACEVO Fellowships will be awarded at ACEVO’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday, December 8th. The winners are: Gail Gibbons, CEO of Sheffield Futures; Adrian Ramsay, CEO of the Centre for Alternative Technology; Anita Grover, CEO of Auditory Verbal UK; Trish McGrath, CEO of Aberystwyth Students Union and Jane Bake, the Director of Service Innovation and Integration at St Barnabas Hospice.

Each Fellowship receives a free place on a Leadership Trust development programme worth over £3,000; a personalised development plan; an ACEVO mentor; a free place on an ACEVO Masterclass; a pack of ACEVO publications and, if not already a member, a year’s free membership.

Additionally, Gemma Holding, CEO of Cancer Support UK, receives a Recognition Award.

Paul Farmer, Chair of ACEVO said: “ACEVO and the Leadership Trust Foundation are delighted to announce these awards. They are only ever issued to candidates of the highest quality whose passion, professionalism and ability to inspire place them at vanguard of emerging leaders. Their beneficiaries, causes, staff and boards are all fortunate to have these individuals at the helm. Too often hard work and vision do not get the recognition they deserve. These awards attempt to address that deficit.“ 

Henrietta Baldock, Chair of Leadership Trust Foundation said: “Our congratulations to all the fellows on this much deserved award.  At the Leadership Trust we have always believed that leadership is critical to the health of an organisation and that healthier organisations contribute more to society. We also believe that leadership is something which can be learned, developed and improved by everyone so I hope that the awards will help the recipients and their organisations make an even greater contribution.”



Gail Gibbons

Gail joined the sector two and a half years ago as CEO of Sheffield Futures – a large charity based in Sheffield, supporting young people to achieve their full potential in life – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The charity supports over 20,000 local people annually.

Before working in the third sector, Gail spent over twenty years working in the public sector in both children and young people’s services, and mental health. She qualified as a social worker in 1995 and since then has worked in a range of social work positions in local government, before taking up roles across strategy, policy and commissioning in both local government and health.

She is involved in a wide range of local and regional partnerships, and is passionate about improving outcomes for young people and ensuring the voice of young people is heard. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family – including two teenage children – reading, sports and travel.

Adrian Ramsay

Adrian has been Chief Executive of the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) since June 2014. He has a background in leadership in local and national politics, having served as a councillor and Leader of the Opposition on Norwich City Council and Deputy Leader of the Green Party. He has a First Class degree in Politics and Sociology and previously worked as a lecturer at the University of East Anglia and then at CAT’s Graduate School of the Environment before taking up his current role. Adrian is married with a young family and is a big supporter of Norwich City Football Club.

Anita Grover

Anita became Chief Executive of Auditory Verbal UK in 2013.  Anita is profoundly deaf after losing her hearing progressively from childhood and had successful cochlear implant surgery in 2006. She brings to the role personal insight into hearing impairment and a passion for improving the life chances of deaf children.

Before joining the charity, Anita had a successful career in the public sector.  As a senior civil servant, she led communications on the government’s  disability,  employers, pensions and poverty agendas, working with a succession of cabinet ministers, business leaders and third sector organisations.  She has worked at the Department for Education, Department of Social Security and her last position was at the Department for Work and Pensions as Head of Communications Group.

In 2014, Anita became the first CEO of a UK-based charity to be awarded the Macquarie David Clarke Social Innovation Fellowship and was nominated for the 2015 Rising CEO of the Year at the Third Sector Awards.

Anita is a Fellow of the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing; a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; a governor of a primary school in Buckinghamshire and a former Trustee of Chiltern Citizens Advice Bureau.

Jane Bake

Jane qualified as a nurse in 1983 from the University of Hull, undertaking oncology training at the Christie Hospital Manchester. She joined the Royal Air Force in 1986 where she spent some time with the areomedical team in the first Gulf war.   She undertook palliative care training at St Joseph’s Hospice, working at the Cancer Centre in Cheltenham and as a clinical teacher at the Sue Ryder Palliative Care Centre in Oxfordshire where she undertook further training at Sir Michael Sobell House, in Oxford.

Jane joined St Barnabas Hospice and was appointed as Director of Patient Care.  She has managed the clinical services and a number of elements of governance and education within the organisation.  In 2012, she led the development of the clinical elements of the Hospice in the Hospital, bringing together commissioners, an acute trust and the hospice. The same year ospital, an innovative approach to inpatient palliative care the same yearshe was elected as a member of the Hospice UK Advisory Council representing the East Midlands Region. 

Jane has moved to a newly created role in 2015, as Director of Service Innovation and Integration, within the Hospice.  She is passionate about transformational leadership and empowerment and is now leading a team focussed on new ways of working, taking an integrated and systematic approach, enabling colleagues across the health and social care systems ‘to be brave’ to achieve better patient outcomes.

Jane is married with two grown up sons and is a carer for her parents.  She has a passion for Guinea pigs and spy novels.

Trish McGrath

Trish is a passionate advocate for Students’ Unions and their ability to empower individuals and groups to positively change the world around them. She first became involved in the student movement in 1997 as a Theatre student at Lancaster University where she held various elected roles including Union President.

Trish most recently joined Aberystwyth University Students Union (AberSU) as CEO after working in advice, advocacy and student voice at  the University of Cumbria and University of Manchester Students’ Unions as a staff member over the last 12 years.

She is a feminist, a Mum, a singer, an avid fan of heavy metal music and proud to have led her team at Manchester to achieve the highest number of students voting in a Students Union election in UK history.

Gemma Holding

Gemma Holding is a positive and optimistic leader. Her broad experience and ability to navigate complex challenges means she is especially accomplished in turnaround management. As the CEO of Cancer Support UK she is committed to delivering new and innovative support services for people living with cancer. She holds a longstanding passion for development in Africa. She is the Vice-Chairman of the Westminster Africa Business Group, and sits on the Board of a small African charity. Gemma is also a surprisingly good pool player.

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