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28 June 2013

Christian charity named most admired in UK

The Evangelical Alliance has congratulated Christian charity The Trussell Trust for being named Britain's 'Most Admired Charity' in an awards scheme run by Third Sector.

Many Alliance member churches partner with the Trussell Trust to run its 345 food banks up and down the country, bringing much-needed emergency help to families who find themselves unable to afford food.

The charity, founded by Paddy and Carol Henderson in 1997, works through providing food donated by schools, churches, businesses and shops.

"We believe that everyone has the right to have food on their plate, dignity, skills, a chance to work and hope for the future," the organisation says.

In the past year, the Trussell Trust reports that the numbers needing emergency help from food banks has shot up 170 per cent.

Chris Mould, the charity's executive chairman, said: "The sheer volume of people who are turning to food banks because they can't afford food is a wake-up call to the nation that we cannot ignore the hunger on our doorstep.

"Politicians across the political spectrum urgently need to recognise the real extent of UK food poverty and create fresh policies that better address its underlying causes. This is more important than ever as the impact of the biggest reforms to the welfare state since it began start to take effect. Since 1 April we have already seen increasing numbers of people in crisis being sent to food banks with nowhere else to go."

Third Sector's award criteria was for a charity that has attracted the admiration of others, including through achieving its objectives, giving outstanding service to beneficiaries our carving out a distinctive position.

Water Aid was named the second most admired charity, while the Alzheimer's Society came in third.

Commenting on the awards Stephen Cook, editor of Third Sector, said: "Two of our winners this year serve to underscore the value placed on independence in an age of growing public service delivery.

"The Trussell Trust, Britain's Most Admired Charity 2013, is a charity in the traditional mould, founded by caring, religious individuals to respond to a growing need in society without any government involvement."

The Evangelical Alliance has welcomed the news that a Christian charity is being recognised as being salt and light in its community.

Daniel Webster, the Alliance's parliamentary officer who worked on the recently-launched Faith in the Communities report on behalf of Christians in Parliament, said: "Huge congratulations to the Trussell Trust. This is a worthy recognition of their work. They are valued by communities across the country for the tireless work done through food banks to serve those most in need and their contribution is increasingly recognised by local authorities, as demonstrated in the recent Faith in the Community report.

"For the 350,000 people they have helped in the past year they are an essential life line, and their efforts to tackle the scar of food poverty on our society have rightly earned them widespread admiration."