Wednesday 2 March was the much-anticipated London Impact Awards: Powered by Women ceremony. We were honoured to welcome our ten nominees for an evening celebrating London’s women leaders.
The London Impact Awards, supported by Citi and delivered by The London Community Foundation, took the theme ‘Powered by Women’ in 2022, celebrating women-led charities and women leaders lighting the way in working to support and advocate for women and girls across London.
Women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, which has highlighted the critical need for organisations that work hard to make sure women’s issues are listened to and prioritised.
Our hosts Ayesha Hazarika and James Bardrick took to the stage to introduce this second edition of the awards at Citi’s Stirling Square office in St James’s. One by one, our winners were announced by members of the judging panel, at which point these truly deserving women-led organisations accepted their awards with pride (and a little shock!).
Introducing our winners…
Standout Women’s Champion – Middle Eastern Women and Society Organisation (MEWSo)
Grassroots organisations have a unique understanding of the needs and issues facing the communities they support. Women-led organisations have used this knowledge to make change by delivering on the frontline, advocating for positive change in policy and legislation, and pioneering innovative delivery.
MEWSo supports London-based women from Middle Eastern, North African and Asian backgrounds, defending and protecting women from violence, and campaigning for legislative change. Their successful campaign to ban forced virginity testing and hymen repair in the UK is prime example of this championing spirit.
Collaboration Award – Street Talk
Collaboration between organisations enables shared learning and resources, developed delivery, and more robust networks for both women in leadership and service users. The Collaboration Award celebrates a women-led organisation that has gone above and beyond in collaboration with other charitable organisations, statutory bodies, private sector partners, schools or other entities.
Street Talk is a mental health charity offering vital psychotherapy and support to women trapped in street prostitution, survivors of trafficking and other vulnerable women. They work in partnership with hostels and day centres for vulnerable women, to take therapy to them – making it accessible to those who need it most but find themselves excluded.
Best Emerging Voice – Sister System
Despite the difficult circumstances, women-led groups have continued to emerge and adapt to deliver services to women in London. We wanted to shine a light on a women-led organisation, established in the last five years, that has been responsive and tenacious in tackling the issues that affect women in London. After just three years, Sister System have established themselves as a lifeline for young care leavers, having a positive, life-changing impact on the community. They bridge the gap between care-affected girls and mainstream society, through their programmes which empower girls to overcome trauma, forging pathways to education and employment.
Young Leader with Impact - Payzee Mahmod
Payzee Mahmod is a British Kurd and Campaigner at IKWRO – Women's Rights Organisation. She campaigns to raise awareness about and end harmful practices including child marriage, FGM, virginity testing and hymenoplasty, drawing on her own lived experiences and the loss of her sister Banaz in a so-called ‘honour’ killing. Payzee has given a TEDX talk, championed a 250,000-signature petition and spoken directly with ministers to end child marriage. She has also been an influential voice in the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill, which passed through Parliament this February.
Each of our winning organisations will receive a £30,000 grant, and our Young Leader with Impact will receive £2,500 towards her personal development.
Congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted organisations - it was a truly memorable and inspiring evening. To hear more about the evening, join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #LondonImpactAwards and check out some photos.