A Birmingham mental health charity is celebrating after winning two prestigious national care sector awards.

Birmingham Mind, a local charity for those struggling with their mental health, across Birmingham and Solihull, was crowned winners of both the Community Engagement Award and the Leadership Award at this year’s Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards.

Now in its 10th year, the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards are organised by Care Management Matters (CMM), and developed in conjunction with the National Care Forum, a not-for-profit organisation offering expert advice in the care sector.

The awards recognise individuals and organisations that bring about significant impact in their communities within the not-for-profit sector – celebrating hard work, dedication, innovation and excellence. Entries to the 2025 awards will be opening later this year and local people working for a not-for-profit organisation can register their interest to find out more now.

The Community Engagement Award was presented to Birmingham Mind for its three Connect groups across East Birmingham, which sees those in need access expert wellbeing advice and mental health support, alongside free food which would otherwise have been wasted from supermarkets, while providing users with an opportunity to connect with others facing similar difficulties.

Adding to their success, the charity’s Talking Space Service Manager, Donna Henderson, also picked up the Leadership Award for her outstanding impact within the charity.

Judges applauded Donna’s leadership, particularly in how she shows understanding and compassion for her team while also fulfilling the role of acting manager to the helpline team. Judges noted how Donna’s team praised her positive and productive mindset, and how she strives to make a safe and enjoyable environment both for her team and those who use the service.

Commenting on their success, Donna Henderson said: “At Birmingham Mind, we offer empathetic and compassionate support for those struggling with their mental health. Winning the Leadership Award is a true honour, and I am grateful to be surrounded by so many inspiring individuals at Birmingham Mind and in the not-for-profit care sector.

“The recognition for our East Birmingham, Vulnerable Adults Team, truly highlights the incredible impact of their work in this locality, not only for those adults who already access a Birmingham Mind service, but for the wider community in this part of our city.

“I was honoured to accept both of these awards, as an acknowledgment of our hard work and commitment to helping those in crisis. I am very proud to lead such a caring and supportive team.”

Held at The Grand Hotel in Birmingham, the award ceremony was hosted by actress and television presenter, Sally Lindsay, and brought together esteemed leaders in health and social care from across the UK to applaud and learn about the diverse work of the winners and finalists.

Neil Galjaard, Divisional Managing Director at Markel, said: “Every year, we are inspired by the incredible stories of how people and organisations across the UK make a real difference in people’s lives – and Birmingham Mind and Donna Henderson are a shining example of doing just that.

“It’s been a challenging time for anyone working in the not-for-profit sector, which is why these awards are so important in raising awareness and providing recognition of the tireless efforts and outstanding service of those who make up the care sector. It’s so important to share their stories and the difference they make each and every day to the lives of others, and the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards gives us the opportunity to do just that.

“Now in its tenth year, we are incredibly proud to be associated with CMM and the awards. Proud to be different, the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards are free to enter, tickets to the ceremony are gifted and judges on the panel have lived experience – by removing barriers to enter, we ensure we really are celebrating the very best of those in the third sector.

“Congratulations Birmingham Mind and Donna Henderson and to all of the winners and finalists for their exceptional work, and thank you for the lasting impact you have on those you care for – it is truly inspiring.”

Entries to next year’s awards will be opening later this year and are open to anyone working in the not-for-profit sector. Anyone can enter themselves or nominate someone else in one of the categories – no matter what their position in an organisation. Find out more about why you should enter and the benefits of winning the awards on the Why Enter? page.

Markel is widely recognised as a key supporter to the care sector through the provision of specialist insurance, legal, tax and consultancy capabilities. One such capability the company provides to the sector is their specialist care consultancy, Markel Care Practitioners, who are there to help across a range of issues such as risk management, inspection preparation and continuity planning.

For more information about Markel Care, visit: care.uk.markel.com/care-awards