Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice is delighted to announce that it has taken the top prize in the Children & Youth category at this year’s Charity Awards, the longest-running and most prestigious awards scheme in the charity sector.

Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice was recognised for its Sudden Unexpected Death in Childhood (SUDIC) service that is the first of its kind in the UK.

It provides practical, emotional and therapeutic support for bereaved families in West Yorkshire through partnerships with police, family liaison officers, NHS and social services, coroner’s offices and others.

Each family is allocated a single support worker who helps them to navigate the different organisations and access various services.

Alongside the nine other category winners, the Overall Winner and the recipient of the Daniel Phelan Award for Outstanding Achievement, Forget Me Not was presented with the trophy at a black-tie ceremony at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on June 16, hosted by broadcaster, commentator and writer Ayesha Hazarika.

The Charity Awards shortlist is chosen by an independent panel of expert judges, themselves all eminent figures in the charity sector. The judges score each entry against six Hallmarks of Excellence before coming together for two days of challenge and discussion to select the winners.

Matt Nolan, chief executive of Civil Society Media which organises the Charity Awards, congratulated Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice on winning the highly-coveted award.

He said: “The standard of entries this year was as high as ever, despite the challenges that the sector has faced during the pandemic – so Forget Me Not should be very proud to have won their category. Their programme provides crucial support for families experiencing terrible tragedy and loss.

“For 22 years the Charity Awards have been recognising and celebrating the fantastic work that large and small charities do up and down the UK every day of the week, and the rigorous judging process ensures that only the very best-run charities win awards.”

Peter Hugh Smith, chief executive at Overall Awards Partner CCLA, said: “The Charity Awards represent the pinnacle of charitable endeavour and CCLA is delighted to support the Awards and to help promote the fantastic work that the sector is doing across the UK.

“This year’s competition was as stiff as ever and all the category winners deserve enormous credit. Forget Me Not demonstrates beyond any doubt that the charity sector really can change the world. Huge congratulations to their team.”

Luen Thompson, chief executive at Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, said: “We’re thrilled to have won this prestigious award in recognition of our unique and vital work supporting families who have been devastated by the sudden and unexpected loss of their child. Hopefully this will result in more families across the UK getting the help they desperately need at the worst times imaginable.

I’m incredibly proud of the whole Forget Me Not team who have worked so hard to develop and deliver this service and to raise the funds we need to be able to provide it. And thanks too to Elliot’s Footprint, whose invaluable research and partnership led to the creation of this service. A huge well done to everyone involved.”