Sunday, 3 March 2024
Sunday, 3 March 2024

SHINE Chair receives national Women of the Year Award

THE chair of education charity SHINE has been named one of the UK’s Women of the Year at a prestigious awards ceremony this afternoon.

Raksha Pattni was handed the BP Community Champion award at the star-studded 69th Women of the Year luncheon in London.

The annual event, hosted this year by Mel Giedroyc, recognises and celebrates inspirational women from across the UK. Each year, 400 women, from all walks of life, are invited to attend the event. Five of these outstanding women are honoured with Women of the Year Awards for their selfless dedication to their fields of work.

Raksha, who lives in Lancashire, received her honour for her work with SHINE, and her role as national partnerships director at the Ambition Institute, a national education charity with offices in Manchester.

After she was presented with her trophy by TV presenter and mathematician Rachel Riley, Raksha said:

“I feel incredibly honoured to receive the BP Community Champion Award.

“Through my work with SHINE and the Ambition Institute, I work with teachers every day and teachers are at the heart of the communities they serve. They make the biggest difference when they work hand-in-hand with those communities to drive change.

“I passionately believe that everyone should get a fair chance of success in life, regardless of where you live and whether your parents are rich or poor. Sadly, this is not the case everywhere in the country, particularly in the North of England.

“Children from disadvantaged backgrounds don’t do as well as their more affluent peers and by the time they leave school at 16, they are already behind by nearly 18 months. This has an inevitable impact on their future success and potential. That is why I dedicate my time and energy to championing education as one of the key drivers of social mobility.

“Education is sometimes the only chance available for children to break the vicious cycle of poverty and disadvantage.

“I’m grateful to the Women of the Year awards for highlighting the issues that I am passionate about. I hope this honour inspires others to become change-makers and champions of social mobility and make sure no child or young person is left behind because of their background.”

Also in attendance at the awards luncheon was SHINE Interim CEO Helen Rafferty.

Helen said:

“We are overjoyed that Raksha has won the Community Champion AwardRaksha has a tireless commitment to children and communities in the North of England, and we are immensely proud that her work and influence have been recognised in this way.

“We are privileged to have Raksha as our chair and look forward to working with her to build our impact in the coming years. Congratulations Raksha!”


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