Wessex Charity Awards



Judith Rich OBE – Chair of Judges

Judith Rich PhotoJudith Rich has worked in the charity sector for over 40 years. Her longest appointment was the initiation and building up of Cards for Good Causes, which averaged an annual growth of some 20% in the last four years of her directorship, rising to a turnover of over £1-million per week in her final year. During this time, she also ran the National Fundraising Convention for its first 5 years.

Currently she is a Vice President of Diabetes UK and of REACH, a Fellow of the Institute of Fundraising, a Trustee of CEBF as well as Chairman of other charitable organisations. Additionally, in the City of London, she is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and the immediate Past President of Bishopsgate Ward Club.

Now, she specialises in governance and trustee advice as well as facilitating and works widely with statutory and voluntary bodies throughout the sector, as well as umbrella and commercial organisations.

In 1993, she was awarded the O.B.E. for her work for the charity sector and in 2006 the Lifetime Award of the sector, as well as in the same year the Services to Humanity Award from the International Red Cross, and continues to be recognised for her voluntary work in the City of London by the Award in 2009 of the Silver Swan by the Worshipful Company of Musicians.


Paul Boissier

Paul-BossierPaul Boissier has spent most of his working life either at sea, or closely involved with seafarers. After graduating in Mechanical Engineering at Cambridge University, he joined the Royal Navy, where he specialised in navigation and served in a variety of submarines during the Cold War.

More recently, he was awarded a degree in Business Management at London Business School and before moving to the RNLI, Paul spent 2 ½ years as the Royal Navy’s Chief Operating Officer, integrating the vital functions of HR, support, training, logistics and procurement to ensure that the Royal Navy maintains its ability to deploy around the world in response to emerging events.

Paul has an enduring passion for the sea, and has long been an admirer of the RNLI, which shares many of the values of courage, service and sustained excellence with the Royal Navy. With his wife Susie, he has sailed extensively around Northern Europe and the Mediterranean in their sailing boat, Snow Goose. He has also written a book on the Maritime Rule of the Road, and for three years was the Commodore of the Royal Naval Sailing Association. He is a Younger Brother of Trinity House. Away from the sea, he enjoys travel, gardening, writing and bread-making.


Virginia Lovell

virginia lovellEducated in England and the United States Virginia worked in London before moving to Hampshire in 1987. She has been involved in many charities over the years both on committees and as Chairman and Patron. She was County President of St John Ambulance for Hampshire for six years and has been Chief President of St John Ambulance, responsible for England and the Islands, for four and a half years. Virginia is Patron of Meon Valley HomeStart and Cist’ers, a charity helping survivors of Incest. As Vice Chair of Meon Valley Heartstart Virginia is involved in a more minor way in other charities. She has organised five open air operas in the ruins at Bishop’s Waltham for 800 people each time, in aid of different charities and has raised over £150,000.

Virginia has been a Magistrate on the Southampton Bench for 20 years and was also a Deputy Chairman of the Bench between 2001-2004. She became a Deputy Lieutenant in 2002 and fulfils her duties when asked to do so by Dame Mary Fagan.

Virginia is married with two children and her husband, Alan, was High Sheriff of Hampshire in 2010/11.


Steve Lawrence

judges-steve-lawrenceSteve Lawrence is Chief Executive of Chawton House Library in Hampshire, a unique study centre which houses rare manuscripts by authors including Jane Austen and Mary Wollstonecraft. The charity, which was established by the founders of Cisco Systems, is based at the Elizabethan manor once owned by Austen’s brother, Edward, and it attracts scholars from all over the world. The estate includes 350 acres of historic park and farm land which is managed on an organic basis.

Steve was previously Director of Development and External Affairs at Aberystwyth University for twenty years and, before that, a lecturer in Economics with the University of Evansville (Indiana). He was also Chairman of the Wales International Consortium and Foundation Chair of Welsh Higher Education Brussels. He splits his time between Hampshire and Wales with his partner Lindsay Ashford, a successful novelist. When he can, Steve enjoys golf, surfing and volunteering (for a local charity supporting children with life threatening illnesses).


Peter Lewis

judges-peter-lewisPeter Lewis, a former City solicitor, took up his role as Chief Executive of the Institute of Fundraising on 3rd October 2011.

Prior to joining the Institute Peter was the Chief Executive of London Voluntary Service Council, which provides advice, training and an independent policy voice for London’s voluntary and community sector.

Since leaving the law Peter has worked for national homeless charity Crisis, been CEO of the London Cycling Campaign and held a senior role at the Greater London Authority for six years. The Institute of Fundraising is the professional membership body for UK fundraising. Its mission is to support fundraisers, through leadership, representation, standards-setting and education, and it champions and promotes fundraising as a career choice.

Institute members are supported through training, networking, the dissemination of best practice and representation on issues that affect the fundraising environment. The Institute of Fundraising is the largest individual representative body in the voluntary sector with 5200 Individual members and more than 330 Organisational members.