On 30th April 2016, Variety – the Children’s Charity was pleased to present their annual Awards to three very worthy recipients.
The ceremony took place during the Variety World Conference on the beautiful island of Jersey. The conference was attended by Variety delegates from throughout the world. The award winners were chosen for their dedication and commitment to improving the lives of children around the world.
Humanitarian Award – Julia Morley
Julia Morley and her Miss World franchisees have raised many millions of dollars in support of local and international needs. In nearly every country in the world there is an example of Julia’s work. Some examples include:
India: Julia has worked with many groups to provide care to vulnerable children, including educational opportunities, health and wellness and vocational training.
South Africa: Julia and Miss World have shared its proceeds with a plethora of worthy causes including Operation Hunger, a self-help feeding program and The President Mandela Fund for Children. Through this association, President Mandela became a supporter of Julia’s work. Julia has raised and donated millions of pounds to both organisations.
Kenya: Julia has worked to eradicate the crippling Jiggers Worm.
Ghana: Julia has helped fund new schools, education and training opportunities for children to alleviate poverty.
China: Julia has helped raise millions of dollars to create screening centres for HIV and tuberculosis
South America: Julia has supported teams to operate on children with cleft palates. In Brazil Julia is helping with programs to eradicate leprosy.
Haiti: Julia has been working with Variety – the Children’s Charity International Fund to deliver clean, safe drinking water
North America: In the United States and Canada, Julia has attended and helped fundraise at many Variety – the Children’s Charity events, including the Variety of Iowa tele-thon, the most successful tele-thon per capita in the world.
In Australia and now Canada and the United States, Miss World entrants from every state participate in Beauty with a Purpose and mobilize young people to give back to their communities.
Catherine Variety Sheridan Award – Rio Ferdinand
Peckham-born Rio Ferdinand is a former professional footballer having played for West Ham, Manchester United, QPR and England. Alongside his footballing career, Rio has established himself as a media personality and successful entrepreneur; he runs his own digital magazine, clothing brand and restaurant to name but a few of his ventures. With a passion for social issues and a desire to give something back, Rio is a social activist. Always insisting he would’ve been a youth worker if he hadn’t made it as a footballer, Rio established his own youth and community development charity, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation (RFF). RFF’s work is all about creating opportunities for young people and developing them to reach their potential through providing education, training and employment pathways.
Sir James Carreras Award – Professor Anil Dhawan
Prof Dhawan is a paediatrician who specializes in children’s liver disease. He was trained at King’s college hospital in liver disease and was appointed a consultant and visiting professor at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, USA in 1994. He was appointed consultant in children’s liver disease at King’s College hospital, London in 1996.
Prof Dhawan is a pioneer of bringing in newer treatments for the management of liver disease in children. He set up the first liver cell transplantation laboratory in the UK and introduced a few world first treatments for liver disease in children. His laboratory introduced the use of frozen liver cells for the treatment of liver based metabolic disorders that lead to severe brain damage (meaning the treatment can be offered as and when required avoiding brain injury).
His laboratory’s recent breakthrough has been the introduction of a novel treatment of transplanting liver cells embedded in alginate beads in the belly of babies presenting with acute liver failure. This treatment has lead to avoidance of liver transplantation with full recovery of their own liver, liver transplantation is the current treatment practiced in the rest of the world.
Prof Dhawan has published over 300 research publications and edited four textbooks in the field of liver disease and cell transplantation. He was appointed full professorship by King’s College London in 2005 for his academic excellence and international reputation.
Prof Dhawan’s research is funded by several national and international grant-giving bodies like, NIHR, NIH (USA), European Union, MRC and Children Liver disease Foundation.
Prof Dhawan, in addition to his research excellence, believes very strongly in good patient environment and high quality care. He is very engaged in philanthropists and national charities to improve patient facilities. He has taken his vision of child friendly and a concept of ‘home away from home’ for children who spend a long time in the hospital after complicated liver surgery with close association with Variety to reality. His next project will make the Variety Children’s Hospital at King’s College Hospital a unique children’s hospital that provides seamless care through adolescence to adulthood for children with chronic illnesses.
A new state of the art basic science laboratory and an international learning hub due for completion in June 2016 at the Variety Children’s Hospital, London will be the first facility of its kind developed from exclusive philanthropic support.
He has held several leadership positions at national and international medical societies like, European Society of Pediatric Gastroeneterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, International Liver Transplant Society and British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition. He is currently the President of Cell Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Society. He is invited to lecture worldwide and so far has delivered over 500 international lectures.
Prof Dhawan is grateful to his clinical and laboratory team, his family and, above all, the Variety Children’s Charity to consider him for this prestigious award.