SMK National Campaigner Awards 2020

Posted on: 11 Oct 2020

The Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK) was set up 15 years ago to honour and preserve the memory of legendary campaigner Sheila McKechnie. Sheila described herself as a ‘fully paid up member of the awkward squad’. This mind-set, combined with formidable research and a commitment to constructing a watertight argument, made her campaigning powers legendary.


The SMK National Campaigner Awards

Each year, SMK celebrates the best campaigns and campaigners – whether working locally or nationally, and from individuals and community groups to people working in large organisations. Their interest is in finding those who have made change happen – most effectively, creatively and courageously.

The SMK David and Goliath Award was sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, and reflects one of our key aims: to strengthen the hand of those individuals and small organisations which fight large scale and systemic injustice.

In 2020, there was an especially strong field of nominees for the award, and the judges agreed that all those nominated would be very worthy winners.

The award was presented to Diarmaid McDonald and Plan B on Orkambi. Through this campaign, and through Diarmaid’s work, the families of children with cystic fibrosis have been able to fight the powerful pharmaceutical industry, and to ensure that the drugs their children need are fairly priced and available through the NHS.

The judges, including JRRT director Professor Sue Mendus, applaud the courage and tenacity of the winners and congratulate them on successfully fighting this Goliath.


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