Medals of Honour for charity leaders and philanthropist

Charity leaders Nick Bent, Abigail Shapiro and Justin Watson and philanthropist Andrew Brode have been awarded the University’s highest non-degree award, the Medal of Honour. The four have been honoured for their support for charities dedicated to education and social mobility.

Nick Bent FRSA and Abigail Shapiro are co-founders of The Tutor Trust – a remarkable charity born and based in Manchester that has made a significant impact on the lives of thousands of less privileged students across the North of England for over a decade. Nick has been involved with a number of educational and youth work charities for over twenty-five years, including as current CEO of upReach (the UK’s leading social mobility charity) and as a member of the Advisory Board for the Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza. Abigail is Executive Director of The Tutor Trust. She is also a Foundation Governor of King David Primary School, chairs the Quality of Education and Wellbeing Committee and is the Governor for Pupil Premium. Both Nick and Abigail have been lay members of the University’s General Assembly.

Andrew Brode graduated from the University of Manchester in 1962, having studied Economics and Accounting, and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1964. He became an investment banker, leading a management buy-in of the RWS Group, specialist translators of intellectual property, building the company into the world’s leading translations group with revenues of £750m, profits of £120m and 8000 employees. He also has significant investment and involvement in cyber-security, electric vehicle charging and domiciliary care ventures. Andrew’s entrepreneurial activities have supported his educational philanthropy, principally directed at The University of Manchester, King Edwards School Birmingham and United World Schools.

Justin Watson is currently CEO of Young People’s Foundation (YPF) Trust, a national charity seeking change for children and young people by fostering collaboration within and across sectors. Justin is also a non-executive Director at Greater Manchester Poverty Action. He previously led Young Manchester, a local charity, promoting and supporting grass roots youth organisations, increasing investment and bringing a national profile to youth work in the city. He has also had leading roles at Save the Children and Oxfam after starting his career running a number of youth engagement campaigns and outreach projects at community level. Justin is passionate about the role of the arts in driving change and runs a record label, recently focused on cultural responses to housing and homelessness and raising money for local charities, Supporting People in Need and Coffee4Craig.

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