My dad the entrepreneur, activist, publisher, philanthropist and maverick – Charity Awards 2014 outstanding achievement award

It’s fair to say that I’ve had more opportunities than most to beam with pride over the public recognition of my parent’s achievements. Awards, Honours, even honorary doctorates have come the way of my mother and father – Dame Hilary Blume and Michael Norton.

Nonetheless, the thrill and unbridled joy of witnessing their efforts being acknowledged never diminishes. So it was this week at the Civil Society Media Charity Awards 2014, when my dad was handed the outstanding achievement award.

He’s done a lot since starting to work in the charity sector over 40 year. (He was, for a brief time, an investment banker! Not a lot of people know that!). Setting up countless charities, social enterprises and supporting and inspiring others to set up countless more. Publisher, philanthropist, entrepreneur, activist and maverick.

The BBC’s political editor, Nick Robinson, read the citation in making the award. You can see my (rather poor quality – sorry!) video of that here:

Then Michael gave a brief speech, which was typical dad….a few random anecdotes (this time we had one involving an old woman being carted around in a wheelbarrow), some wise words (“the process matters, not just the product”) and a bit of challenge (Sir Stuart Etherington came in the firing line for suggesting civil society media were the ‘first’ charity publishers….Michael pointed out he’d been doing that some 15 years earlier!)

Here’s Michael’s speech.

There’s also a nice write up in Civil Society and a profile of him to go with it.


I’m really proud of you dad. I know very well what you’ve done, but it’s lovely to hear others recognising your achievements.


And in case you’re wondering….

Yes, growing up it was a house full of ideas (and it still is)

No, I don’t feel I’m living in my parents’ shadow

Yes, they are the best mentors money can(‘t!) buy

And I’d *love* to think I really was a chip off the old block(s)




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