WaterAid Chief Executive honoured at Charity Awards

19 Jun 2015

WaterAid are proud to announce that Barbara Frost, its Chief Executive, has been awarded the prestigious Daniel Phelan Award for Outstanding Achievement 2015, at the annual Charity Awards.

The award recognises Barbara’s dedicated commitment and influential contribution to international development, and her wider contribution to the sector as a Deputy Chair of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations. Barbara was presented the award by Baroness Jill Pitkeathley, a previous winner.

Barbara became WaterAid Chief Executive in 2005. Over the last years WaterAid has become one of the fastest growing larger charities in the UK and is well regarded by its peers and the international agencies. WaterAid is now working in 37 countries thanks to its supporters, dedicated staff teams and partners with its focus on poor and marginalised communities accessing safe water, sanitation and hygiene as a major step out of poverty.

Andrew Hind, Chair of The Charity Awards judging panel, said:

“Barbara was an easy choice for this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award. She is a consummate campaigner and a hugely popular figure both among her own colleagues and in the wider sector, not least because she only ever seeks profile for her organisation and the issues it’s trying to progress – never for herself. She genuinely deserves this honour.”

Jeremy Pelczer, Chair of WaterAid international said:

"I have had the privilege of being Chair of WaterAid UK and then WaterAid International for the last 8 years and throughout that period Barbara has been an outstanding Chief Executive for WaterAid. She has the ability to focus on the people working within WaterAid as the route to the organisation's success and shows a personal humility whilst at the same demonstrating strong professional competence. She is a role model in championing the WaterAid vision, setting a wonderful "tone from the top". Barbara is a great networker, a fantastic listener, always calm and measured in her approach and an absolute delight to work with".

Barbara Frost, WaterAid’s Chief Executive, said:

“I’m absolutely delighted to receive this award. I’m very fortunate to have had the chance to serve both WaterAid and Action on Disability and Development. Both are organisations of talented and committed people who, with our supporters, are passionate about addressing injustice and making a real difference to people’s lives around the world.”

“WaterAid was born out of the inspiration of the UK water industry, and now with the support of individual supporters, governments and companies much has been done to assist poor and marginalised people around the world gain access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.”

“This year is particularly significant as in New York in September UN nation states are expected to sign up to eradicating extreme poverty by 2030 – an inspiring global commitment which will require everyone in this world to have access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. The challenge is now really on. Together we can do it.”

Previous winners of the Outstanding Achievement Award include Dame Fiona Reynolds, former Chief Executive of the National Trust; David Carrington of Big Society Capital; and Sir Nicholas Young, retired Chief Executive of the British Red Cross and Macmillan Cancer Relief.


Notes to Editors:

For more information please contact Suzy Vickers, PR manager, on 020 7793 4995 or [email protected] or Carolynne Wheeler, news manager, on 020 7793 4485 or [email protected].

Pictures are available of Barbara Frost and of her receiving the award from Baroness Jill Pitkeathley.

The Charity Awards are organised by Civil Society Media with Charities Aid Foundation.

For more information on Daniel Phelan see

Profile -- Barbara Frost

  • Chief Executive of WaterAid 2005 to present
  • Deputy Chair, Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations 1998-2008
  • Chief Executive, Action on Disability and Development (ADD) 1996-2005
  • Previous experience: Country directorships with international NGOs – ActionAid and Oxfam Australia – based in Mozambique and Malawi – and Assistant Head of the Southern Africa Regional Office, Save the Children Fund.
  • Service Development Manager, Home Care Service of New South Wales, Australia
  • Posts with the Australian Government
  • Somerset born and resident


WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. TThe international organisation works in 37 countries across the world to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 21 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 18 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit, follow @wateraidUK on Twitter or visit us on Facebook.

  • Around 1,400 children die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.
  • Over 750 million people are without safe water, or one in 10 in the world.
  • 2.5 billion people are without adequate sanitation, or 39% of the world's population.