Dame Kelly Holmes has been honoured with the new and highly sought after Award for Philanthropy in Sport at the 2017 Beacon Awards, which celebrate the best of the UK’s philanthropists.

Double Olympic champion Dame Kelly won the award in recognition of her Trust and dedicated work with young people and athletes through the Trust. Dame Kelly Holmes Trust supports young people facing disadvantage, through transformational programmes led by athlete mentors.

A number of sports stars were also nominated for the award, including Olympic triathletes and brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, England’s football squad and boxer Amir Khan.

The Trust’s Founder and President Dame Kelly Holmes said:

“It’s an honour to have won a Beacon Award for Philanthropy in Sport and to have been recognised for pursuing something I’m passionate about. When I set up my Trust nine years ago the aim was never to be recognised but to make a difference to the lives of young people facing disadvantage whilst supporting my peers in sport to realise their own value to society beyond their sports careers.

“I’ve seen over the years the truly life changing impact that Trust programmes have on young lives and it has been amazing to spend time with young people who we have supported across the UK as they are empowered to lead positive lives by our transformational athlete workforce: the best is yet to come.”

Emma Atkins, Chief Executive at Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, said:

“Since 2008 I have had the absolute pleasure of working side-by-side with Kelly, as she selflessly strives to improve the life chances of young people and support athletes beyond sport. We are immensely proud of Kelly winning this award.”

The Beacon Awards recognise philanthropy and those who give their time, expertise and financial resources to make a difference to society. The Awards are run by UK Community Foundations and sponsored by JP Morgan, City Bridge Trust and Pears Foundation.

Previous winners of a Beacon Award include Harry Potter creator JK Rowling and former Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith.