The Ellie Maxwell Award is given to a student at Edinburgh University who is doing exceptional and innovative work in the charitable sector. The award was launched in 2019 in by Firefly International with the University in memory of our founder Ellie Maxwell. She founded Firefly while studying at Edinburgh and died prematurely aged 32.

Our three judges, Jane Salmonson (former chief executive of SIDA and MercyCorps Europe), Maisie Palmer (former winner of the award for Mxogyny) and Ben Maxwell (brother of Ellie Maxwell) had a very difficult task to choose a winner.

We are absolutely delighted to announce the winner of the Ellie Maxwell Award 2021 is Forget Shareka (Edinburgh University MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation) and her project Life Future Hope Foundation.

See this film on LiHFA’s work

Life Hope Future Association is a non-governmental organisation aiming to transform indigenous and rural farmers lives through vocational based agribusiness and entrepreneurship skills while eradicating poverty and increasing education opportunities. We spread HOPE and LOVE through social inclusion and community development work. Thank you so much for helping us transform lives in Costa Rica and Zimbabwe. Together we make this world a better and safer place for all.

Congratulations to Forget for her excellent project which is making such a difference to the lives of so many people.

Forget Shareka founder of LiFHA

The other applicants for the award this year were outstanding:

Suzanna Creasey for STAR (Student Action for Refugees) Meal Kit project

Tim Espin for Edinburgh University Music Society Primary School Music project

Sonia Dahal for Robogals Edinburgh

Natalie Peckett for Running Down Rape Culture

ChenChen Zha for Water Purification Project in Zimbabwe

Hammed Kayode Alabi for KLCI Skill2Rural Bootcamp

We are very much looking forward to the Award ceremony in Old College next term and bringing all the applicants together to celebrate.