Times Sternberg Award presentation at 11 Downing Street

Sylvia outside No 11 on her way to the presentation

Sylvia received The Times Sternberg Award at a reception held on 6 June at 11 Downing Street for “her dedication to improving the education of the children of Kovalam, India.” It was presented by Michael Sternberg QC, son of Sir Sigmund Sternberg, co-sponsor of the award and founder of the Three Faiths Forum.

“Filling the begging bowl, while necessary, is not a long-term solution, but education is,” Sylvia said in her speech.

“Education means good jobs, good jobs mean money and money means an end to an impoverished living.”

“My very generous award money has been put to excellent use – I have “bought” a classroom at the new school. The Times Sternberg Room was officially opened at the inauguration ceremony for the high school which I attended in January. It will be there for generations of kids to come, an apt reminder of the generosity of Sir Sigmund Sternberg in partnership with The Times.”

The Times Sternberg Room at the High School

Among the guests were Sarah da Silva and Nick Goslett, who has recently joined the trustees.

Others included the five runners-up: John Bevis, an orthopaedic and trauma surgeon, who, after undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery in 1990, retired from the NHS and volunteered at the State Hospital in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war. In 2000 he became chairman of IDEALS, a charity dedicated to providing relief to victims of man-made and natural catastrophes around the world; Patricia Bernie, who has throughout her life offered charitable aid to those less fortunate than herself; Air Commodore Charles Clarke, who served with the RAF during the Second World War and was interned in the Stalag Luft III prisoner-of-war camp and has dedicated his life to serving others, championing good causes and preserving the memory of those airmen who died in the war; Professor Ivan Roitt, an immunologist who, with his colleagues, made a crucial discovery in autoimmune disorders, for his life-long contribution to science, medicine and learning; and Simon Webley, Research Director at the Institute of Business Ethics, for working to create high standards of business behaviour based on ethical values.