The public relations team of the PDSA is celebrating after it scooped the title of PR Team of the Year at the national Charity Times Awards in London.

Maria Heckel (left) and Mary Bawn with the PR team’s award.

The awards – which celebrate best practice in the UK charity and not-for-profit sector – are in their 15th year, and took place at the Lancaster London Hotel.

PDSA’s director of marketing Maria Heckel and head of PR Mary Bawn collected the trophy in front of more than 600 charity representatives.

The win comes after a busy 12 months for the team, which works to support the charity by raising awareness of its efforts to treat sick and injured pets of people in need. This is done through the support of fundraising initiatives and the promotion of responsible pet ownership, such as a campaign that helped the charity win a £50,000 funding boost in the People’s Postcode Lottery’s Vote that Counts competition.

On responsible pet ownership, the team has worked with both social and traditional media to educate owners on pet wellbeing and to help raise the status of animals in society. The team has achieved this, it said, through a variety of campaigns:

  • the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report
  • PDSA Pet Fit Club
  • PDSA Pet Survivor, and
  • the Animal Awards programme.


The Charity Times judging panel said: “Skill, vision, creativity and determination ensure PDSA’s PR team consistently delivers quality results in support of the charity’s objectives.

“It successfully demonstrates how PR can drive income alongside greater awareness. A dynamic and passionate team, it continually generates new ideas, reinvigorates established projects and responds to the changing world.”

Ms Bawn said: “We are thrilled and honoured to receive this award. The most important thing is ensuring we spread the word about the amazing work of this very special charity.”

To find out more about PDSA and its work, visit PDSA’s website.

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