FRIDAY 11 JUN 2021 10:48 PM


Former President of the CIPR, Sarah Waddington, has been awarded CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her contribution to the public services and voluntary sectors.

The announcement will be made in honour of the Queen’s Birthday Honours on Saturday 12 June. Sarah Waddington has worked in the PR and comms industry for over 20 years, during which time she volunteered for the CIPR and held roles at regional, national and board level.

Waddington is currently managing director of management consultancy and public relations business, Astute.Work, which she founded 12 years ago. The Newcastle-based business has pioneered a virtual working model, working with organisations that put purpose and society at the forefront of its agenda. Astute.Work has worked with incredible organisations including the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, Children’s Cancer North and Health Education England.

Holding a number of advisory board member positions, including current chair of the PRCA’s Borderlands and North East Group, Waddington continues to make an impact on the future direction of the industry. Francis Ingham, director general of the PRCA, says, “Nobody in PR deserves a CBE more than Sarah. Her contribution to professionalising our industry has been enormous, and has helped to transform it into the power for good that it is today. I congratulate her on this fantastically well-deserved recognition of her many achievements.”

Alongside running her business, in 2015 Waddington developed and funded the #FuturePRoof community to share management expertise, skills and cases studies with practitioners in a bid to improve social mobility in the comms sector. The community has since published six books and several white papers covering topics such as NHS comms and the celebration of BAME practitioners.

Sarah Waddington says, “This honour is incredibly humbling and I’m grateful to all those who were involved in making it happen. I’m surrounded by many fantastic leaders who are also doing their bit to create a fairer society and level the playing field. That’s a group I admire and am privileged to be part of.”