North Tyneside businesswoman honoured in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Sarah Waddington, who received a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honors.

Astute.Work Founder and General Manager Sarah Waddington has been awarded a CBE for public relations and volunteer services.

Astute.Work is a Newcastle-based management consultancy and public relations firm whose clients include the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Children’s Cancer North, FW Capital, The Common Room of the Great North, GBB, Health Education England and Cloudfm.

Sarah, 44, from West Allotment, has also volunteered for the professional association CIPR for more than 20 years, where she was President in 2018 in the institute’s 70th anniversary year.

Sarah said, “This honor is incredibly humble and I am grateful to everyone who has been involved in it.

“I am surrounded by many fantastic leaders who also do their part to create a fairer society and a level playing field.

“This is a group that I admire and that I have the privilege of being part of.”

Sarah – who is married to Stephen and has two children and three stepchildren – developed and funded the # FuturePRoof community in 2015 to share management expertise, skills and case studies with practitioners to improve social mobility in the communications sector.

She chairs the PRCA’s Borderlands and North East Group and serves on the advisory board of The Blueprint, an initiative led by Elizabeth Bananuka to promote black, Asian, multiracial, and ethnic minority diversity in public relations and communication.

Sarah’s other volunteer activities included roles as trustee of the Sunshine Fund, IoD ambassador to North East England, and part of the advisory group that oversaw Max and Keira’s law.

Francis Ingham, PRCA General Manager, said, “No one in PR deserves a CBE more than Sarah.

“Your contribution to the professionalization of our industry has been enormous and has helped transform it into the force it is today.

“I congratulate her on this fantastically well-deserved recognition of her many achievements.”

Claire Riley, Executive Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said, “I am delighted for Sarah that she was rightly recognized for her services to the public and the voluntary sector in this year’s Queens Birthday Honors.

“As a public relations trojan, it has supported so many, paved the way for questioning the norms and raising standards to influence us all.

“Sarah has been a privilege to work with over the years, and it is an even greater pleasure to call her my friend.”

Jen Robson, Head of Communications, North East LEP, said, “Sarah is an outstanding practitioner – her dedication, rigor and passion are present in everything she does.

“It’s great to see a female leader and friend from the Northeast being recognized in this way.”

Richard Bagnall, Co-Managing Director of CARMA International and Chairman of AMEC, the International Professional Association for Communication Assessments, added: “I can’t think of a PR professional who deserves this recognition more.

“She has a relentless energy and an infectious enthusiasm to support, develop and encourage the less fortunate.”