David Wright Awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

David Wright Awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

It is with great honour that SWGfL CEO and UK Safer Internet Centre Director David Wright has been awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) as part of the King’s Birthday Honours List for 2024.

For the services to the safety of children and young people, David’s work in the field of online safety has led towards pioneering and groundbreaking efforts to protect individuals online with innovative services, tools, helplines and initiatives to improve legislation and protections across the UK that also covers a global scale.

A History of Staying Safe Online

David has worked in the online safety space since 2000, initially starting out by ensuring schools and educational establishments were providing safer internet connections that correctly filtered out harmful online content. By 2008, he had joined SWGfL and continued to ensure that all school internet connections across the South-West were safe and appropriate.

Over the coming years, the online safety landscape widened and the requirement for a national body of support was essential to combat rising issues across the country. In 2011, SWGfL partnered with Childnet and the Internet Watch Foundation to form the UK Safer Internet Centre, with David appointed as one of the Directors alongside Will Gardner and Susie Hargreaves.

Helplines and Services 

The formation of the UK Safer Internet Centre started groundbreaking online safety initiatives with many of them still being actively used to this day. David led the implementation and launch of the 360 Degree Safe online safety self-review tool, currently being used by over 16,000 schools across the UK which guides and supports towards improving online safety policy and practice. This work has led towards the publication of insightful online safety research which has extended beyond into our other tools and services.

The need for professionals to have accessible online safety support led to David and the wider UK Safer Internet Team to form the Professionals Online Safety Helpline that operates to support any professional in the UK with any online safety concern they may be having. The implementation of a valuable helpline initiative paved the way for the establishment of the worlds first Revenge Porn Helpline that was created in 2015 to combat the rising numbers of intimate image abuse as well as Report Harmful Content in 2019 to address legal but harmful online content.

In 2021, what would become one of SWGfL’s flagship services, David oversaw the creation of StopNCII.org, an online tool to help protect individuals from intimate image abuse across the world that has already protected over 250,000 adults from having intimate images shared without consent.

David’s drive to connect Government as well industry to support and join our online safety initiatives has fostered a far more responsive space in acknowledging the essential need for protective online measures. This national experience has brought far more awareness towards the international field.   


In 2022, SWGfL announced that David would be appointed as our new CEO which has driven us towards many exciting opportunities including being announced as a Charity of the Year as well as giving evidence in parliament, the White House as well as other widely recognized global events.

David is continually recognized for his pioneering work in the online safety space, and he plays an immensely important role in creating safer digital environments for children and adults. This recognition is a true reflection of the support and protections he has instilled across a global scale.

David Wright CBE said:    

It is with immense pride that I receive this honour, which reflects the dedicated work and support of so many people over the years. While we celebrate this recognition, it is crucial to remember that our task is far from complete. As the UK, and many others, implement new regulations, and as new technologies continue to develop, our mission remains clear: to ensure that everyone can benefit from technology, free from harm.

Back to Magazine

Related Articles