Reward for charities bridging gaps in health care provision

Ten UK charities have each won £25,000 in recognition of their outstanding contribution to improving health care. The charities beat more than 400 entrants to become winners of this year's GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) IMPACT Awards, run in partnership with The King's Fund.

The awards – GSK's flagship UK corporate social responsibility programme – highlight the crucial role played by the voluntary sector in meeting health needs among deprived and vulnerable communities, often bridging gaps other services are unable to fill. With NHS and local authority budgets under pressure, the awards provide a vital source of funding for the winners and play a key role in promoting innovation and good practice across the sector.

The winners cover a broad range of work, including a charity in Kent working with 30 GP practices to improve early diagnosis of dementia, an organisation based in a deprived part of Wales working closely with its community to improve health outcomes, and an organisation in Tower Hamlets providing sexual health services to a wide range of young people.

Katie Pinnock, Director, UK Corporate Contributions, said:

'The IMPACT Awards programme not only helps provide unrestricted funding to charities that have shown outstanding innovation, but serves to highlight the vital role that charities play in providing community health care. We are always amazed at the amount of support these organisations are able to provide within their communities and they are truly to be commended for their invaluable work.'

Lisa Weaks, Third Sector Programme Manager at The King's Fund, said:

'Radical reform of public services and the government's Big Society vision means that greater emphasis is being placed on the third sector to provide key community services.

'This year's winning charities have been recognised for the role they've played in delivering vital health services. Many of these organisations are supported by hundreds of volunteers and work on tight budgets yet are able to help thousands of people every year, many of whom come from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. It is vital that their contribution to health care is acknowledged as the reforms of the NHS take place, and other spending cuts are implemented. Their prevention and early intervention schemes are helping the NHS save money.'

As well as receiving £25,000, the ten winners will attend a five-day development programme hosted by The King's Fund that provides training, development and networking opportunities. The programme aims to equip participating organisations with the skills to consolidate and extend their successful work. Feedback has shown that this opportunity is as important as the award money.

One overall winner – which will be announced at a ceremony in London on 12 May – will receive an additional £10,000 for their outstanding work in addressing the needs of their service users.

Notes to editors: 

  1. For further information or interviews, please contact Sophie Rayment in The King’s Fund media and public affairs office on 020 7307 2585. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 020 7637 0185.
  2. The King's Fund is a charity that seeks to understand how the health system in England can be improved. Using that insight, we help to shape policy, transform services and bring about behaviour change. Our work includes research, analysis, leadership development and service improvement. We also offer a wide range of resources to help everyone working in health to share knowledge, learning and ideas.
  3. GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.
  4. About the GlaxoSmithKline IMPACT Awards  The name ‘IMPACT’ derives from the criteria that winners must have demonstrated in their application submissions: Innovation, Management, Partnership, Achievement, Community Focus and Targeting Need.

Supporting information

  • The NHS spends around £3.4 billion a year on services provided by charities.
  • The voluntary sector provides a substantial proportion of NHS services – a quarter of third sector organisations are involved in the provision of adult health and social care services.
  • In recent years, there has been a decline in the use of statutory sector grants and contracts to fund third sector projects and activities, resulting in the closure of many charities, which offer a lifeline to local communities.
  • In addition to financial pressures, the NHS is faced with rising demand as a result of demographic changes. The UK population is ageing, and increasing numbers of people are living with multiple long-term conditions (15.4 million).
  • The focus of policy in recent years has been on better managing people with long-term conditions in the community in a way that maintains their independence and prevents hospital admissions – which are costly to the NHS and distressing to individuals.

This year’s winners of the GSK IMPACT Awards are:

Age Concern Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan

Age Concern provides help and support to older people, especially those who are vulnerable, isolated, and in poverty, who are resident in Cardiff or the Vale of Glamorgan. Services include a hospital discharge service, advocacy, welfare rights support, counselling, a good neighbour scheme and a drop-in centre.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support service – NW Kent

The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support service aims to enable people with mild to moderate dementia to stay in their own home for as long as possible. Its services include a day centre, support at home, 24-hour dementia telephone helpline, and carer support groups.

Body and Soul

Body and Soul supports children, young people and families living with, or affected by, HIV. It offers peer support, workshops, advice, counselling and support for people in the process of disclosing HIV within the family.

Brook Wirral

Brook Wirral offers sexual health and relationship services including sex education in schools, contraception, Chlamydia screening and pregnancy testing. It provides counselling and a drop-in service and runs a number of groups, including a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender group and a young dads’ group.

Bryncynon Strategy – Cynon Valley, Wales 

Bryncynon Strategy offers services that support the regeneration of a deprived community affected by the loss of the local coalmining industries. Its services include healthy eating initiatives, such as a food co-operative and cooking classes, sports for young people, information on sexual health, and support with smoking cessation and preventing drug and alcohol abuse. It also has a casework service that helps with homelessness, welfare benefits, and access to health care services.

Foyle Haven – Northern Ireland

Foyle Haven is based in Londonderry (Derry) and provides a safe, accessible centre for street drinkers where they can access support. It also raises awareness and understanding of the issues related to street drinking. Services include health care advice and advocacy, befriending and social support, housing and benefits advice, education classes and washing facilities. It also delivers a programme to promote self worth and personal responsibility and to minimise harm.

Niemann-Pick Disease Group (UK) 

Niemann-Pick disease is an inherited metabolic disease. The Niemann-Pick Disease Group (UK) supports families affected by the various forms of this illness through the provision of care, information and research. It is the only organisation within the UK that provides services specifically targeted to those who are affected by the disease.

Project 6 – Keighley, West Yorkshire

Project 6 works in West Yorkshire to reduce the harm caused by alcohol and drug misuse.  Its services include a maternity and families project, health checks, a needle exchange, a stimulants service, counselling, complementary therapies, an Asian community service and a range of structured treatment options. It also provides support to relatives and carers of those affected by alcohol and drugs.

Step Forward – Tower Hamlets, London

Step Forward aims to improve the quality of the lives of young people aged 11–25 in Tower Hamlets – one of the most deprived areas in England. Step Forward provides a range of innovative and responsive services to young people, including independent and confidential information, advice, counselling, personal development and family support services. In partnership with the NHS, it also hosts a weekly sexual health clinic.

The Back-Up Trust

The Back-Up Trust aims to enable people with spinal cord injury to transform their lives. Its principal activities are providing wheelchair skills training, mentoring and rehabilitative activity. These services are peer-led and encourage independence, self-confidence and motivation following a life-changing injury.