Two overall winners announced at prestigious national award ceremony in London’s Science Museum

For the first time in its 15 year history the judges of the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) IMPACT Awards could not choose one overall winner for the awards so instead awarded two prizes. The accolade was received by both the Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, Cornwall (WRSAC) and Target Ovarian Cancer at a ceremony at London’s Science Museum last night, where they be at a shortlist of eight charities. Each winner received £35,000 in funding. 

GSK’s prestigious awards, run in partnership with The King’s Fund, were decided by a judging panel of health care leaders including Professor Steve Field, former Chair of the Royal College of General Practioners; Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of Big Lottery; Gilly Green, Head of UK Grants at Comic Relief; Sir Christopher Gent, Chairman of GSK; and Sir Chris Kelly, Chair of The King’s Fund.

The IMPACT Awards, GSK’s flagship UK corporate responsibility programme, highlights the crucial role charities play in dealing with some of the most difficult health issues, while promoting innovation and good practice across the sector.

WRSAC outshone the other competition by working creatively in one of the most challenging areas of health, providing care and support for women and girls who have experienced sexual or domestic abuse. Its services include a rape and sexual abuse helpline, specialist sexual violence counselling and an independent domestic violence advocacy service. It also provides a potentially life-changing programme, Pattern Changing, a 14-week course to help women understand and change their own patterns of behaviour.

Target Ovarian Cancer was established only three years ago by a businesswoman who lost both her mother and sister to ovarian cancer within a few weeks of each other. It aims to save lives among the 6,500 women who develop ovarian cancer annually. To improve the UK’s poor survival rates, Target Ovarian Cancer raises awareness of symptoms, offers a national support programme and treatment guides, campaigns for better management and survival rates for the disease, and funds clinical research into its prevention and treatment.

Sir Christopher Gent, Chair at GSK, said:

‘For fifteen years, the IMPACT Awards have been rewarding innovative charities that transform people’s lives, and over £4 million has been awarded. This is the first time that it has been impossible to decide between these two very different but equally innovative charities. They both show how charities can have an incredible impact both on a national and local level. We hope the funding we provide, along with the prestige of the awards, helps the charities go from strength to strength.’

Maggie Parks, Chief Executive of WRSAC, said:

’Being an overall winner recognises the incredible work undertaken the organisation and reflects our exceptionally high quality of service provision. Endemic levels of violence against women and girls is a major health issue and we applaud GSK and The King’s Fund for recognising this. We believe that this award will help us continue to make a significant difference in women’s lives in Cornwall and we would like to thank our staff, volunteers and trustees for all their hard work and creativity.’

Annwen Jones, Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, said:

‘We were already thrilled to be one of the eight winners, so we are over the moon to be announced as the overall winner by such a recognised panel of professionals. The award is testament to how hard everyone involved in Target Ovarian Cancer has worked over the past few years.

“The award recognises the work we do in improving survival and quality of life for women with ovarian cancer across the UK. We work with a number of hugely passionate and inspirational women, and it is thanks to them that we have been able to achieve such change.’

Notes to editors: 

Supporting information

  • The NHS spends around £3.4 billion a year on services provided by charities.
  • The voluntary sector provides a significant proportion of NHS services – a quarter of third sector organisations are involved in the provision of adult health and social care services. Small, local charities are often best placed to understand the needs of the UK’s increasingly diverse population. They can often respond more flexibly and innovatively than large public sector providers. The government has recognised this. Charities can be beneficiaries of a more open approach to the delivery of public services and in forging strong links with new health and wellbeing boards. However, small charities face particular challenges at this time. 
  • Income streams are more uncertain and small charities do not have the diversity of funding that larger charities do.  These Awards will therefore help financially.  The five-day development programme with The King’s Fund will help equip these excellent charities with the skills to maintain and continue their success in the future.  

Notes to editors

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.

GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and health care companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

About the GlaxoSmithKline IMPACT Awards

The awards are open to small charities with an income of between £10,000 and £1.5million that are at least three years old. 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.

This year almost £390,000 in prize money will be awarded to charities by the GSK IMPACT Awards. There are eight IMPACT Award winners who win £25,000, four highly commended winners who receive £5,000 and three runners up who receive £3,000. Of these, two overall winners were awarded an additional £10,000 at the award ceremony on Thursday 17 May 2012.

To celebrate the fifteenth year of the awards, previous IMPACT Award winners were given the opportunity to win further awards - gold, silver and bronze IMPACT Champions awards. These reward continued excellence and innovation in improving people’s health. There were three gold winners (given £35,000 funding), one silver winner (given £10,000) and four bronze winners (given £5,000 funding).

Since its inception in 1997, more than 300 community health care charities have received an IMPACT Award and funding totalling £4,147,000.