Adoption charity named overall winner of the 2017 GSK IMPACT Awards

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A charity supporting children and families affected by adoption has been named overall winner of the 2017 GSK IMPACT Awards.

PAC-UK was picked from 10 winning charities to recieve the overall winner’s award at a ceremony held last night (Thursday 18 May) at the Science Museum in London, having stood out for the positive impact it has on children and families across the country.

The GSK IMPACT Awards, run in partnership with The King’s Fund and now in their 20th year, celebrate excellence in charities that improve health and wellbeing in their communities and are a prestigious mark of achievement in the health charity sector.

This year’s 10 winners were selected from more than 400 charities who applied and each receives £30,000. As the overall winner, PAC-UK receives a further donation of £10,000.

Children waiting for adoption wait on average for a year and nine months. Their disrupted early lives, often involving neglect, abuse and multiple moves between carers and schools, can lead to challenging behaviour in their new family, can affect their ability to form attachments and can make them susceptible to depression and low self-esteem.

Many adoptive families report physical and mental exhaustion as they struggle to cope, which can ultimately lead to breakdown of the adoption.

PAC-UK's Child and Family Service provides specialist therapeutic support for children and families brought together by adoption or other forms of permanent placement.

PAC-UK, which has offices in London, Leeds, and Banbury, estimates that post-adoption support costs local authorities between £10,000 and £104,000 per child. Therefore, timely access to the right support is crucial to enable adoptive children and their families to establish and maintain supportive, lasting relationships.

The charity’s work, including its comprehensive training programme for professionals and adopters, is focused on securing better outcomes for adopted children and all those brought together through adoption and permant placement. It also offers a unique support service for birth parents and relatives, has pioneered an improved understanding of the needs of adopted children and families, and provides advice and therapy to strengthen families’ resilience.

PAC-UK runs a telephone advice line and offers therapeutic support and counselling, and works with families affected by children’s violence against their parents. It also supports grandparents who become carers of their children’s children, and helps adults who were adopted as children and are interested in tracing family members.

PAC-UK’s ground-breaking education service supports adopted children in their learning and helps schools to understand the impact of early life trauma and how to become ‘adoption friendly’.


Peter Sandiford, Chief Executive of PAC-UK, said: 'We’re all absolutely thrilled to have been named overall winner of the 2017 GSK IMPACT Awards. It’s a huge honour and we’re looking forward to making the most of the opportunities it presents us.

'Many people across the UK are affected by adoption and other permanence arrangements, often in difficult circumastances. PAC-UK staff and volunteers provide the therapeutic support and advice that can help family members live their lives to the full.

'The combination of funding and development opportunies that come with the GSK IMPACT Awards, will now help us to grow our services and reach even more people.'


Katie Pinnock, Director of UK and Ireland Charitable Partnerships at GSK, said: 'We’re delighted to announce PAC-UK as the overall winner of the 2017 GSK IMPACT Awards.

'PAC-UK provides much-needed support to children and families affected by adoption. We were immensely impressed by the charity’s clear sense of direction, and commitment to improving the lives of its service users. PAC-UK’s innovative work is hugely important to everyone they work with. We are delighted that they were chosen as this year’s overall winner of the GSK IMPACT Awards.'


Lisa Weaks, Head of Third Sector at The King’s Fund, said: 'For 20 years the GSK IMPACT Awards have celebrated and supported charities working hard to improve health and wellbeing in communities across the UK.

'These organisations play a crucial role in supporting individual people and responding to communities’ needs. The awards programme is designed not only to highlight their achievements, but also to provide the ongoing training and support charities often need so that they can keep going from strength to strength and have an even greater positive impact on the communities they serve.'

Developing leaders in the charity sector is an important aim of the GSK IMPACT Awards programme, and PAC-UK will have access to training and leadership development tailored to its needs. It will also be invited to join the GSK IMPACT Awards Network, a national network of more than 70 award-winning health and wellbeing charities working together to develop their leaders, find new ways of working, and support others.

Notes to editors


The GSK IMPACT Awards, run in partnership with The King’s Fund, are designed to recognise the outstanding work of community-based health and wellbeing charities. An introductory video can be viewed at

The awards are open to charities working in health and wellbeing with an annual income of between £25,000 and £2 million 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. For more information visit

This year £340,000 in prize money will be awarded to UK charities through the GSK IMPACT Awards. Ten winners each receive £30,000, and ten runner-up organisations that each receive £3,000.

The 2017 winners have been selected by a judging panel of health and charity experts including Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of Big Lottery Fund; Gilly Green, Head of UK Grants at Comic Relief; Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive of MS Society and NHS England board member; Lord Michael Bichard; Sir Philip Hampton, Chair of GSK; and Sir Christopher Kelly, Chair of The King’s Fund.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the GSK IMPACT Awards programme. Since the awards began in 1997, more than 420 community health care charities have received a GSK IMPACT Award and funding totalling nearly £5.9 million.

The 2018 GSK IMPACT Awards will be open for applications in July 2017. For further information, visit

Supporting information about charities

An estimated 3 million people volunteer in health and social care. They play a vital role in delivering services and are an increasingly important part of the extended care team for many people. Small, local charities are often well-placed to understand the needs of the UK’s increasingly diverse population and can respond flexibly and creatively to community health and wellbeing challenges.

GSK – 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. For further information please visit

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all. For further information visit


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For further information about GSK please contact Gavin Davies, Senior External Communications Manager, on 07341 079858 or

For further information about PAC-UK, visit