Charities win prestigious awards for improving health in the UK

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10 charities have won 2013 GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) IMPACT Awards for their outstanding contributions to improving the UK’s health and wellbeing, GSK and The King’s Fund announced last night at the awards ceremony held at the Science Museum.

GSK’s prestigious accolade, run in partnership with The King’s Fund, awards at least £30,000 to each organisation, and training to be able to take their organisations to the next level. A further £10,000 will be awarded to the overall winner, announced at the awards ceremony itself for the first time.

This year’s winners cover a wide range of specialisms and represent all areas of the UK. These include one successfully targeting the mental health needs of young people involved in gangs and highly antisocial behaviour; supporting women with mental health issues with a holistic approach including their wider socio-economic needs; and one supporting people with Huntington’s Disease, an incurable progressive hereditary disease.

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

A judging panel of health care and charity leaders including Professor Steve Field, Deputy National Medical Director at NHS England (health inequalities); the journalist, Fiona Philips; Jan Sobieraj, Managing Director of the NHS Leadership Academy; 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 chose the winners from over 400 entrants.

Katie Pinnock, Director, UK Corporate Contributions at GSK, said: ‘This year’s winners show what an incredible impact charities can have on the health of the local community across the UK and why it is so important that we continue to support them. It is remarkable what these organisations have achieved with the small budgets and we hope that the £30,000 funding for each organisation, along with the recognition of the awards, with help them to continue this work.’ 

Lisa Weaks, Third Sector Programme Manager at The King’s Fund, said:
‘ These charities show clearly how health charities can transform people’s lives in such diverse ways. They add value to the public services already given, providing innovative answers to difficult issues. These are challenging times for charities, especially smaller ones like these; the commissioning system in health care has changed dramatically in recent years and The King’s Fund’s research has found that the financial climate is putting them at risk. It is important that their value is recognised through awards like these, and provide them with the training to improve their organisations and secure their future success.’

As well as receiving the significant funding, the GSK IMPACT Award winners attend a development programme hosted by The King’s Fund that provides training, development and networking opportunities. The programme provides the organisations with the skills to consolidate and extend their successful work. Feedback has shown that this opportunity is as important as the award money.

Please note that case studies and spokespeople are available for interview, along with photographs. For further information or interviews, please contact Saskia Kendall at The King’s Fund press office on 020 7307 2603 or by email on

Notes to editors

Supporting information

  • The NHS spends around £3.4 billion a year on services provided by charities.
  • An estimated 3 million people volunteer in health and social care playing a vital role in delivering services and becoming an increasingly important part of the care team.
  • 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.  
  • However, recent research by The King's Fund found that financial pressures are undermining volunteering. 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 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

For more information and to view the videos of each winner please visit the GSK IMPACT Awards project page

The King’s Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and health 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 care is available to all.

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.

About the GlaxoSmithKline IMPACT Awards

The awards are open to 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 £340,000 in prize money will be awarded to charities by the GSK IMPACT Awards. There are ten GSK IMPACT Award winners who win £30,000 each, and ten runners ups who receive £3,000 each. Of these, an overall winner will be awarded an additional £10,000 at the awards ceremony on Thursday 16 May 2013 at the Science Museum.

Since its inception in 1997, over 300 community health care charities have received an IMPACT Award and funding totalling almost £5million.

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

Care Network Cambridgeshire

Initially set up by a local vicar’s wife in response to the lack of support for people after a hospital stay, Care Network Cambridgeshire now has over 200 local volunteers supporting older and vulnerable people in their homes or through community groups. Their Help at Home service provides support at difficult time, including after people are discharged from hospital, doing tasks such as collecting prescriptions, monitoring wellbeing and practical jobs. Two thirds of referrers said that without the Help at Home service their patient would not be able to live independently at home. This support reduces the length of hospital stays and re-admissions, which has been shown to be a disruptive and unsettling experience for an older person whose independence can suffer as a result, and saves the NHS funds.

Care Network community development work enables local people to set up services and activities for older people, an Information@GPs service gives patients free information and help in their doctor’s surgery, and a new Community Navigator project signposts older people to activities and services.

East Lancashire Women’s Centres 

ELWC provides community-based mental health interventions for deprived communities in Lancashire. It takes a holistic approach, supporting the mental health and socio economic needs of women – providing very successful evidence based mental health services, increasing skills and confidence and enabling women to earn a living.

Particularly of note, ELWC’s supports women offenders referred from the Criminal Justice system and has been able to reduce rates of re-offending, and it supports sex workers, some of whom are as young as 14. Its counselling services are very successful, providing access within a week (rather than up to seven months through NHS services) and almost three quarters of users were classed as ‘recovered’ after accessing their services comparing favourably with equivalent provision within NHS services. Alongside this, ELWC also runs support groups, a full employment support service including gaining experience through volunteering and offers a debt and housing advice service.

Forum for Action on Substance Abuse 

FASA (Forum for Action on Substance Abuse) is based in Belfast and provides an impressive range of services for those affected by drugs, alcohol, other substance misuse, suicide and self harm. FASA provides services to over 6,500 people annually in Northern Ireland, a region with the highest suicide rates in the UK, high levels of mental health disorder (25 per cent higher than in England and Scotland), and high use of prescription drugs.

FASA works in two hospital emergency departments to provide support to those in crisis or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It also works with 40 community based organisations to create a SafetyNet to support people who are at risk of suicide and self harm. They also have developed an innovative service with families where there is concern about parental substance misuse providing services from family intervention and mediation to addiction services. Other support and advice is given to children and young people to deal with drug and alcohol issues, as well as underlying issues like bullying, debt or unemployment. It runs a DropZone that allows people to confidentially drop pills used to get high; so far 18,000 pills have been handed over to the Police.

Greater Easterhouse Alcohol Awareness Project

Working in East Glasgow which has some of the most deprived communities in Britain and high levels of hazardous drinking, Greater Easterhouse Alcohol Awareness Project (GEAAP) aims to reduce the harm associated with alcohol use and misuse.

It currently reaches 500 adults annually and 3,500 pupils aged 10 to 12 in North East Glasgow, providing a wide variety of services including prevention and education, one-to-one counselling, tenancy support and befriending. In 2011 an independent cost-benefit analysis demonstrated that from 2008-2011 for every £1 in public funding received, the project had returned a saving of £10.17 to the public purse.

GEAAP delivers an alcohol awareness programme in schools and via a Young Booze Busters website which was developed with young people. 2007 research in Scotland showed that 11 per cent of 13 year olds and 29 per cent of 15 year olds were drinking regularly and considerably more than recommended for adults. The Young Booze Buster programme is being rolled out across the city and has so far been delivered in 89 schools. Independent evaluation shows that the programme had a significant positive effect on knowledge and behaviours.

Huntington’s Disease Association

Huntington’s Disease Association (HDA) supports people living with, and dying from Huntington’s Disease (HD), a hereditary disorder of the central nervous system affecting an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 in the UK. A progressive, incurable and unpredictable disease that can cause personality changes, the disease can affect many people in a family from grandparent and parent to children. Given the low incidence rates, health care professionals often do not understand the complexity of the disease nor how to manage the symptoms positively.

It is reaching the vast majority of people with the HD gene, with 6,312 volunteers organised into 33 local branches providing support to over 5,000 people with the disease, 6,000 at risk of developing it and 7,000 carers. HDA acts as the link between physical, medical and psychiatric health care providers and these families. It also provides training for health professionals and has national influence over the delivery of services and standards of care. It has done particularly innovative work with young people with HD, realising that these young people are probably already dealing with one parent already experiencing the disease. HDA developed information and advice for them and organised family summer camps in order for families to meet up and reduce isolation.

Leicestershire AIDS Support Services

Leicestershire AIDS Support Services (LASS) provides rapid HIV testing, support, information and advocacy for those affected by the disease in one of the most diverse areas in England - Leicester has many different communities and an above average population of HIV positive people.

To slow down the spread of HIV and help people to access treatment, LASS invests in rapid testing services in community settings. There is particularly low uptake in some African communities, so LASS trains volunteers from these communities to carry out testing and provide information. They provide testing at a range of events and venues including African football tournaments to reach people who otherwise wouldn’t be tested. LASS also provides services for people with the virus and maybe coping with other issues like poor mental health, and they provide healthy living training.


Based in Camden, MAC-UK targets the mental health needs of young people involved in gangs and highly antisocial behaviour. MAC-UK estimates that 5 per cent of young people are responsible for 50 per cent of youth crime. Underpinning MAC-UK’s innovative approach is that youth offending is a public mental health issue and therefore mental health is central to the solution, with young people co-leading and co-owning their projects.

MAC-UK provides activities ranging from music and sports, to group trips and work shadowing, all of which are designed and led by the young people. They also provide ‘streetherapy’ where trained mental health workers work with young people at their own pace where they feel comfortable (including a park bench, café or even a bus). It works intensely with a small group of young people achieving excellent results with 90 per cent reaching the highest level of engagement with activities.

No Limits

Based in Southampton, No Limits works with young people providing support with sexual and emotional health, substance abuse, and homelessness. It holds three drop-in centres offering services including counselling appointments, sexual health testing and information, support for care leavers and looked after children, substance misuse support, and services for homeless young people. Staff are always on hand to advise and, if necessary, can help access other services. Young people have increasingly presented at the drop-ins with debt problems and/or other problematic domestic arrangements.

Of particular note is their programme combating homelessness among young people. They target young people being released from prison homeless as a group particularly at risk given the lack of emergency accommodation in Southampton. No Limits provides advice, training and services helping them secure housing. It also works with the NHS to address the high rates of alcohol specific hospital admissions for the under 18s and played a key role in the delivery of health messages.

SIFA Fireside

SIFA Fireside works to improve the health of homeless and vulnerable people in Birmingham. It provides a large number of services including a drop-in session providing food, showers, housing advice, and health services. Its outreach team works in hospitals and hostels to support people back into the community, and it also provides help with accommodation and retaining tenancies.

It runs an Expert Patient Programme where trained service users work as peer health trainers to engage people in hostels and to link them with mainstream health services. The organisation has also developed social enterprises that offer work placements for service users. SIFA Fireside has high user involvement (unusual for this group) and can demonstrate that its work saves nearly £8,000 per service user for the NHS, benefits and the criminal justice system.

Yorkshire MESMAC 

With offices in Bradford, Leeds, North Yorkshire  and Wakefield MESMAC provides sexual health services, including community-based rapid HIV testing, counselling, support groups both for those infected and affected by HIV, and sexual health promotion. It has strong links with local communities particularly at risk from HIV like African groups, working with a number of black churches, training their pastors to deliver safe sex messages to help combat the spread of HIV. Services, including counselling are provided across Yorkshire, in a variety of languages, and are even available on Skype.

MESMAC provides young men who are being, or are at risk of being, sexually exploited with confidential support including counselling, free condoms, easy access to sexual health services, housing advice, and peer group work. It also assists in the reporting of an offence to the police and throughout the court process. MESMAC runs training on sexual exploitation for professionals, 94% of whom said they would now be able to recognise the signs of a young man being groomed.