Health charities win prestigious awards for life-changing work

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Eight charities have all won GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) IMPACT Awards for their outstanding contributions to improving the UK’s health, The King’s Fund and GSK announce today.

GSK’s prestigious accolade, run in partnership with The King’s Fund, awards £25,000 for each organisation, providing essential funding during a time of financial challenges, and training to take their organisation to the next level. 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 chose the winners from nearly 450 entrants.

To celebrate the fifteenth year of the awards, three previous IMPACT Award winners win gold IMPACT Champions awards to reward their continued excellent work to improve people’s health, along with £35,000.

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.

This year’s winners cover a wide range of services and disease areas. They include a national charity aiming to reduce the number of deaths from ovarian cancer and supporting those with the disease, a Cornish centre providing support for women who have experienced domestic or sexual abuse and a Scottish organisation providing healthy living interventions for  rural communities affected by mine closures.

Katie Pinnock, Director, UK Corporate Contributions 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 year’s winners showcase the incredible ways charities can make a difference and why it is so important that we continue to support them. Not only will the charities be given important funding to help their work, but the awards have become a badge of excellence for charities in this sector. And now, for the first time, the Champions awards reward continued innovation and excellence.’

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

‘If the NHS and wider health and social care reforms are to be successful they will need to tackle health inequalities, engage communities and develop strong innovative, local services.  Successful charities will be critical to achieving this. This year’s winners are excellent examples of the innovative services they can provide and the difference that they can make to people’s lives. Smaller community charities can understand and respond flexibly to local people, and national organisations can drive significant changes to health care. It is this innovative needs-led approach that the IMPACT Awards celebrate.’

As well as receiving the significant funding, the IMPACT Award winners will attend a five-day 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.

An overall winner, which will be announced at a ceremony at the Science Museum in London on 17 May, will receive an additional £10,000 for their outstanding work.

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.

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, an overall winner will be awarded an additional £10,000 at the award ceremony on Thursday 17 May 2012.

For the IMPACT Champions, open to IMPACT award winners from 2006 to 2011, three were awarded Gold prizes and funding of £35,000; one was awarded silver, with £10,000 and four were awarded bronze with £5,000 of funding.

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

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

Age UK Cheshire East

Promoting older people’s wellbeing, Age UK Cheshire East (AUKCE) provides services to over 11,000 local people annually, including information and advice, outreach, a long term care hospital discharge placement service, ICT learning, healthy lifestyles, a help at home service, day care for older people with dementia, training, campaigning, three charity shops and opportunities for their 200 volunteers. Innovative programmes include reaching out to isolated men, a hard-to-reach group, through their Men in Sheds programme, where men have access to wood and metal workshops, along with advice and support.

Beacon Counselling, Stockport

Beacon Counselling, Stockport, provides counselling and related services to adults, young people, and children in Greater Manchester. With half of mental illness beginning by the age of 14, the confidence building programme for primary school children is an impressive and important intervention run in conjunction with schools. Other services include one to one counselling; group workshops for stress; counselling those out of work; and counselling in secondary schools. They helped over 1,500 clients last year at a cost of less than £170,000.

Blackburn with Darwen Healthy Living

Focused on improving the health and wellbeing of their local community, BwDHL puts local people at the centre of the design and delivery of their services. These include the innovative mobile gym bus, called the Health Buzz, bringing advice and physical exercise to the deprived neighbourhoods in most need. Other services, run by trained volunteers, include healthy eating initiatives; community health awareness projects; physical activity facilities and courses; and training community volunteers to deliver activities. 

Target Ovarian Cancer

6,500 women developed ovarian cancer in the UK annually and only a third of these women surviving the disease largely due to late diagnosis. In only three years, Target Ovarian Cancer has used its evidence-led approach to combat this and support women with the disease. Working across symptom awareness, patient information, public campaigns for better disease management, and encouraging clinical research; the charity has achieved real change for women. They developed an online ovarian cancer learning tool for GPs in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners, which has been completed by 10% of all GPs - an impressive achievement.

Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (Cornwall)

WRSAC provides care and support for women and girls who have experienced sexual or domestic abuse. These women are more likely to attend hospital with symptoms of abuse, as opposed to the police, so strong links with and training for health care professionals is vital in providing with support. Their most innovative and potentially life changing programme is Pattern Changing - a 14 week course to help women change their own negative behaviour patterns. Poverty and the geography of Cornwall add extra barriers, so services like help lines and support networks have been important.

Healthy Valleys (South Lanarkshire)

A South Lanarkshire charity, Healthy Valleys aims to reduce health inequalities and promote healthier lifestyles for people for a isolated rural communities badly affected by the closing of mines. They particularly outshone the competition by combining the healthy lifestyles promotion with building knowledge and skills in volunteers to be able to help themselves as they help others. They have made impressive headway in tackling maternal health, with young mother engagement doubling the number attending vital health care appointments, from the regional average of half of women to almost complete attendance (98%), benefitting the mother and child.

Hepatitis C Trust

The Hepatitis C Trust is run and led by patients of the disease. Historically hepatitis C has been a neglected disease, wrongly stigmatised as a drug addict’s disease, resulting in a rapidly increasing death toll through low diagnostic and treatment rates. The Trust has successfully challenged this through information and support, representation with government and the NHS, and awareness-raising. Their campaigning has resulted in renewed calls for a Liver Strategy and the World Health Organisation making addressing hepatitis C a world health priority. They have also piloted community based testing, which increased diagnosis rates from a meagre 4 percent to 15 percent.   

Women’s Health Information and Support Centre (Liverpool)

The Liverpool based charity provide an impressive range of services to engage with some of the poorest areas in England, including health workshops; support groups on issues like self harm; one-to-one support to some of the most vulnerable women; and runs an accredited health trainers programme. It deals with sensitive issues including gun crime and domestic abuse, through their work. They train and support local women to run their own support groups, work in voluntary organisations or on to college. They have helped over 6,000 people across Liverpool for under £170,000 annually.

The three Gold IMPACT Champions winners are:

Crew 2000 (Edinburgh)

An award winner in 2008, CREW was set up to respond to the increase in recreational drug use in Scotland. Along with more traditional support and advice services, this Edinburgh based charity has developed the innovative OASIS, an online tool for people recognising difficulties with alcohol or cocaine use. OASIS includes online chat forums, tools to assess, address difficulties and keeping track of use during the programme. It has thrice-weekly chat rooms and developed a phone app provide the most up to date information on drugs and sources of assistance. It also has an important voice across Scotland, campaigning and engaging across the region.

HALE (Bradford)

Overall IMPACT Award winner in 2010, Health Action Local Engagement (HALE) delivers 175 different programmes annually addressing everything from nutrition and exercise, sexual health, alcohol awareness and oral health through to mental health. Their results have been outstanding: after participating, 80% of people felt healthier and more motivated; 36% had reduced their alcohol intake; 35% had improved blood pressure and 13% reported less need to visit a GP. They work in and with the community to combat high rates of Chlamydia, using Facebook to recruit volunteers to carry out screening on their peers and MOV, a converted bus, to provide screening where young people congregate.

The Metro Centre (South London and Kent)

Award winner in 2007, METRO provides a range of health services to over 25,000 people across London and Kent for all people experiencing issues related to sexuality, identity or gender. They outshone the competition with their peer-mentoring programme, where trained volunteers worked with gay men to examine their sexuality and set goals to establish safer sex practices. This has now been rolled out across South London. Meanwhile the Health Protection Agency noted that METRO’s pilot community based HIV testing for high risk African communities had one of the highest success rates of all the models that had been tested.