Suffolk charity named overall winner of the 2019 GSK IMPACT Awards

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Suffolk Family Carers has beaten over 370 charities across the UK to win the overall 2019 GSK IMPACT Award. The charity was picked from 10 original winners to take the overall award at a ceremony held at London’s Science Museum last night (Thursday 16 May). Suffolk Family Carers will receive £40,000 in unrestricted funding as well as expert support and leadership development provided by leading healthcare charity, The King’s Fund. 

There are an estimated 6.5m unpaid carers in the UK and 88,000 in Suffolk. The impact of caring responsibilities can be significant with 61% of carers in the UK reporting physical ill health and 72% reporting mental ill health as a result of being a carer. For over 30 years Suffolk Family Carers has helped carers of all ages across Suffolk. The charity received 11,000 calls to its helpline in the last year alone, an increase of 30% on the previous year.

Suffolk Family Carers is pioneering innovative partnerships with schools, hospitals, pharmacists and GPs to identify and support thousands of unpaid carers in the community. When choosing the overall winner, the GSK IMPACT Award judges were particularly impressed with the range of creative support services set up by Suffolk Family Carers, including:

  • The Suffolk Young Carers Schools Awards to recognise schools that identify and support pupils who look after a family member - 90 schools and colleges have signed up, with a further 155 running talks or drop-in sessions
  • The Carer Friendly Hospital scheme to help hospitals consider the needs of family carers as well as the people that they care for – last year 900 carers were supported as their family members entered or were discharged from hospital
  • Providing specialised support services for carers looking after family members with mental health needs, substance abuse issues or autism – last year they gave individual help to 221 people looking after someone with a mental health need, 45 people supporting someone with substance abuse issues, and 65 people caring for someone with autism
  • Helping young carers to balance their responsibilities as a carer with their own personal needs through social activities, individual support and residential trips – last year they supported over 1,700 young carers through these activities

    Kirsten Alderson, CEO of Suffolk Family Carers said:

    'It’s such an honour to be awarded the GSK IMPACT Award 2019. Having spent time with this year’s other winning organisations, I’m blown away by the talent in the charity sector.

    'We’ll use our award to provide even stronger services for family carers in Suffolk. The development programme for our leaders will get will help us go from strength to strength.'

    Lisa Weaks, Head of Third Sector at The King’s Fund, said:

    'Suffolk Family Carers is doing vital work to support a huge number of carers across the county. The judges were particularly impressed by the charity’s excellent partnership working across schools, hospitals and pharmacists. By finding innovative ways of identifying and supporting carers and integrating their services with schools and the NHS, Suffolk Family Carers has made its services stronger and better able to support carers of all ages.'

    Katie Pinnock, Director of UK and Ireland Charitable Partnerships at GSK, said:

    'We are delighted that Suffolk Family Carers are this year’s overall GSK IMPACT Awards winner, providing an impressive range of services. It is a highly professional organisation demonstrating strong leadership, addressing a clear need, and putting steps in place to ensure that those individuals who would have otherwise slipped through the net get the help and support they require; a worthy overall winner. We’d also like to congratulate the outstanding work of the other nine 2019 GSK IMPACT Award winners.'

    The GSK IMPACT Awards is a national programme run in partnership with The King’s Fund that recognises and rewards small and medium sized charities that are doing excellent work to improve people’s health and wellbeing in communities across the UK. As well as Suffolk Family Carers, another nine UK charities have been awarded £30,000 and leadership development.

    Developing leaders in the charity sector is a key aim of the GSK IMPACT Awards programme. All winners are invited to take part in a tailored leadership development programme provided by The King’s Fund. They are also invited to join the GSK IMPACT Awards Network, a national network of over 80 previous award winners working together to develop leaders, find new ways of working, and provide mutual support. 

    The 2020 GSK IMPACT Awards open for applications on 1 July 2019.

    To find out more about Suffolk Family Carer’s work or to get help, visit

    Notes to editors

    Suffolk Family Carers received their award at a ceremony held at the Science Museum in London on Thursday 16 May, along with nine other 2019 GSK IMPACT Award winners.

    The nine other winners of the 2019 GSK IMPACT Awards are:

    • The Children’s Sleep Charity supports children and their families across England and Wales to get a better night’s sleep, improving their health and wellbeing.
    • East Surrey Domestic Abuse Service supports adult and child survivors of domestic abuse to increase safety, resilience, long-term recovery and empowerment across East Surrey.
    • Grassroots Suicide Prevention works towards a world where suicide is prevented through open and courageous conversations.
    • Healthy Minds supports Calderdale’s emotional health and wellbeing.
    • Off the Record Youth Counselling Croydon works to bring an end to children and young people’s mental health misery.
    • Positive Life promotes positive living for people living with or affected by HIV in Northern Ireland.
    • Rape Crisis South London is dedicated to the healing and empowerment of female survivors of sexual violence.
    • Refugee and Migrant Centre Black Country and Birmingham supports refugees and migrants through crisis and disadvantage, by removing barriers to integration and enabling them to become equal citizens.
    • Support in Mind Scotland provides services and support to empower all those affected by mental illness, including carers and family members.

    Carer’s UK State of Caring report 2018 found that 61% carers surveyed reported having suffered physical ill health and 72% having suffered mental ill health as a result of caring, and stated that there are 6.5 million unpaid careers in the UK.

    Suffolk Family Carers have stated that there are 88,000 identified carers living in Suffolk.

    GSK IMPACT Awards

    The GSK IMPACT Awards, run in partnership with The King’s Fund, are designed to recognise the outstanding work of community-based health care charities. For more information visit

    The awards are open to charities working in health and wellbeing with an annual income of between £80,000 and £2.5 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 £337,000 in prize money will be awarded to UK charities through the GSK IMPACT Awards.  There are ten winners that each receive £30,000, and nine runner-up organisations that each receive £3,000. An overall winner will be awarded an additional £10,000 at the award ceremony at The Science Museum in London on Thursday 16 May 2019.  

    The 2019 winners have been selected by a judging panel of health and charity experts including Sir Philip Hampton, Chairman, GSK; Sir Christopher Kelly, Chair, The King’s Fund; Gemma Bull, Funding Strategy Director, National Lottery Community Fund; Ruth Davison, Executive Director, Impact and Investment, Comic Relief; and Will Warburton, Director of Improvement, The Health Foundation. 

    Since the awards began in 1997, nearly 460 community health care charities have received a GSK IMPACT Award and funding totalling more than £6.5 million.   

    The 2020 GSK IMPACT Awards will open for applications on 1 July 2019. For further information,visit

     GSK is a science-led global health care company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. It has three world-leading businesses that research, develop and manufacture innovative pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines and consumer health care products. Its goal is to be one of the world’s most innovative, best-performing and trusted health care companies. 

    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

     Suffolk Family Carers was established over 30 years ago. It is an independent charity supporting family carers as young as 5 years throughout Suffolk. Family carers’ lives can be restricted because they are looking after a relative, partner, friend or child who cannot manage without help because of age, an illness or disability. Our purpose is to gain recognition of the important contribution family carers make to society and provide them with support, advice and information to help them in their caring role so that they are less likely to need care themselves. For further information please visit


    Photos, interviews and case studies are available. 

    For further information please call Rachel Case, Press and Public Affairs Manager, The King’s Fund, on 020 7307 2603 or

    For further information about GSK please contact Rachel Ingram, Communications Manager, UK Pharma, on 020 8990 2144 or