GSK IMPACT Awards Inspire UK Health and Wellbeing Charities

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Good health is at the top of most wish lists for governments and individuals. As physical and mental well-being makes it easier for people to pursue opportunities to work and study, to remain financially secure, physically independent and to maintain strong relationships. A healthy population is also a productive workforce—one that would relieve considerable strain on the public purse by keeping well. Promoting health and wellbeing in our societies helps to empower communities and individuals. It also puts focus on the wider social determinants of health that need to be addressed. These factors are why the ‘GSK IMPACT Awards’ are very relevant, as they are designed to recognise the outstanding work of community-based UK health and wellbeing charities. They have become a great way of highlighting the critical work taking place all over the country.

The GSK IMPACT Awards are run in partnership with the King’s Fund, a leading independent health charity. This year, 10 charities have won for outstanding contributions to improving health and wellbeing. The Awards are celebrating their 20th anniversary of providing training, development opportunities as well as funding. The initiative has proved to be a great source of support for charities; all organisations will receive a £30,000 donation, two places on a free training and development programme, plus an invitation to join the GSK IMPACT Awards Development Network with its programme of free meetings and events. The overall winner will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 18 May.

Since the Awards programme began in 1997, more than 420 community health care charities have been recognised and received funding totaling over £5.8 million. The honours are made annually, where applications are made directly to the King’s Fund. They are open to charities with an annual income of between £25,000 and £2million and who are at least three years old. The name ‘IMPACT’ derives from the criteria that winners must demonstrate in their applications: Innovation, Management, Partnership, Achievement, Community Focus and Targeting Need.

Recent reports indicate that the UK’s National Health System (NHS) is struggling to meet targets, which could create a deficit of £30bn a year by 2020/21. At the same time, an ageing population and a significant rise in the number of people living with long-term conditions are placing additional pressure on resources. Charities play a significant part in meeting these challenges, providing expert healthcare, conducting research, raising awareness, supporting patients, and promoting mental health and well-being. Health is the third largest charity sub-sector by expenditure, with 6,626 health charities spending £4bn in 2011/12.

Therefore, charities here will continue to have an increasingly important role to play in the health and care system. Small, local charities are well-placed to understand a community’s needs. They can respond flexibly and creatively to health and wellbeing challenges. Therefore, it will be important to keep shining a light on the work of these charities and more programmes like the GSK IMPACT Awards will be needed to keep these organisations inspired.

Photo Credit: Kings Fund/GSK