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GSK Award winners

by Stella Connell on

Birchwood are so proud to announce that we are one of the GSK Impact Award winning charities for improving community health. Absolutely delighted to be recognised and receive this prestigious national award. #GSKIMPACTUK

Here is our press release…

Skelmersdale homeless and housing charity wins national award for excellence

A Skelmersdale charity that provides support and accommodation for vulnerable young people who are homeless or in housing need has won a prestigious national award.

The Birchwood Centre has beaten more than 350 organisations from all over the UK to be one of the eight winners of the 2018 GSK IMPACT Awards, a national award that recognises charities that are doing excellent work to improve people’s health and wellbeing. The charity will receive £30,000 in funding as part of its prize, as well as expert support and development from The King’s Fund.

The Birchwood Centre provides supported accommodation, advice and mediation, as well as training and employability programmes and counselling services to 13 to 25 year-olds who have complex challenges and lifestyles.

Its work is having a positive impact in Skelmersdale and is helping to prevent homelessness, and last year two-thirds of those using its mediation services to resolve family conflicts were able to stay with their family.

The charity has an innovative approach, for example by establishing its Junk Food Café, which uses food donated by local supermarkets that is close to its sell-by date and its Therapeutic Residential Support Unit which provides short stay beds for people with mental health problems who are ready to be discharged from hospital but still need support. This approach has been piloted with the NHS and is now due to expand.

Lisa Weaks, Head of Third Sector at The King’s Fund, said: ‘The Birchwood Centre is doing fantastic work that is having a real impact in supporting vulnerable young people who are either homeless or in housing need.

‘The judging panel was particularly impressed by the way the charity is always looking for new ways to better support young people, as well as the excellent working relationships it has established with the local statutory sector. An example is the Therapeutic Residential Support Unit it has run with the NHS to support people with mental health problems and its plans to expand its residential services.’

Stella Connell, Chief Executive of the Birchwood Centre, said: ‘We are delighted to have received a GSK IMPACT Award, as it is recognition of the quality of the work we are doing in supporting people who are homeless or in housing need.

‘We’re excited to have the chance to work with GSK and The King’s Fund over the months and years ahead, and we hope the award will be a platform for taking us to the next level of being able to support those who need us.’

Developing leaders in the charity sector is an important aim of the GSK IMPACT Awards programme, which has now been running for more than 20 years, and the Birchwood Centre 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 almost 80 award-winning health and wellbeing charities working together to develop their leaders, find new ways of working, and support others.

The Birchwood Centre will receive its prize at a ceremony held at the Science Museum in London in May, along with seven other GSK IMPACT Award winners.


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 care charities. For more information visit www.uk.gsk.com/gskimpactawards

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 www.kingsfund.org.uk/gskimpactawards

This year £268,000 in prize money will be awarded to UK charities through the GSK IMPACT Awards. There are eight winners that each receive £30,000, and six 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 17 May 2018.

The 2018 winners have been selected by a judging panel of health and charity experts including Sir Philip Hampton, Chair of GSK; Sir Christopher Kelly, Chair of The King’s Fund; Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of Big Lottery Fund; Gilly Green, formerly Head of UK Grants at Comic Relief; Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive of MS Society and NHS England board member; and Paul Streets, Chief Executive of the Lloyds Bank Foundation.

Since the awards began in 1997, almost 440 community health care charities have received a GSK IMPACT Award and funding totalling more than £6.2 million.

The 2019 GSK IMPACT Awards will be open for applications in July 2018. For further information, visit www.kingsfund.org.uk/gskimpactawards

Supporting information about charities
An estimated three 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 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 www.gsk.com

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 www.kingsfund.org.uk

The Birchwood Centre is an independent charity providing a range of services for 13 to 25 year-olds. It provides supported accommodation for up to 24 months depending on the help they need. It also provides intervention activities in the community to help prevent homelessness in the first instance, mediation and counselling where required, training and developing to help young people achieve their full potential and move on support when our residents go on to make their own homes. Its services have provided much needed support to more than 600 young people in the past three years.