Inaugural GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards reward the “hidden heroes” of Irish healthcare: community-based health charities

Four winning charities receive €10,000, while five runners-up each receive €1,000 as part of the GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards

The GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards announced its four overall winners at its inaugural ceremony at the Science Gallery in Dublin. The winning charities each received €10,000 in unrestricted funding, with five runner-up charities receiving €1,000.

The GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards were designed to recognise and reward community-based charities that are doing excellent work to improve people’s health and wellbeing in Ireland. This is the first year of the global healthcare company’s award programme in Ireland, which is based on the GSK IMPACT award programmes running in the UK and USA for nearly 20 years.

Over 100 guests attended the ceremony with the awards presented by Roger Connor, President GSK Global Manufacturing Supply and Minister Kevin Humphries, Minister of State at Department of Social Protection. This year’s winners were:

  • Helium Arts and Health - Bringing art, creativity and play to children and teenagers in hospitals and healthcare settings across Ireland.
  • Sonas Apc Ltd. - Tackling dementia head-on, delivering Ireland’s biggest annual international dementia conference and educating staff in more than 500 nursing homes and hospitals nationwide.
  • The Migraine Association of Ireland - Dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with migraine. Providing information and support, creating awareness and encouraging research.
  • My Mind - Centre for Mental Wellbeing providing affordable and accessible mental health services across its four centres nationally, based in Dublin, Cork and Limerick.

In addition to the prize funding, winning charities are received a videography and photography package, allowing them to work with media professionals to create promotional materials to help them share their stories.

These year’s runners-up were:

  • Sensational Kids - The leading provider of accessible and affordable developmental and educational services to help the 1 in 5 children with special educational needs to realise their potential.
  • One in Four - Support and resources for people who have experienced sexual abuse and violence in Ireland.
  • Amen Support Services - Providing a confidential helpline and support service, and information, for male victims of domestic abuse.
  • Move 4 Parkinson's Foundation Ltd - Improving People with Parkinsons’ understanding of their illness and teaching them how active self-management can reduce symptoms and enable them to have a better quality of life.
  • Nurture - offering professional counselling and supports surrounding conception, pregnancy and childbirth maternal mental health illnesses.

The winners were selected by a judging panel of health and charity experts including, Deirdre Garvey (CEO, The Wheel), Claire Taaffe (Communications Director GSK), Aidan Lynch (VP and GM, GSK Pharmaceuticals), Barry Andrews, (CEO, Goal) and Maurice Pratt, (Chair, Barretstown).

Claire Taaffe, Communications Director for GSK said: “Healthcare charities tackle some of society’s most difficult, often overlooked challenges. Very often it’s the smaller, less well known charities that are making a real difference to people’s lives but that we don’t often get to hear about or from. As a healthcare company, GSK wanted to celebrate the dedication, innovation and commitment of these charities and support them to continue their vital work through the GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards. We at GSK are delighted to be able to acknowledge these great charities and hope the award can go some way to helping them continue their great work. Well done to all the winners and the runners up.”

Minister Humphries commented,“We are delighted to support the GSK Ireland Impact awards. We know there are thousands of small charities making a real difference in communities right across Ireland that people seldom hear about but yet are making a huge impact on the people who they help.  These awards give these smaller charities a platform and the recognition they so richly deserve. The winners show just how much can be achieved with relatively limited funds, through the passion and dedication of the organisations and their volunteers. Their energy and commitment is inspirational.”

A unique feature of the GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards is that they recognise excellence in existing work and do not seek to fund new projects. Judging was based on the work of the whole organisation. The name ‘IMPACT’ derives from the criteria that winners must demonstrate in their application submissions:

  • Innovation: Leadership, creativity and initiative in addressing current challenges in healthcare access and delivery.
  • Management: Efficient use of resources; quality of management processes; equality of opportunity; clear objectives and plans; strength and financial effectiveness of the organisation.
  • Partnership: Working effectively with others (members, users, private and public sector partners, etc.); willingness to share 'best practice' and to learn from others.
  • Achievement: Measurable results achieved; numbers of people benefited; impact on access to healthcare; a reflective approach to evaluation of the work; measurement and monitoring of performance.
  • Community focus: Involving and responding to users and the community; openness and provision of information; adaptability to changing circumstances and needs.
  • Targeting needs: Awareness of community issues and priorities and having a detailed understanding of the target community; ensuring services are accessible to, and focus on, people in need.

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GSK Ireland Media Enquiries:  Lisa Porter, Unique Media          087 7444 067    

Claire Taaffe, GSK                    086 8053 251

About the awards:

GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards

In July 2015, a judging panel shortlisted a number organisations and who have all been visited on site by a member of GSK. The purpose of the visit was to see the organisation in action, talk to staff and service users in order to verify their application. Final judging took place in September and GSK Ireland IMPACT Award winners were presented with their awards at a ceremony in Science Gallery, Dublin on 22 October 2015.

Organisations who applied for the GSK IMPACT Awards were required to meet the following criteria:

  • Be registered and located in the Republic of Ireland and be in existence for at least three years
  • Have a total annual income of between €20,000 and €1 million
  • Target community health needs in Ireland, with community defined as a geographical community or a community of interest
  • Able to point to a track record of achievement in community health issues


These awards in Ireland are an extension of the GSK IMPACT awards which have been running successfully in both the UK and US for nearly 20 years. In the UK, the GSK IMPACT Awards have provided over £5 million in funding to almost 400 charities in that time. The GSK IMPACT Awards, are run in partnership with The King’s Fund and are recognised as a mark of achievement in the not-for-profit sector. For more information on the UK awards, please see:

About GSK in Ireland

GSK, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, employs 1,500 people across four locations in Ireland – Dungarvan, Cork, Sligo and Dublin. The company is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. 

GSK in Dungarvan produces a variety of ‘over-the-counter’ pharmacy and oral care products including Panadol, Polygrip and NiQuitin. In fact 7.5 billion Panadol tablets are produced in Dungarvan each year – that’s 150 Panadol tablets a second and exported to over 70 countries worldwide. 50 Million NiQuitin patches are also produced in Dungarvan annually and exported around the world.

The Cork operation produces the active ingredients for a range of GSK products used to treat  depression, diabetes, congestive heart failure, HIV, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and arthritis  while the Sligo facility – Stiefel a GSK company - produces 30 million skin healthcare products  annually including Oilatum and Physiogel. All of these high quality products are distributed through GSK’s global network. 

The Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Healthcare Businesses, based in Dublin, provide a range of medicines, vaccines and consumer products to Irish people. In fact, one GSK vaccine is administered in Ireland every minute.

Last year, GSK invested €30million in R&D in Ireland, which has contributed significantly to the company’s global success in scientific innovation.