Irish charities rewarded for IMPACT they make in their local communities at GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards 2017

Awards programme recognises and rewards Ireland’s “unsung healthcare heroes” who make a real difference to health and wellbeing in their locality

Five winners each receive €10,000 while five runner-up charities receive €2,000 each

Five Irish charities were today named as winners of the GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards 2017, with each organisation receiving €10,000 in unrestricted funding.

The awards, now in their third year, are designed to recognise and reward community-based charities who contribute to the improvement of people’s health and wellbeing in Ireland, as well as acknowledge the positive outcomes these charities have on patients and their local community.

In addition to the €10,000 prize money, each winning charity also receives a video and photography package for their use in promoting their work and services.

The five winning charities named at the GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards 2017 were:

  • 22Q11 Ireland Support Group Limited - The national Irish charity for individuals and families affected by 22q11.2 deletion/DiGeorge Syndrome/V.C.F.S
  • Blue Teapot Theatre Company - Blue Teapot is a multi-award winning Theatre Company, Performing Arts School and Outreach programme for people with intellectual disabilities at the forefront of arts and disability in Ireland. They are committed to high quality theatre, training and the celebration of creativity.
  • Down Syndrome Centre - The Down Syndrome Centre provides specialist services such as early intervention, speech and language therapy, parent and baby classes to children with Down syndrome.
  • Irish Men's Shed Association - The Irish Men’s Shed Association (IMSA) is a member-based organisation which exists to maintain links and share information through the network of men’s sheds in Ireland, ensuring men have the opportunity to maintain and improve their well-being on their own terms and within their own communities.
  • Sexual Health Centre - Based in Cork, the Sexual Health Centre provides information and support on sexual health without judgement.

Five runner-up charities will receive €2,000 each as part of the GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards 2017. They are:

  • Alcohol Forum - The only alcohol charity in Ireland working at community level to reduce alcohol consumption levels through the implementation of best practice/needs led/structured activity on community mobilisation and community action on alcohol.
  • Coeliac Society of Ireland - Provides information and support to people diagnosed with coeliac disease throughout Ireland. They create awareness of coeliac disease, its symptoms and how to live healthy on a gluten-free diet.
  • Spinal Injuries Ireland - Spinal Injuries Ireland (SII) is the only support and service agency in Ireland for people who have sustained a spinal cord injury and their families. Providing person centred service to assist people to engage fully in society.
  • Turn2Me - A website that helps people to get help. The site lets people know that they are not alone and facilitates a safe online community space that allows people to open up and reach out for help.
  • Wexford Mental Health Association - Wexford Mental Health Association promotes positive mental health and wellbeing to all individuals and communities and supports existing mental health services in County Wexford.

The GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards have been running in the UK and USA for nearly 20 years and is in its third year in Ireland. Charities are required to undertake a lengthy and strict entry process for the awards, which includes a review and presentation of their financials, governance, services and membership growth over the previous twelve months, allowing judges to understand the worthy service and care they provide along with their commitment to transparency, patient focus, integrity and respect – all values that mirror GSK’s culture.

The GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards 2017 were judged by a multidisciplinary panel of professionals that included Maurice Pratt, Chair of Barretstown, former Tánaiste and Minister for Health Mary Harney, and Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel.

CEO of The Wheel, Deirdre Garvey and judging panel member commented:

Community-based healthcare charities are uniquely positioned to help communities experiencing disadvantage and poor health outcomes identify the issues that influence their well-being and to develop and implement solutions. The GSK IMPACT Awards provide much-needed support and recognition for these organisations.