Suffolk & North East Essex Shadow Integrated Care System

Suffolk charity named overall winner of the 2019 GSK IMPACT Awards

June 2019

Suffolk Family Carers were picked from 10 original winners to take the overall award at a ceremony held at London’s Science Museum.

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 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 misuse 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.

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.