25 March 2014
Edwin Poots, Minister for Health and Social Services, was joined today by fellow MLAs and a number of locally based health charities, to showcase the excellent work the voluntary sector does in supporting Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. Organisations attending the Event included previous winners of GSK IMPACT* Awards, which is GSK’s flagship UK community investment programme, run in partnership with The King’s Fund.
At the event, Aware Defeat Depression, the only charity working exclusively for those with depression across Northern Ireland, was recognised as one of this year’s winners of a GSK IMPACT Award. Over four hundred charities nationwide applied for GSK’s flagship UK community investment programme. Aware Defeat Depression is one of only ten winners throughout the UK and stood out for their work in helping to increase understanding of how to prevent mental illness and support people with depression in their recovery. Previous winners have access to a unique training and development programme, and join a network of GSK IMPACT Award alumni.
2014 is also the first year in the history of the awards when 3 Northern Ireland Charities have been placed in the top 20 nationally. Nexus NI who offer counselling and support to survivors of sexual abuse and Engage with Age who work in South, East Belfast and Castlereagh to combat social isolation and loneliness among older people and to promote health and wellbeing were runners up.
Edwin Poots, Mister for Health and Social Services, said:
“Aware Defeat Depression has undertaken considerable work to promote early intervention in tackling depression and to reduce stigma. This is an important contribution to improving the mental health and wellbeing of our population and to efforts to reduce the incidence of suicide in Northern Ireland.
“Northern Ireland has a proud tradition of regularly producing winning entries and this event is organised to showcase the outstanding work done by previous winners as well as to encourage future entries.”
Siobhan Doherty, Chief Executive of Aware Defeat Depression, said:
‘We are absolutely delighted to be given the Award and the £30,000 by GSK. The work we do is very important in Northern Ireland and this recognition and money will help us to continue to fight the stigma attached to depression, provide services to those with the illness and minimise the amount of people who suffer from depression in Northern Ireland.
Katie Pinnock, Head of Community Investment at GSK said:
‘The work Aware Defeat Depression is doing in Northern Ireland to help tackle a health issue that is often taboo is incredible. Their information and support programmes, many of which are provided by volunteers, are having a real impact helping vulnerable people with an often debilitating health condition.’
A judging panel of health and charity experts who chose this year’s GSK IMPACT Awards winners include broadcast journalist Fiona Phillips; Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of Primary Care at the Care Quality Commission; Gilly Green, Head of UK Grants at Comic Relief; Sir Christopher Gent, Chair of GSK, and Sir Chris Kelly, Chair of The King’s Fund.
Now in their seventeenth year, the awards are seen as a mark of excellence in the charity sector, and are open to charities with an annual income of between £25,000 and £2million that are at least three years old.
The winning organisations each receive £30,000 of unrestricted funding and access to a unique training and development programme. An overall winner, who will receive an additional £10,000 in funding, will be announced at an award ceremony recognising all winners to be held at the Science Museum in London on Thursday 15 May 2014.