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Glaxo SmithKline IMPACT awards

8 May 2009

I was one of the judging panel for the Glaxo SmithKline IMPACT awards presented in partnership with the King’s Fund at the Science Museum last night.

It was great fun,  for once being able to help take the decisions, rather than be the person responsible for the systems and processes within which others do that job. The awards are now in their 12th year and so far over 245 UK community healthcare charities have benefited.

Shortlisted applicants get a thorough assessment of their:

Innovation
Management
Partnership
Achievement
Community focus
Targeting of need

The list of winners is available here and all were present at the celebrations.

Streetwise, from Newcastle were the overall winners securing £35,000 as a result.  We were dead impressed with the wealth of ideas they are employing to engage young men, especially, in thinking about sexual health, drug, alcohol and mental health issues. They have developed excellent links with the local authority, schools and the primary care trust. But there are inspirational stories behind every one of the winners and a great strength of these awards is that the winners get to join a development network through which they can go on sharing and learning together.

On the train home, I reflected that the intensity of the application, assessment and post award support process, really brings organisations on and up in a powerful fashion.

Were the Big Lottery Fund to apply such an approach to all our awards we would be slaughtered for the scale of the administrative overhead, relative to the cash awarded.  Nevertheless, this wrap around process is clearly impacting upon the scale and sustainability of outcomes for needy people, so we should have confidence as a Fund to invest in such activity, in some programmes, where we can evidence clearly the subsequent benefit to communities and people most in need.

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