Three members of The Wheel win GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards

The GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards announced its four overall winners at its inaugural ceremony in October. Three of the winners, the Migraine Association of Ireland, Helium Arts and Health, Sonas APC are members of The Wheel. 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.

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.”

Read Deirdre Garvey's blog on the role of community-based health charities.