A Shipley-based healthy living charity which specialises in combating sexual health, drink and drugs problems has won £35,000 to fund future life-saving projects in one of the country’s most prestigious healthcare awards.
Health Action Local Engagement (Hale) has been named the Gold Champion from thousands of local projects in the Impact awards scheme run by health researchers The Kings Fund and pharmaceutical company Glaxosmithkline (GSK).
Natasha Thomas, project manager at Hale, based in Ashley Wharfe, said: “It is amazing to be recognised for doing something which feels so basic. We see people who actually need very little support, but without our intervention they wouldn’t have the confidence to seek it elsewhere.
“The timing of this award really allows us to plan ahead and focus on doing these simple but essential things.”
Now in their 15th year, the Impact awards have provided more than £4 million to healthcare projects across the country.
The Gold award is only open to organisations previously shortlisted for the competition’s annual award for charities working in healthcare.
Hale, which won in 2010, delivers 175 programmes, to more than 4,000 people – many in Bradford’s most deprived neighbourhoods – providing advice on subjects such as nutrition and exercise through to mental health.
Its work has led to dramatically improved health of those taking part, a Kings Fund spokesman said.
Katie Pinnock, director of UK corporate contributions at GSK, said: “Hale has gone from strength-to-strength since it won the award in 2010.
“It constantly finds new ways to reach out to the local community, including using social media to significantly increase the number of young people being screened for chlamydia.
“Its activity has directly impacted the health of its population, reducing alcohol consumption and improving blood pressure.
“It is an excellent example of how local charities can achieve real results for their community.”
Judges at this year’s awards included Professor Steve Field, former chair of the Royal College of GPs and chair of the NHS Future Forum which advises government on health policy.
As well as receiving £35,000, Hale can now take part in training to develop their organisations.
Mrs Thomas said the money would pay for alcohol awareness programmes, projects working with asylum seekers and Networkers, its one-to-one support programme.