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Suffolk carers charity scoops top national award

PUBLISHED: 15:09 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:15 21 May 2019

Hayley Hancock and Kirsten Alderson (middle) from Suffolk Family Carers with the award Picture: LISA BRETHERICK

Hayley Hancock and Kirsten Alderson (middle) from Suffolk Family Carers with the award Picture: LISA BRETHERICK

Lisa Bretherick88

A Suffolk charity will receive £40,000 in unrestricted funding after scooping a prestigious national award for its work.

Young carers on a trip to London through Suffolk Family Carers Picture: SUFFOLK FAMILY CARERSYoung carers on a trip to London through Suffolk Family Carers Picture: SUFFOLK FAMILY CARERS

Suffolk Family Carers won the 2019 GSK Impact Award after going up against 370 charities across the UK, which was whittled down to 10 finalists.

The charity picked up the overall award at a ceremony held at London's Science Museum on Thursday, May 16, and was also awarded expert support from healthcare charity The King's Fund.

There are an estimated 6.5million unpaid carers in the UK and 88,000 in Suffolk.

The charity says 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.

Suffolk Family Carers support young carers with respite activities Picture: SUFFOLK FAMILY CARERSSuffolk Family Carers support young carers with respite activities Picture: SUFFOLK FAMILY CARERS

For more than 30 years the charity has helped carers of all ages across the county and it 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.

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Kirsten Alderson, chief executive of Suffolk Family Carers, said: "It's such an honour to be awarded the GSK IMPACT Award 2109. Having spent time with this year's other winning organisations, I'm blown away by the talent in the charity sector.

Staff at Suffolk Family Carers Picture: SUFFOLK FAMILY CARERSStaff at Suffolk Family Carers Picture: SUFFOLK FAMILY CARERS

"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."

MORE: Only a fifth of young carers in St Edmundsbury are getting support

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.

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