Carers Leeds are delighted to announce that we have won a prestigious national award! We have beaten more than 400 organisations from all over the UK to be one of the 10 winners of the 2017 GSK IMPACT Awards, a national award that recognises excellence in charities improving health and wellbeing in their communities. We will receive £30,000 in funding as part of its prize, as well as expert support and development from The King’s Fund.

There are 6.5 million carers across the UK supporting a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill. There are thought to be more than 73,000 carers in Leeds, and there has been an increase in the number of carers aged over 85 and those of working age who are caring for parents. The pressures of caring contribute to significant health and wellbeing challenges, with research by Carers UK showing that 82 per cent of carers believe caring has a negative impact on their health and 55 per cent experiencing depression.

We are committed to improving the lives of the city’s unpaid carers and helping them to continue caring. Based in Leeds city centre, we deliver confidential one-to-one and group support, as well as advice over the phone and online.

Over the past 20 years, we have been recognised as playing a key role in reshaping local services around the needs of carers. In 2014, we became the single point of access to services for carers in Leeds, which had previously been divided between five separate organisations. Carers now have just one telephone number to remember and can access a greater range of services.

We are determined to reach out to different groups of carers and tailor our support to the diverse communities in the city. We run many bespoke carers services, you can find out more here.

Lisa Weaks, Head of Third Sector at The King’s Fund, said: ‘As more and more people take on caring responsibilities, organisations like Carers Leeds provide crucial support.

‘Carers Leeds has demonstrated excellent leadership in developing new and improved approaches to meeting the needs of carers. By becoming the single point of access for carers in Leeds, it’s helping people navigate a complex system and receive the advice and support they need. It’s a very impressive accomplishment.’

Val Hewison, Chief Executive of Carers Leeds, said: ‘We’re all extremely proud of our success and the recognition the GSK IMPACT Award brings to our work supporting carers.

‘This achievement has been possible only because of the fantastic team at Carers Leeds, who are committed to supporting people who use our services. We’re determined to keep growing and developing our support to make things better for carers. Winning the GSK IMPACT Award will spur us on even further.’

Developing leaders in the charity sector is an important aim of the GSK IMPACT Awards programme, which has now been running for 20 years, and Carers Leeds will have access to training and leadership development tailored to its needs. It will also be invited to join the GSK IMPACT Awards Network, a national network of more than 70 award-winning health and wellbeing charities working together to develop their leaders, find new ways of working and support others.