We’re thrilled to have been announced as a winner of the GSK Impact Awards 2016. The Award, run in partnership with The King’s Fund, recognises excellence in charities improving health and wellbeing in their communities. London Friend is the only LGBT charity amongst this year’s ten winners.
The Award particularly highlights our work on chemsex, a significant emerging health issue mainly affecting gay and bisexual men. It recognises the work we have done to develop services such as our SWAP intensive therapeutic programme, and also the work we have done to improve the knowledge and competence of healthcare professionals and policy makers working with chemsex. The judges also commended our volunteering programme and our use of our building to enable other LGBT groups to meet.
The prize comes with £30,000 in unrestricted funding, as well as access to a leadership development programme and the GSK Impact Awards Network of 66 other charities. The Award will be presented at a ceremony held at the Science Museum in London on Thursday 12 May, along with nine other winners. An overall winner, which will receive a further £10,000, will be revealed on the night.
Lisa Weaks, Third Sector Programme Manager of The King's Fund, said: ‘London Friend is an impressive charity. It has led the way in identifying 'chemsex' as a health issue and identifying and developing solutions. It is one of the oldest LGBT charities in the United Kingdom but it has continued to evolve over time, responding to the changing needs of its community and services users. This is a well-deserved award.'
Monty Moncrieff, Chief Executive of London Friend, said: ‘We’re thrilled to win a GSK IMPACT Award and delighted that the hard work and dedication of our volunteers and staff team supporting LGBT people has been recognised in this way. Chemsex has emerged as a significant issue affecting gay and bisexual men’s physical and mental health and our Antidote service has adapted to address this very current need, while London Friend has retained the coming-out and counselling support for LGBT people we have been known for over 40 years.’