The founder of a charity that provides perinatal mental health support says she’s thrilled to win a major national award.
Our member Miriam Donaghy, who set up and is chief executive of MumsAid, an organisational member of BACP, hopes that winning this year’s GSK Impact Award will help develop the charity’s services.
MumsAid, based in Greenwich, was chosen from more than 350 UK charities as the overall winner of the GSK Impact Award at a ceremony in central London on Tuesday.
It will receive £40,000 in unrestricted funding and a package of leadership development support provided by health and care charity The King’s Fund, which oversaw the awards.
A further nine organisations have been awarded £30,000 and a package of leadership development support their outstanding contributions to improving the UK’s health and wellbeing.
They included six more of our organisational members – Hounslow Youth Counselling Service (HYCS); Nexus NI; Redthread; Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (SARSAS); Somerset and Wessex Eating Disorder Association (SWEDA); and Streetwise Young People's Project.
“It’s great for the organisation,” said Miriam. “We’re thrilled. I’m hoping it will help our sustainability, that it will open doors for us to expand."
Miriam added: “I’ve been completing my doctorate and as part of that I’ve written up the model of therapeutic intervention we use, which we’d like to offer as a training programme.
“I believe I know what works to help women with perinatal mental health struggles. It’s what I’ve been doing for more than 20 years.
“I’m passionate about women getting excellent services, and I want to train more people to do it in the way I feel is effective.
“Training other therapists will also enable us to generate income for MumsAid so that we’re not in a constant loop of seeking funding.
“I’ll be able to concentrate on the clinical side, on growing the charity, and on having more counsellors rather than having to write funding applications.
“Hopefully this award will raise the profile of our work and help position us better to achieve that.”
Miriam said the charity might look to spend the award money on expanding a pilot ‘out of hours’ text service that MumsAid are now offering to their young mums.
Miriam also paid tribute to the other GSK Impact Award winners, who’ve been together for a series of workshops as part of their prize.
“They’re all great,” she said. “I met some really lovely people from the other charities.
“You’re happy whoever wins because you know everyone is doing amazing work with really important causes.”
Our member Patricia David, head of service at HYCS, which was one of the 10 winners, said it was “wonderful” to have the work of the service recognised.
“We’re absolutely delighted to have been one of the 10 incredible charities to win this great accolade,” said Patricia.
“It feels wonderful to be rewarded and recognised for all of the hard work that the HYCS staff and counsellors have done in supporting the young people of Hounslow Borough, especially over such a difficult period.”
The judges said they were impressed with the impact MumsAid has with its limited resources, supporting more than 300 women and their families every year.
Mental health support
Lisa Weaks, assistant director at The King’s Fund, said: “The charity’s support for pregnant women and new mums in Greenwich and south east London has never been more important than during the past year, when many young families have found themselves cut off from their local communities and usual support.
“Throughout the pandemic, MumsAid has provided invaluable mental health support to new and expectant mothers and their partners, and worked hard to ensure it offers highly accessible and flexible services and reaches everyone who needs them.”
Katie Pinnock, director of UK charitable partnerships at GSK, added: “This relatively small organisation is achieving so much and supporting so many and is still able to demonstrate impressive outcomes for both mother and baby.
“In this current crisis, it’s more important than ever to recognise excellent health and wellbeing charities providing services in such a nurturing and compassionate way.”
Applications are now open for the 2022 GSK IMPACT Awards. The closing date is 5pm on Monday 20 September.
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