Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

0113 240 2444

Crown Point House,
167-169 Cross Green Lane,
Leeds LS9 0BD

We've won a 2018 GSK/Kings Fund Impact Award!

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  May 24, 2018 |

We are incredibly proud to share our delight at being one of the 2018 GSK/Kings Fund Impact Award winners.  To achieve this we have undergone incredibly detailed examination which was tough, but actually really useful and rewarding especially when we realised we had beaten 350 other applicants to be among the final eight winners.  It’s really great to know that the ‘nuts and bolts’ behind the scenes of what we do has withstood such scrutiny and come out on top.

So we have a lovely award on the shelf in the office and a lovely unrestricted £30,000 in the bank.  Apart from that what does winning the award mean for us practically?  We are planning three things for the money – a small amount to help with our 15th Birthday party in the Autumn; a contribution to some further building updates; and the rest will go straight into our reserve account or ‘rainy day fund’ which ensures that the organisation could survive a dip in funding, or could be wound up safely and effectively should that ever be necessary.  So, apart from the party, vitally important but not very glamorous.  Never mind, the award ceremony itself was quite enough glamour for now!

Former winners say “winning brings so much more to our organisation than simply the money”, but frankly an unrestricted £30,000 is so utterly delightful that you don’t, at first, believe them.  What else could be so lovely?!  Prior to the ceremony on the 17th May our organisation CEO and DCEO, Helen and Ellie, were invited to participate at three days ‘development training’ at the Kings Fund in London.  Here’s Ellie on the impact of the training, “I have returned to work following our GSK Impact training feeling revived and motivated. I have spent time reflecting on my practice, our organisations strengths and areas for improvement and most importantly I have had the opportunity to hang out with some inspirational leaders from cutting edge charities across the UK. From them I have learnt so much and it is reassuring to know the challenges we all face are very similar and to have a collective response to those challenges which acknowledges the climate of austerity and increasing poverty that all of our organisations have managed to not just survive but thrive in. This is an astounding achievement for us all. More than anything else I have come back to my desk at GATE with confidence, confidence in our values, our mission, our organisational structure - confidence in our staff, our projects and our practice and confidence in myself. We’re definitely on the up, what an exciting time to be involved in the ever wonderful Leeds GATE!”

The ceremony was really fun.  Helen managed to find herself talking to Sir Chris Ham, the CEO of the Kings Fund and made good use of the opportunity to further promote the fantastic work the organisation is doing to improve Gypsy and Traveller people’s health.  He even got his notebook out and wrote some of it down.  This is just a little indication of how the award is going to help us to amplify and project our important messages to some seriously influential people.

How often would you get to do a 'loo selfy' with the GSK award!
Ellie and Sharon take a 'ladies loo selfy' with our GSK award!

We couldn’t have won this award without all the hard work within Leeds GATE, or without the help and support of brilliant colleagues outside the organisation.  We want to say a particular thank you to Olivia Butterworth and Dr Mary Tilki, who provided our references, for their ongoing and really welcome support for our work.  We also want to recognise every action, large and small, by our Gypsy Traveller membership who have taken part in building the multi-award winning organisation that Leeds GATE now is.  Our Chair Elizabeth who joined Helen to accept the award said “I am so proud to be part of the team at Leeds GATE and want to say a huge thanks to all the Board members past and present for their work that has brought us to this staggering achievement”.

In accepting the award Helen said this – “With this award we are at the beginning of a journey into a future where Gypsy and Traveller people are no longer seen as a problem, but where they are recognised as being at the leading edge of the solution”. Buckle up everyone, it’s going to be a really exciting ride!

 

The final winners were

  • Birchwood Centre – providing support and accommodation for vulnerable young people who are homeless or in housing need in Skelmersdale, West Lancashire
  • Birmingham LGBT – providing a wide range of health and wellbeing services for LGBT people in Birmingham  
  • Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange – improving the quality of life of the Gypsy and Traveller community in and around Leeds
  • RSVP (Rape and Sexual Violence Project) – offering support to adults and children in Birmingham and Solihull affected by sexual violence and abuse
  • Seaview Project – improving the quality of life for homeless and insecurely housed people in Hastings and St Leonards, East Sussex
  • Sickle Cell Society – supporting and representing people affected by sickle cell disorder, and their families, to improve their quality of life
  • Unseen – working towards a world without slavery through supporting survivors and vulnerable people
  • WILD Young Parents Project, a charity supporting young parents in Cornwall to make healthy, safe and happy choices for them and their children, was named as the overall winner. As the overall winner, WILD has received an additional £10,000 in funding.

Congratulations to all the winners especially the WILD young parents project who were absolutely fabulous! 

You can see the film made by Toucan Productions to celebrate our win here

Next article: "Job Opportunity - Advocate"