Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum wins major charity award

The Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum has won a major national award for its work improving the physical and mental health of people in Derry.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 10:09 am
Families from Old City Close take part in Street Exercises, facilitated by the Brandywell and Bogside Health Forum, on Wednesday afternoon last. DER2220GS - 001

BBHF was chosen from more than 350 charities across the UK as one of the 10 winners of the 2021 GSK IMPACT Awards.

The awards are designed to recognise the outstanding work of small and medium sized charities working to improve health and wellbeing in communities across the UK.

Winners receive £30,000 in unrestricted funding as well as expert support and leadership development provided by leading health and care charity The King’s Fund.

Despite the pandemic, Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum has continued to deliver over 30 services to improve the physical and mental health of local residents.

The charity offers programmes to help people get well and stay well, with services including exercise and social clubs, help to stop smoking, counselling, exercise classes and wellbeing groups.

One aspect of the charity’s work focuses on ‘social prescribing’, an approach that enables GPs, nurses and other healthcare professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services.

Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum also runs several programmes to support young people, particularly in areas with a history of deprivation or community tensions.

These include programmes to help young people and their families to make healthy life choices, boost academic achievement in English and maths, tackle bullying, build self-esteem and support mental health.

The charity also provides counselling services for the whole community and activities for older adults, including programmes to reduce obesity, quit smoking and avoid reliance on alcohol among over-50s.

Aileen McGuinness, General manager at BBHF, said:“We are over the moon to be placed as winners of this very prestigious award and want to recognise all the work that the BBHF staff, facilitators and volunteers do to support the people in our communities. Without their passion to support others we would not be sitting with this award.

“This award would not have been achieved if it were not for the partnership work the BBHF are involved in and our passion for shared learning to improve health and wellbeing. We are looking forward to the learning from the leadership development programme and sharing the leading with all the GSK Impact Award winners.”