Posted: 29.04.21 at 11:48 by Tim Lethaby
A Shepton Mallet charity has won a major national award for its work improving the lives of people with eating disorders.
Following a rigorous selection and assessment process, the Somerset and Wessex Eating Disorders Association (SWEDA) 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 a cash prize in unrestricted funding as well as expert support and leadership development provided by leading health and care charity, the King’s Fund.
The Covid-19 pandemic has driven an increase in the number of people who need support from local charities, while also making it harder to deliver services and raise much needed funds.
Despite the pandemic SWEDA, which is based in Park Road, Shepton Mallet, has continued to offer support to people with eating disorders across Somerset.
Katie Pinnock, director of UK charitable partnerships at GSK, said: "The 2021 GSK IMPACT Award recognises SWEDA’s significant impact in the community and its commitment to supporting people with eating disorders in Somerset.
"Developing leaders in the charity sector is a key aim of the GSK IMPACT Awards programme and all winners are invited to build on their success and take part in a tailored leadership development programme run by the King’s Fund.
"SWEDA will also be invited to join the GSK IMPACT Awards Network, a UK-wide network of more than 95 previous award winners who work together to develop leaders, find new ways of working and provide mutual support.
Paula Blight, chief executive of SWEDA, said: "SWEDA is delighted to have received recognition for all its hard work through one of the most challenging periods in our’s history.
"Lockdown enabled us to innovate, change our approach and adapt so that we could continue to support the people affected by eating disorders who needed it most.
"When you work for a charity such as SWEDA, with often real life and death consequences - eating disorders have the highest death rate in mental health - it’s such a great pleasure that all our hard work has been recognised. The whole SWEDA Team is honoured to be part of the GSK Impact Awards."