Merseyside's Sahir House
named among UK's top community health charities
A charity providing HIV support,
information and training across Merseyside has won a prestigious national award.
Sahir House has beaten more than 400 organisations from all over the UK to be
one of the 10 winners of the 2017 GSK IMPACT Awards, a national award that
recognises excellence in charities improving health and wellbeing in their
communities. The charity will receive ₤30,000 in funding as part of its prize,
as well as expert support and development from:- 'The King's Fund.'
Established in 1985 and based in Liverpool City Centre, Sahir House runs a range
of services including advocacy, advice on housing and welfare benefits, and
counselling and psychotherapy for those living with, affected by or at risk of
HIV. It also delivers training to:- schools, community groups, public bodies and
companies to help improve understanding of HIV. A short film can be seen
here about why Sahir House was chosen
The charity has shown how it successfully adapts its approach so that it keeps
meeting the changing health and wellbeing needs of people living with HIV.
Following concerns expressed by older people living with HIV that they may
encounter discrimination if they moved into a care home, Sahir House developed a
specialist training course that has been delivered to staff in 38 residential
and nursing homes.
Sahir House proactively targets people from black and minority ethnic (BME)
backgrounds, working successfully with local BME community groups. It also
provides support to asylum seekers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or
transgender; the only organisation doing this in the area.
There are more people living with HIV in the
UK than ever before. More than 100,000 people live with the condition and 88,769
access HIV care services; a number that has doubled over the past decade. The
life expectancy of people living with HIV has improved dramatically, although
the condition can have a severe impact on physical and mental health. There also
remain many misunderstandings about HIV, with a survey suggesting only 45% of
the public know how HIV is transmitted. Poor knowledge of HIV increases the risk
of transmission and can also feed into prejudice and stigma.
Lisa Weaks, Head of Third Sector at The King's
Fund, said:- "Sahir House is a dynamic charity that shapes its services
around the changing needs of people living with HIV in Merseyside. Through its
innovative projects and commitment to reaching the people that most need its
support, it moves into spaces where no one else is working. Sahir House does
fantastic work in raising awareness of HIV issues and improving public
understanding of the condition. This is so important both for combatting stigma
and for helping to reduce HIV transmission."
Tommy McIlravey, Chief Executive of Sahir House, said:- "Winning a GSK
IMPACT Award is a massive accolade for everyone involved in Sahir House. This
award programme is unique in recognising the work of smaller charities having a
large impact on community health and wellbeing. We couldn't achieve all that we
do without our dedicated volunteers, supporters, and staff; this is such a
wonderful boost to all of them."
Developing leaders in the charity sector is an important aim of the GSK IMPACT
Awards programme, which has now been running for 20 years, and Sahir House will
have access to training and leadership development tailored to its needs. It
will also be invited to join the GSK IMPACT Awards Network, a national network
of more than 70 award winning health and wellbeing charities working together to
develop their leaders, find new ways of working and support others. Sahir House
will receive its prize at a ceremony held at the Science Museum in London, on
Thursday, 18 May 2017, along with nine other GSK IMPACT Award winners.