Wednesday 18 March 2015 at 09:20

Local charity wins national award for fighting young people taking up smoking


Cut Films, part of the Deborah Hutton Campaign, has won a GSK IMPACT Award* for its work to prevent smoking among young people. The Islington-based charity beat more than 350 organisations to win the accolade, which recognises excellence in work on health and wellbeing.

An estimated 200,000 children start smoking in the UK each year. The majority of adult smokers started while young, with 80 per cent starting before the age of 20. Early uptake is associated with higher dependency, heavier smoking and higher mortality.  Smoking is the main cause of preventable deaths in the UK and costs the NHS around £2.7 billion annually.

The Cut Films Project engages young people in the issue of smoking through interactive filmmaking workshops, made in schools and youth centres. The resulting films are submitted for national and local prizes in competitions which encourage  participants to share their films with peers who are asked to vote for the winners.  Social media campaigns for the competitions support peer-to-peer education among young people about the dangers of smoking. The Cut Films Project is supported by a youth panel, made of up of 40 competition participants, who are particularly active in highlighting the dangers of smoking. Last year the Cut Films Project engaged more than 4,000 young people and over 100 teachers or youth workers across the UK, making 352 films and holding 379 workshops and assemblies.

The GSK IMPACT Awards, in partnership with The King’s Fund are designed to recognise the outstanding work of community-based health and wellbeingcharities. In addition to the recognition and £30,000 of unrestricted funding provided by the award, Deborah Hutton Campaign will have access to training and development managed by The King’s Fund, estimated to be worth a further £6,000. They will also be invited to also join the GSK IMPACT Awards Network. This is a unique learning network supporting more than 60 award winning charities to develop their leaders, share and learn from each other’s experiences and expertise, and build the recognition of their significant and vital contribution to their communities.

The Cut Films Project will receive their prize at a ceremony held at the Science Museum in London on Thursday 14th May, along with nine other winners. An overall winner, who will receive a further £10,000, will be revealed on the night.

Katie Pinnock, Director, UK & Ireland Charitable Partnerships at GSK said:
‘It can be hard for young people to fully understand the dangers of smoking. This project shows real innovation in tackling this difficult issue, using film making to encourage young people to identify their own reasons not to smoke and explain it to their friends. The work it does in schools is particularly effective – it speaks a language young people can understand and relate to. Its reach is impressive - what the charity achieves for its small size is fantastic!’ 

Emma Wrafter, Director of The Deborah Hutton Campaign and Cut Films said:
‘We are so incredibly proud to receive a GSK Impact Award for our early intervention work with young people.  Smoking costs the NHS an estimated £2.7 billion a year so we work directly with schools, youth groups and our youth panels to give those young people the skills and knowledge to not take up smoking in the first place through a very cost effective project. Our innovative peer-to-peer approach combined with the filmmaking process empowers young people to persuade their friends not to try tobacco in an incredibly engaging way while also developing new skills.  The award will help us to support many more young people across the UK and develop our vision to create a smokefree generation. ’

A judging panel of health and charity experts who chose the winners included broadcast journalist Fiona Phillips; Gilly Green, Head of UK Grants at Comic Relief; Sir Christopher Gent, Chair of GSK, and Sir Chris Kelly, Chair of The King’s Fund.

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