Seven things we did in 2016 that we’re rather proud of

Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive, Guy's and St Thomas' Charity

At Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity we’re hugely fortunate to get to do what we do. So, as December is the internationally recognised month of lists, I thought I’d share with you seven things we’re rather proud about this year. I hope that some of them are of interest, and might inspire you to work with us in 2017.


1. Backing some brilliant new approaches to health: we awarded over 65 grants to tackle issues affecting our communities including loneliness in older men, poor urban planning, bulimia and self-harm, as well as ideas to advance research in genetics, cancer and online health communities

2. An amazing new Cancer Centre: in September, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust opened a new £160m Cancer Centre, built with our support. The Cancer Centre at Guy’s brings together most treatment and research under one roof, when previously care was provided across 13 different locations

3. Helping the 190,000 children of Lambeth and Southwark: in August we supported a major new initiative called the Children and Young People’s Health Partnership. This effort to combine primary, community and acute services will help children get the best care possible for both everyday health needs and for long-term conditions

4. Sharing what works: in November we created a new knowledge hub on our website to share some of what we’re finding in our work. For example, looking at health outside the lens of healthcare, what’s really involved in integrating services, and the complex art of involving people in health innovation

5. Nurturing some exceptional digital entrepreneurs: in June we opened Health Foundry, the first co-working space in England dedicated exclusively to digital health. We supported many more digital health entrepreneurs through new partnerships with Bethnal Green Ventures and Nesta Impact Investments.

6. Ground-breaking work in the arts: in February we partnered with Aesop to hold the first ever national showcase of arts in health. We backed some trailblazing projects looking at mental health and were delighted to see our social enterprise spin-out, Breathe, win a national NHS Innovation Award

7. Promoting our values: in July we became certified as a Living Wage Employer. And, consistent with the change we'd like to see in the world, we also took practical steps as to how we can become healthier and more active!

I suspect what we’re proud about says a few things about us. First, that we’re ambitious. At our best we’re tackling major health issues not only relevant to Lambeth and Southwark (two of the UK’s most diverse and deprived boroughs) but to other big cities around the world. Second, that we’re inventive. We’re deeply interested in the question of how charities like ours can have the biggest impact, and are up for trying new tools and approaches to achieve that. And third, that we’re lucky to work with the most amazing set of partners – key amongst them Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

If all of that sounds attractive to you – fantastic. Next year we start a new five-year strategic plan, focused on making an even greater impact on the major healthcare challenges in Lambeth and Southwark. We’d love for you to be part of that. Until then, and from everyone at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, all best for the holiday season.

PS. If you want to keep tabs with our work in 2017, sign up for our bimonthly e-bulletin here.

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