Business Charity Awards: Business of the Year - AstraZeneca

For a business that has excelled in helping the wider community by embedding a culture of supporting charitable causes at all levels

The Young Health Programme
The Young Health Programme

What is the project?

AstraZeneca and Plan International UK’s Young Health Programme focuses on the prevention of non-communicable diseases across 16 countries by empowering young people with information about healthy lifestyles.

The programme has three pillars: research, advocacy and front-line work, often undertaken by peer educators. Its work often focuses on marginalised groups, from street children in Hamburg to young people in Kenyan slums. The programme works to tackle underlying issues such as low self-esteem, as well as addressing a lack of knowledge about non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

What did the company do?

Over the course of the partnership 40,359 AstraZeneca staff have volunteered to support the Young Health Programme – 976 in 2018. AstraZeneca contributes its expertise, including local market knowledge, analytics, management and delivery, and advocacy support. Local AstraZeneca colleagues help get local politicians and media involved. For a recent event in Brazil, for example, Plan International arranged the logistics and AstraZeneca made sure that the local mayor attended.

What has it achieved?

Three million young people have accessed health information, including 333,519 in 2018. Overall, 50,195 peer educators and 18,591 health providers have been trained (4,048 and 1,558 respectively in 2018).

What did the judges say?

"A very impressive and complex health project tackling deeply systemic issues," said Fozia Irfan, chief executive at the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation. "This is an international, multi-faceted programme, using academic knowledge, distributive partnerships and volunteers to try to bring about profound preventive change."

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