Practice makes Perfect

Karen Leigh, CEO of Sensational Kids “We are an organisation that very much values making an IMPACT and the GSK Ireland Impact Award is a badge of honour that we will wear with pride”

Karen Leigh, CEO of Sensational Kids explains how having been a runner-up in 2015 gave them the drive to put everyrhing in their 2016 application, and why she’s so glad it paid off.

As a runner up in the 2015 GSK Ireland Impact Awards we were determined to enter again in 2016 and try our hand at eventual success! Last year’s winners were hugely inspiring, and the awards themselves throughout the whole process were a positive experience so we thought we were nearly there last year, why not try again? There is a good fit between the values of the award and our organisation - it made us really want to shine through the application process this year and succeed.

Not all awards are the same, and some take less time than others to apply for but to us, this award was worth taking the time to go through. The awards are thorough, and so require you to be meticulous in detailing the management, processes, policies, governance, values and social impact you have made as an organisation throughout each application stage. Once you get through this stage, your entry is assessed and presented to the judging panel.

We knew the process was quite tough, from entering the previous year, and we were aware that the judging panel also put a lot of time and effort into the section of winners. Our aim was to make sure we put all our strengths on paper that the judges had no option but to take the time to understand the impact that Sensation Kids makes and then we would stand a winning chance!

I will admit it felt like a long summer waiting to hear how we fared! When we heard we were successful and were one of the winners of this year’s GSK Ireland IMPACT Award, we were absolutely thrilled!

There are so many positive aspects to winning a GSK IMPACT award that are hugely important and beneficial to a young charity like us. The award provides recognition and reward for our team, from reception to therapist, who put so much work into supporting children at Sensational Kids.

The win was all the sweeter this year, as we had come so close in 2015. As the awards are so highly competitive, with such a thorough assessment and judging process, it made the win, and validation of our efforts in entering, event more meaningful.

Last year’s application we knew the process was quite tough, and we were aware that the judging panel put a lot of time and effort into the section of winners. We knew that if we could put our strengths on paper and ensure that the judges would take the time to understand the impact that Sensation Kids makes....we would stand a winning chance.

Obviously the financial reward is important to us -  as a growing charity we have plans to scale our impact, including hiring additional staff and eventually moving to a larger location in our plans to help more families and children. The win will be a huge help to achieve this objective and boost our fundraising efforts. It will help us to improve our profile nationally and leave us with a lasting legacy through the photography and video footage that we will use for many years to come to help spread the word about Sensational Kids. These are things that we would otherwise not be able to afford, particularly at the level of quality that GSK Ireland invested in.

It was an amazing experience for the whole staff at Sensational Kids to experience a day of filming. As a charity, we are always tight on budget, time and resources so to spend the day speaking to camera about what we do, showcasing this live on our premises, detailing how we offer our services via imagery and bringing real colour to our organisation with our own words was hugely empowering. It was extremely professional and such a fun day spent with the film crew, along with and some of our Sensational Kids, who benefit from our services, who kindly offered their time for filming.

We could see the time, effort and background research that went into the production and that GSK Ireland really understood and saw the value of this exercise event by gifting this as part of their winner’s award.  It’s something that will last in our memories for a long time and was hugely uplifting for the team. It will be a valuable communication resource to last a lifetime and I can’t wait to show it to all our sensational kids and their families! 

The GSK Ireland Impact Award is a badge of honour that we will wear with pride.

Having somebody from GSK Ireland visit us on the day of the filming was a refreshing also. It was obvious that these awards are more than a tick-box exercise in a corporate CSR policy. I really can’t praise the team at GSK Ireland enough. It has been a very enjoyable and refreshing experience for us to come across a company that puts so much thought and expertise into their social impact and it really is making a positive difference where it’s needed. This was something that really shone through to us about these awards and sets them apart.

We are an organisation that very much values making an IMPACT and the GSK Ireland Impact Award is a badge of honour that we will wear with pride. Making a meaningful difference to the health and welfare of those most in need in our communities is something we are really proud of, and the hope is that with a GSK Ireland IMPACT award win we boost our offering, reach more children and grow even bigger and better in 2017!

Sensational Kids provides affordable and accessible child development services, such as speech and language therapy and occupational therapy, for children of all abilities including those with special needs and other developmental delays.

www.sensationalkids.ie