Third Sector Awards 2019: Small Charity, Big Achiever - The Children's Sleep Charity

Awarded to an organisation with an income of less than £500,000 a year that has made a significant impact with its work

Category sponsored by Ansvar

What are its aims?

The Children's Sleep Charity is dedicated to providing vital support to all families of children with sleep issues in the country, in order to improve their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. It was set up by sleep-deprived mum Vicki Dawson, whose initial goal was to prevent just one family from having to experience the devastating impact of sleep deprivation that she had faced herself.

What is its approach?

In order to reach as many families as possible on limited resources, the charity has developed an accredited training programme for professionals who can offer support in their local areas. The training is accessed by more than 100 professionals every year. The charity has also raised awareness about the importance of sleep for wellbeing through partnerships with key brands such as Netmums and Shaun the Sheep, and via an annual Sleep Week.

Developing relationships with Sheffield Children's Hospital's sleep team and Sheffield City Council has enabled the charity to demonstrate the effectiveness of its methods. Its work is innovative and evidence-based, which has resulted in the charity providing consultation support to organisations in Canada and Russia over the past few months. 

Why did it win?

Despite being a small organisation with just two full-time and three part-time staff, the charity is reaching more than 30,000 families each year. Research by the Sheffield Children’s Hospital showed that children taking part in the programme gained an additional 2.4 hours sleep a night. A follow-up showed that children were continuing to sleep for longer than before six months later. One hundred per cent of carers said they would recommend the programme and parental wellbeing increased consistently.


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