Third Sector Excellence Awards: Corporate Partnership

Joint winners Help the Hospices and KPMG, and Ulster Cancer Foundation and Clarins Northern Ireland, both demonstrate imaginatively how professional skills can be used to meet the needs of beneficiaries.

Ulster Cancer Foundation and Clarins Northern Ireland
Ulster Cancer Foundation and Clarins Northern Ireland

For an agreement between a voluntary organisation and a business that has demonstrated strong mutual benefits

Judging panel:

Simon Blake, chief executive, Brook
John Graham, finance director, Royal British Legion
Deborah Scott, corporate partnerships executive, RNIB

Asthma UK and Morrisons
Help the Hospices and KPMG
Leonard Cheshire Disability and Barclays
Riding for the Disabled Foundation and Fort Dodge Animal Health
TreeHouse and Arsenal Football Club
Ulster Cancer Foundation and Clarins Northern Ireland

Joint winners: Help the Hospices and KPMG; Ulster Cancer Foundation and Clarins Northern Ireland

The judges found it so hard to make a final choice they took the unusual step of naming two joint winners. The main difference between the two partnerships is that one is national and one is local. The judges wanted to make the point that corporate partnerships can work well on any scale.

One of them, Simon Blake, said: "These winners show how corporate partnerships come in all shapes and sizes. What makes them excellent is their use of professional people's skills to meet the needs of those they work with."

Winner: national partnership
The 22 UK offices of business advice company KPMG have worked with Help the Hospices since 2006 on activities such as volunteering to decorate hospices, payroll giving and a fundraising challenge in Sri Lanka.

The money raised reached £1m in September, but the partnership has gone much further than fundraising: KPMG staff have used their skills to provide environmental audits and free VAT advice for hospices.

Winner: local partnership
Cosmetics company Clarins had previously supplied beauty products for a scheme partly organised by the Ulster Cancer Foundation, in which cancer patients were given ‘pampering time' while in hospital. The purpose was to help patients deal with the loss of self-value and the negative body image that can result from the physical side-effects of cancer treatments, such as hair loss.

When one patient mentioned on local radio there was a long waiting list for the service, the two organisations looked at how they could improve matters. The result was Beauty for Life. Patients come to the UCF service centre in Belfast, where they can meet others with cancer and have beauty treatments. During the first year, 145 women attended the scheme and there are now plans to appoint a full-time Clarins beauty therapist.

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