Media Release: Julia’s House Voted Third Sector Best Employer

Poole, Dorset - Monday 19 October, 2009; Dorset children’s hospice Julia’s House was recently recognised as having one of the UK charity sector’s leading management teams with the coveted title of Best Employer at the prestigious Third Sector Excellence Awards.

Just how much staff love working at the charity became clearly evident in a recent anonymous poll of its 110 employees in which 94 per cent said Julia’s House was either a good or excellent employer while more than half, 57 per cent, rated the organisation as excellent. Almost all staff said that they would recommend working for the charity to a friend. Unsurprisingly, that astonishing level of feedback grabbed the attention of the Third Sector Excellence Awards judges, who rated Julia’s House as ‘exceptional, stunning and determined to go the extra mile’ for their staff. Julia’s House has strived to ensure that all of their employees feel valued and supported while caring for children in Dorset who are unlikely to reach adulthood. The Employee Assistance Programme, established to help staff facing stress at work or personal difficulties, offers an array of benefits including face-to-face counselling while flexible working and access to free therapies such as massage, aromatherapy and Pilates, is also available. The Third Sector Excellence Awards recognise innovation and outstanding achievement in the hugely rewarding sector for registered charities, not-for-profits, social enterprises and campaigning groups. The Best Employer Award is for the voluntary organisation that makes the best use of policies and practice to create a satisfied and productive workforce. Julia’s House fought off fierce competition to take the coveted title in the category that named Water Aid among the finalists. Of Julia’s House, Awards judge Amanda Falkson, Coach and Psychotherapist at Psychotherapy City, said; “I love it that emotional intelligence is incorporated and that the employee assistance programme is available not only to staff but to their families as well.” Consultant Valerie Morton added; “To have 94 per cent of staff saying they would recommend Julia’s House as an employer to a friend is not only inevitable but truly astonishing. It has a real commitment to staff welfare, wellbeing and development.” The Third Sector Best Employer Award is the latest accolade bestowed on the charity which was ranked 14th overall in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Small Companies to Work For 2009. It also received the maximum Three Star rating by Best Companies this year, which recognised the hospice’s excellent workforce engagement and management as ‘extraordinary’, placing Julia’s House as the highest ranked organisation in Dorset and the top children’s charity in the UK. The hospice also secured the Dorset Business Award for Best Management Team in 2007. So respected is the management ethos of Julia’s House that the charity is one of only 20 private or charity sector organisations invited to contribute to a Whitehall report on Transformational Leadership, for Lord Mandelson’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. Martin Edwards, Julia’s House Chief Executive, who collected the Best Employer Award along with HR Manager Di de Souza, at the dinner and ceremony at Grosvenor House on Thursday 24 September, commented: “Looking after children who will not live long lives can be incredibly rewarding, but enormously stressful too. So we support each other, we laugh and cry together, and we do all that we can to work as a team. I always say to our staff that the quality of our care for the children depends on how well we look after each other. It’s the only way we can continue to do it day after day and year after year.” With only three per cent of the £2.4 million it costs to run Julia’s House met by the government, the charity relies on public and corporate donations to help sick children in Dorset, the majority of which are unlikely to reach their 18th birthday. Julia’s House will continue to strive in business excellence, not just to attract vital corporate backing, but to support the staff without whom it would be impossible to provide the outstanding level of assistance to the children and families it cares for. -Ends- Notes to Editors Julia’s House is Dorset’s hospice dedicated to children with life-limiting conditions. The majority of the children that it cares for are unlikely to live into adulthood (defined as beyond the age of 18). The children’s hospice complements the work of the Julia’s House Community Team, which consists of 65 nurses and carers who travel the county, providing life-changing support for families in their own homes. In 2008 the charity provided 7,318 hours of care in the community and 5,170 hours of care at the hospice in Corfe Mullen, equating to an overall 65% increase in the care hours compared with the previous year. It costs around £2.4m to run Julia’s House, yet the charity receives just three per cent of its total annual funding from the government. The rest of the charity’s essential income is raised through the generosity of the Dorset community, corporate partners and charitable foundations. For more information about Julia’s House, please contact 01202 607400 or visit www.juliashouse.org Julia’s House Media Contact: Emma Spearing, Hazel PR Tel: +44 (0)1202 862410 Mobile: +44 (0)7736 341828 Email:emma.spearing@hazelpr.com

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