“Truly transformational and truly inspiring” – iSightCornwall wins ‘best third sector business’ award at Cornwall’s annual business awards in April.
(The photo above shows Gregg Wallace from Masterchef on the left who is standing beside Terri holding the award who is next to Carole, both are from iSightCornwall and on the far right is Peter Wroe who is the Board Director of Eden Project Ltd who sponsored the award)
Huge congratulations go out to Visionary member iSightCornwall who in April picked up Cornwall’s prestigious ‘best third sector business’ award.
The award brings with it an ever-rising reputation for the charity within the Cornwall’s business community as it seeks to extend its services to provide accessibility training and advice to local businesses.
“There are a lot of businesses in Cornwall that work in the tourism industry”, explains Terri Rosnau-Ward, iSightCornwall’s Chief Executive, “and we’ve started offering them bespoke support to help make their attractions as accessible as possible for people with visual impairment”.
Established 162 years ago as a charity supporting around 500 Cornish miners suffering sight loss from mining accidents, the charity has constantly reinvented itself to maintain relevance for the 21st century. As well as its new work with local businesses, the organisation has also, in collaboration with the NHS, set up Cornwall’s first ECLO (Eye Clinic Liaison Officer). This, Terri says, has been a hugely popular new service.
“In 2015 we asked our clients to complete a survey to help us understand their needs better. In response, as well as the ECLO we also set up a community outreach service to help prevent isolation in a county that is not well known for its great transport infrastructure! Both services are proving to be extremely popular.”
It was both this impact and adaptability that was instrumental in winning the business award.
Speaking about iSightCornwall, one of the panel judges, Peter Steward from the Eden project, described the organisation as “truly transformational and truly inspiring” in its ability to add impact and continue to adapt.
“With history and heritage also sometimes comes stuffiness. But what iSightCornwall has been able to do is completely reinvent that and make what they do totally relevant and appropriate for the 21st century.”
And exciting times in 2018 following award success as the organisation will no doubt continue reinventing itself to fulfill the needs of its VI community.
Member to Member Top Tips
We asked Carole Theobald, iSightCornwall’s Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Executive if she had any words of wisdom for other Visionary members who might be thinking about whether it’s worth the time and effort applying for such award. This is what she had to say.
Why put yourself forward?
- It’ll boost your credibility, trust and loyalty with customers, volunteers, funders and partners
- You’ll raise your profile – even getting to the shortlist! Numerous mentions across media platforms, which will help to endorse your expertise
- It improves employee morale – the efforts of the entire team put you able to be deserving of an award
- It’s an opportunity to reflect – celebrate achievements or review progress and importantly benchmark yourself
- And connect with others – you’ll build new connections that could help you expand your reach and might lead to productive partnership opportunities.
And it’s one of the most cost-effective ways of achieving great, far-reaching PR!
Top tips for the process
Put in the effort and make the time to do yourself justice. Gather the evidence and then get someone with good communications skills to craft the submission.
Tell a great story and focus on the message
Show your personality, and what makes you unique. Write in a way that takes the reader on a journey that allows them to truly understand where you have come from, and what you have achieved.
Once you’ve written your initial answers – go back and focus the main message. Are there unnecessary words in there? Can you simplify the language to be easier to read? Have you included enough statistics, testimonials or proof backing up your answer? Is the overall theme of your answer consistent with what is being asked? Make sure you hone your message.
CEO: Terri Rosnau-Ward
Number of staff: 13
Funding: 91% donation-based
Services: accessibility support for business, funds Cornwall’s first ECLO, Community outreach, clubs and activities, benefits adviser, low vision clinics, assistive technology, hospital information desk, everyday living
Reach: Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
Number of VI individuals in region: 22,000
Supporting on average: 4-5,000 VI individuals annually