Big Award in the Big Smoke!
It was a very excited group of women who met at Newquay Airport early on Thursday morning, so excited in fact, that we nearly had to strap one of them down! The reason for such excitement – it was finally time to go to the Big Smoke for the GSK Impact Awards ceremony. This was the culmination of a lot of hard work, bid writing, meeting with the awards team and of course the days filming at Marazion.
We were expecting to see a very jaded Jo and Ellie who had already been in London for several days for training on arrival, but how wrong could we be? With shouts of ‘Hello Cornwall!’ being shouted across the tree lined streets of Marylebone, we were welcomed animatedly as both Jo and Ellie tried to get a word in edgeways to share how invigorating the training had been. This was obvious from the passion in them as they spoke briefly about the time that they had shared with the 7 other winners of this prestigious award. It was a time in which to share and develop a range of Leadership skills and gain knowledge across a variety of areas specifically developed for the winners. As a small charity, this is an invaluable support and gives a fantastic opportunity to network with other charities in the same position.
After a very quick change and also finding time to write an acceptance speech (thankfully this was something Jo was doing!), we were headed to the Science Museum for the awards ceremony. Although we knew this was going to be a ‘big’ event, when the coach pulled up outside and we joined the throng of people outside, I know I for one was under prepared for just how big it was going to be! As we were ushered inside for drinks and canapes, it was quite magnificent to see how the Science Museum had been transformed to an evening venue fit for the charities who have put in such hard work with the people who deserve it most.
We were over-awed to see the promised banner glowing with the smiling faces of 2 beautiful, strong, young women who attend WILD, as we were directed to the IMAX theatre for the film and awards ceremony.
"We work with some of Cornwall’s bravest families who struggle through the toughest times, yet they always strive for more – and so do we."
As we settled into our seats and took in the 350+ other people around us, I felt very lucky to be part of WILD. Whatever the ‘final’ outcome, we had made it this far! We work with some of Cornwall’s bravest families who struggle through the toughest times, yet they always strive for more – and so do we. That’s what makes WILD an extraordinary place to be for both our young families and staff alike.
As the films started, it was fantastic to really get to grips with what was on offer in other areas of the Country and although they weren’t offering the same service, there were some impressive ways of working that I would really like to explore and am looking forward to having the opportunity to discuss these further.
When the WILD film started to show, emotions were running high. We were completely overwhelmed at how Toucan had put together a film that encompasses perfectly what WILD means to so many of us, and as Jo and Ellie went up to receive the award, we were brimming with elation for each and every person that is part of WILD.
.."the support, training and invaluable monetary prize, means that Cornwall’s young families will benefit even more from what the WILD team can bring to each and every person needing support."
So imagine the emotion as the judges start to describe the overall winner of the award, initially the descriptions could have covered all 8 of the charities but slowly there was a nudge and a whisper along the row ‘I think it might be us?’, ‘Is it actually us?!’ and the utter disbelief as WILD were called out as this year’s overall winner of the GSK Impact award. To be able to walk down and know that we had been recognised nationally for the work that is done throughout Cornwall and all because we love what we do – it still hasn’t quite sunk in but I do know without a doubt that the support, training and invaluable monetary prize, means that Cornwall’s young families will benefit even more from what the WILD team can bring to each and every person needing support.
If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to watch the film, here it is!