Staff engagement at KPMG was recently recognised at the Allianz Business to Arts Awards when the firm received the award for Best Creative Staff Engagement for its work with St. Michael’s House in Dublin.
KPMG worked with St. Michael’s House to create a series of multi-sensory stories for children with intellectual disabilities. Each story is just seven sentences in length, with each sentence involving a different sensory experience reinforced by a colourful item associated with it – all contained within unique ‘story boxes’.
Accepting the award at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Karina Howley, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at KPMG said: ‘We are delighted to accept this award tonight and see our partnership with St. Michael’s House being recognised. The concept behind ‘Multi-Sensory Stories’ was to create a series of short stories for the children at St. Michael’s House based around imagination, learning and the development of sensory awareness. Our staff loved the opportunity to get involved in a hands-on project using their creative skills to write the stories, find the appropriate sensory items to bring the story to life and help with the packaging of the stories into story boxes. They had the chance to really make a positive impact on children’s lives.’
KPMG has built a strong relationship with St. Michael’s House over the last few years with hundreds of staff volunteering for activities including organising sports days, painting murals at a school, doing painting and gardening events in addition to its involvement with this educational project with St. Michael’s House library.
Commenting on the project, Barbara Wiseman, head of fundraising at St. Michael’s House, said: ‘Multi-sensory stories provide a way for children with complex needs who cannot benefit from mainstream books to participate in story-telling. It really helps improve their sensory development and awareness. We have instances where a child may not have been able to make eye contact or lift a hand and can now do these small things. These are huge steps for the children and KPMG’s support has been highly valuable.’
The Allianz Business to Arts Awards recognise businesses, artists and arts organisations that develop creative partnerships and bring the arts and artists into mutually beneficial relationships across society.
Speaking at the announcement of the winners, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD said: ‘The Allianz Business to Arts Awards provide a valuable showcase for the types of relationships that can be fostered to the mutual benefit of the business and arts sectors and ultimately society as a whole. They allow us to acknowledge and celebrate our country’s fantastic talents, their stories, their successes and their passion for art in all of its forms. The creativity of the short-listed projects is plain for all to see. Creativity is necessary to both the arts and successful enterprise. It allows us to view things in new ways or from a different perspective, and aids more fundamental qualities of thinking, such as flexibility, tolerance of ambiguity or unpredictability, and the enjoyment of things heretofore unknown.’