Investors in People Awards

Sunbeam Fostering Agency has been accredited by Investors in People since 2013 and we have been proud to represent an organisation where employees are at the core of who they are. Being accredited means that we have a driving force behind our employee’s innovation, retention, and engagement where we can be continuously inspired. We acknowledge that our employees are essential for creating positive outcomes for children therefore it is important to foster an environment where their personal and professional goals can be met. This year we entered the Investors in People awards to showcase our commitment to staff development and highlight our efforts to make work better. Sunbeam was fortunate enough to be nominated for The Award for UK Employer of the Year (50-249 people): Accredited 2023. Our statement which is published on the Investors in People website was as follows:

Why did you enter the Investors in People 2023 Awards?

We entered the awards this year because we have so much to celebrate together and want to share our successes and support the fostering sector by connecting with the wider Investors in People community.

  • We see these awards as a platform to champion our workforce, our foster carers, and young people.
  • This platform encourages us to be ambitious and adaptable while having guidance throughout our journey.
  • We are fortunate to have a team of inspiring employees who sincerely care about the happiness and wellbeing of our children and young people. Our employees are treated equally, rewarded fairly, continuously developed, given the knowledge and skills needed to fulfil their roles, and completely trusted.

Fundamentally, our vision aligns with the Investors in People vision, “Make work better”. We are incredibly proud of our service over the past 20+ years and everything we have accomplished. Success in achieving outcomes for our children and young people is an award in itself. These achievements and successes are the result of our people, and as an organisation, we are committed to their growth, training, and wellbeing. At Sunbeam, we believe in creating an environment that welcomes the rich talent that comes from diversity and celebrates inclusivity. Our values are embedded in our organisational culture, creating a safe place where our employees can become the best versions of themselves both personally and professionally. We motivate one another, work together, and inspire each other daily, and collaboratively, we have built a foundation that has been constructed based on the values of family, respect, and recognition. Everyone has their own background, life experiences, and story to tell, and we value having their voice heard. Although the accomplishments of our employees have been recognised internally, it is advantageous to reiterate the point by establishing a connection with Investors in People and striving for success at the awards. This shortlisting process alone aids in reflection and effective teamwork and extends our appreciation to our employees directly.

What has it meant to you, your team, and your organisation to be shortlisted for an Investors in People 2023 Award?

Being shortlisted is a huge achievement, and the team is already very proud to have received this recognition. Employees feel encouraged and empowered that their efforts have been acknowledged, and the nomination has had an influence on how we sustain and improve our services. Being accredited by investors in people solely has already made work better, and our staff have witnessed these positive changes. To be nominated for the 2023 award, however, goes beyond our expectations. This nomination is a shared accomplishment for our employees, foster carers, and young people, who are what make our Sunbeam family. We believe in the value of accreditation and are excited to have the opportunity to champion the foster sector and illuminate the importance of children’s social care and support across other sectors too. This nomination will encourage change, networking, and innovation, which will aid our growth and development plans for the future. We now have the confidence to navigate through the ever-changing environment and learn to adapt, evolve, and succeed while maintaining the development and wellbeing of our workforce, regardless of the award outcome.

Our Head of Operations said, “We acknowledge, recognise, and reward the work of all staff at Sunbeam. At a level of deep understanding, we know that feeling valued, having a sense of belonging to and community with an organisation whose values you understand and have faith in, alongside opportunities to grow and develop personally and professionally, are leading forces in our successful recruitment, retention, productivity, and innovation. I am fortunate to work with such talented colleagues.”

Comments from staff include:

“It is great to be nominated, as it shows the efforts of our staff team for children and young people.”

“Fostering is all about people and supporting others, so going for the awards and being shortlisted is brilliant.”

What would it mean to your organisation to win an Investors in People 2023 Award?

We would be honoured to win Employer of the Year 2023; it would be an award for our carers, our children, and our employees. Sunbeam creating positive outcomes for children and young people is already a win for us. However, to win this award would give sincere appreciation to our outstanding workforce, who are going the extra mile behind the scenes daily. Sunbeam was established based on the principle of people, and today it remains the core of who we are. We understand that staff engagement and advancement are essential to enabling resilience and adaptation when work practices change, innovate, and evolve. This will influence Sunbeam’s stability, security, and prosperity, as well as our capacity to expand and retain employees. Winning would provide us with the platform and opportunity to support our goals and objectives for the business, our staff, foster carers, and our children and young people. We are open to change and embrace sectoral development and practices that are driven by children’s needs.

Our Head of Services added, “The staff at Sunbeam are already highly motivated and do great work every day, for which I am very proud and grateful. The recognition that comes from winning an Investors in People award means they will continue to do such great work as well as be open to new ideas and ways of improving. It will remind them that they are integral to delivering our services in the context of something even bigger and greater: the lasting positive changes we achieve in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people.”

How important is it for your organisation to be a part of the Investors in People community and engage in awards and events like this one?

We have found the accreditation assessment process and award to be an invaluable resource that supports reflection, progress, and growth. That’s the main reason we have been a part of the Investor in People community for many years. Being part of the Investors in People community allows us to ensure that there is a consistent emphasis on the experiences and contributions of our employees. It supports our leadership and management team to acknowledge development and change and gives confidence to employees that reward and recognition for their dedication are established and at the forefront of our commitment to them. With the support of our leadership team, we have an established culture of participation and development, and we continue to develop strategies and frameworks for improvement with the support of Investors in People.

It is really important to help develop the agency further and build on our good success. Sunbeam is a progressive organisation, and we don’t want to stand still. Engaging in events and being a part of the Investors in People community is about making the most of the opportunities available, those that enable us to drive growth, development, sustainability, resilience, and success!

The Awards Ceremony

Sunbeam attended the Investors in People awards on Tuesday 14th November 2023 and was welcomed with a live band, dinner, and dance. We were surrounded by organisations from different industries, but being at the awards meant we were there for the same purpose: our people. It was a special evening where we were able to represent Sunbeam and reflect on the 23 years that have led us to this moment. Our daily reward is providing children with opportunities, but this reward would celebrate the hard work in achieving these outcomes. Ironically, we were sat with an Academy Trust which ran several schools in the country. We exchanged our stories and bonded over our shared values which were our children’s outcomes. Just this interaction alone was a moment that made us proud of what we have built and the significance of our work. We were filled with laughter and anticipation as the evening progressed. As the momentum built, we were on the edge of our seats waiting for the winner of our category to be announced. Although Sunbeam wasn’t the winner this year, we were so grateful to have to opportunity to attend the awards and celebrate our accomplishments. The process that led us to being nominated encouraged collaboration and growth within our Sunbeam family and we are extremely grateful for the experience. We are excited to continue our journey this upcoming year and focus on our employee’s learning, progression, and well-being.