We have a long-standing and rewarding partnership with St. Michael's House, helping to make a difference to those with intellectual disabilities.
St. Michael’s House in Dublin provides a range of services to children and adults with an intellectual disability. KPMG has built a strong relationship with St. Michael’s House over the last few years, with hundreds of our staff volunteering for a range of activities from organising sports days, painting murals and educational projects within the St. Michael’s House library, as part of their ‘Time to Volunteer’ corporate volunteer programme.
According to Anna Shakespeare, CEO, St. Michael’s House, the aim of the programme is for staff to complete a worthwhile project and to become more knowledgeable about how people with an intellectual disability can positively contribute to society. “I’m delighted and amazed at the amount of work completed by the volunteers in our day, residential, clinic and education services over the last five years. Volunteer hours make such a difference. We are very grateful for our partnership with KPMG and their continued sponsorship of this programme,” says Anna.
In 2017, the programme celebrated its 3,000th participant at an event in St. Michael’s House in Ballymun that was attended by students of Ballymun Special National School along with renowned Irish architect, Dermot Bannon.
KPMG’s Head of Corporate Citizenship & Diversity, Karina Howley said: “We were delighted to celebrate the 3,000th volunteer of the Time to Volunteer programme with St. Michael’s House. We’ve sponsored the programme for the past five years, with our staff volunteering over 680 hours to St. Michael’s House annually. Our close engagement helps create awareness about disability and we are delighted to play our part in helping to make a difference.”
In 2015, KPMG was awarded the Business to Arts Best Creative Staff Engagement Award for its Multi-Sensory Stories project with St. Michael’s House. The concept was to create a story which would be easily understood by children with complex needs.
The stories are just seven sentences in length, with each sentence involving a different sensory experience, and every one of those experiences being reinforced by an item associated with it. KPMG staff from a range of different departments got involved in the project, creating a series of unique stories on a range of different themes. A key challenge of the project was how to put the various items together in an easy to use format, as the stories need to be stackable for storage. The solution proposed by KPMG's Marketing team was to use a colourful and durable box with a handle for ease of carriage and compartments for each of the sensory items, which proved very successful.
“Multi-sensory stories provide a way for children with complex needs who can’t benefit from mainstream books to participate in story-telling. It really helps improve their sensory development and awareness. We have instances where a child is unable 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,” according to Barbara Wiseman, Head of Communications at St. Michael’s House.