Sarah Quinlan, CEO of the Children’s Heartbeat Trust has won the prestigious Leading on Political Impact Award at CO3 Chief Officers Third Sector’s Leadership Awards gala at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle, Co. Down. The award recognised the success of the ‘Hands Up for Children’s Heart Surgery’ campaign, which successfully prevented children’s heart surgery services from being moved to England in the long-term, instead to be managed through a Belfast-Dublin network arrangement.
The CO3 Awards took place as part of CO3’s leadership Conference, gathering just under 200 Northern Ireland charity leaders as well as an impressive combination of NI, GB and US experts in Third Sector issues.
Judged by independent experts, the coveted CO3 Leadership awards reward the passion and successes of Third Sector Chief Officers in Northern Ireland through eight categories.
Nora Smith, Chief Executive, CO3, said: “CO3 are delighted to recognise the talent, passion and real changes Northern Ireland Third Sector leaders make at the heart of our communities. “For one night every year, the CO3 Leadership Awards shine a light on these leaders who work selflessly, quietly, and intensively to achieve life-changing results for those in most need. “Sarah Quinlan and her team at the Children Heartbeat Trust have made a significant difference to the care of children suffering from heart disease. Her contribution to the political process is testament that Third Sector leaders play a central role in influencing our government’s decision-making. Sarah is a worthy winner of the Leading on Political Award, sponsored by nfpSynergy.”
On receiving her award, Sarah Quinlan said: “It was very special to be a contender for this prestigious CO3 Award but winning it means the world to me.
“It is a great pleasure and honour to be acknowledged for achieving, as a team and with the support of our fantastic heart families,
wider society and the media, the retention of children’s heart surgery services on the island of Ireland. “I am very proud of this award and of my fellow nominees, all worthy of similar recognition.”