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27 November 2019

DBA Finalist - Martin Edwards

DBA Finalist - Martin Edwards

We’re proud to sponsor the 'Business Leader of the Year Award' at the annual Dorset Business Awards taking place on Thursday 28 November.

This week we’re showcasing the achievements of the three award finalists. So far, we’ve shared the successes of Jamie Sergeant, MD of Crowd, and Marianne Storey, CEO at Dorset Mind – last up is Martin Edwards.


Martin Edwards, CEO of Julia’s House, is responsible for 240 staff and 500 volunteers. He leads on organisational strategy, financial viability, clinical services and charitable reporting.

In his 14 years as CEO, Martin has increased the charity’s income from £630,000 to £8 million, enabling development and expansion of the charity’s care provision. His leadership has built an organisation with 240 staff, two thirds of which are nurses and care staff delivering 30,000 hours of care a year, making life-changing differences to hundreds of local children and families every day.

Martin is a high profile member of the children’ hospice community, most notably Together for Short Lives (TFSL), the UK national charity for children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, where he leads on lobbying for greater respite provision for families nationally. He has led a number of lobbying campaigns targeting the Houses of Parliament and the Health Select Committee to improve recognition and ensure the value of children’s hospices is recognised.

This finalist is hugely focused on creating a work environment which is open, honest and in which staff feel empowered to perform. ‘Reflections’ debriefs have been introduced during Martin’s tenure, providing staff with the chance to talk about their emotions with an independent expert after the death of a child.

Martin is an advocate for a non-hierarchical organisational structure. He is highly visible to his staff, supporters and the people who the charity cares for. You are just as likely to see Martin training new starters or auctioning prizes at an event as you will see him fine-tuning the charity’s four year plan. He regularly attends meetings with carers and nurses, visits hospices and the 12 charity shops in Dorset and Wiltshire.

Martin is recognised for the great sensitivity and warmth he shows to the Julia’s House children and families, getting to know them and their challenges. His approach is at the heart of the extraordinary work the charity does through its respite care, enabling families to enjoy their time together.

Find out more about the ways Julia’s House provide practical and emotional support for families by visiting their website.

Finally, we would like to wish all three finalists in the ‘Business Leader of the Year’ award category good luck tomorrow night! We will be sure to let you know the winner on Friday!

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