Katy Hennessey had always been passionate about sport and the influence it can have on other people, so a career that combined sport with making a difference in people’s lives was the ideal start for the Edge Hill University Sports Studies graduate.
Katy graduated in 2015 with a Masters in Sports Studies after completing her undergraduate degree at the University in 2014, and it was only weeks later that, following advice from her tutor, she started working for Lancashire-based charity, Barrie Wells Trust.
“My main role as Events Organiser involves developing and maintaining relationships with over 35 hospitals throughout the UK, who nominate children for Box4Kids events. Box4Kids provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for seriously ill and disabled children to enjoy a VIP day at major sporting and entertainment events.”
“My philosophy and values about sport and the influence it has on people’s lives are identical to those underpinning the Box4Kids scheme. I was really inspired when I heard about the Barrie Wells Trust and their Box4Kids initiative, and anticipated the role as Events Organiser to be the perfect start to my career.’’
“Edge Hill’s success rates in providing pathways to a wide variety of careers in sport was a main influence on my decision to study sport at Edge Hill – and of course its incredible sports facilities. Five years on and I can safely say I made the right choice!”
Box4Kids is part of the wider charity the Barrie Wells Trust, owned and funded by philanthropist, entrepreneur and Edge Hill Honorary Doctorate Barrie Wells who has supported countless charitable initiatives throughout his career.
Barrie Wells said:
“My charity’s Box4Kids project entails giving seriously ill children a VIP experience in over 40 major stadiums and arenas around the country. To deliver this requires my staff to have exceptional communication skills to deal effectively with a wide range of people including seriously ill children, their parents and hospital staff.
“I take extra special care when selecting staff and this was the case when Katy Hennessey was selected as the outstanding candidate in 2014. I have been so pleased with her contribution to the success of Box4Kids. Katy is a great asset, intelligent, a wonderful team player with exceptional interpersonal skills.”
Katy credits Edge Hill for giving her the practical skills she needed to embark on a career in the sports industry.
Katy said: “Edge Hill offered a Sports Studies course which was extremely flexible and allowed me to engage in a variety of academic disciplines as well as undertaking work placement opportunities which led me to gain some practical experience in the disability sports sector.’’
“For six months I was involved in the running of a community sports programme which encouraged disabled people to become more active and involved in sport. This was the most enjoyable and rewarding work experience I had undertaken, and it made me really keen to gain more knowledge and experience in this field.’’
“I would also advise current students to build and maintain a good working relationship with their tutors whilst studying at university. At times the workload can be really intense and occasionally some help and guidance from your tutors is essential to get you through it.’’
“My personal tutors, Andy Smith and Melanie Lang, both supported me with my application for my current role and with the preparation for my first and second interview. Job interviews are renowned for being nerve-wracking so having that support from my tutors was really beneficial.”
“Undertaking practical work experience provided me with a realistic idea of the day-to-day jobs required in certain roles. You could fall in love with a job or decide that it completely isn’t for you, so I would recommend current students to make the most of their practical work placements!”