Insights gleaned by Recollective allowed Starlight to improve their service offerings and the lives of children with serious illnesses across the UK.


Starlight Children’s Foundation needed to find an effective way to connect with the users of their services across the United Kingdom. After ruling out in-person data collection due to the pandemic and collecting feedback over the telephone due to logistical concerns, Starlight decided to explore online options that would allow them to gain valuable insights for their team.

Through the creation of an online community, Starlight has been able to make meaningful connections and gain feedback on their services and hear directly from the end-users: children and healthcare professionals. These insights have allowed them to create new service offerings that improve the lives of children with serious illnesses across the United Kingdom.


Starlight strongly believes that every child has the right to play, however, during a serious illness, play can sometimes be forgotten amidst everything else going on. They use the power of play to create a sense of escape from the difficult reality in which these children find themselves.

One of the ways that Starlight helps to protect play is by distributing boxes to children in hospital. These boxes, including their ‘Distraction’ and ‘Boost’ Boxes, contain a variety of play-related items that improve the experience of medical procedures for children as well as reduce anxiety and distress. Furthermore, they help to improve the rapport between children and their medical staff.


As Starlight is a National Organization based in London, England, they needed to find a meaningful and engaging way to connect with the children, families and medical staff they work with as well as determine the impact their services are having on the well-being of the children using them. It was not financially or logistically feasible for their organization to have team members travel across the United Kingdom to collect insights in-person, especially with the ongoing global pandemic, or to conduct a large number of one-on-one interviews over the phone, particularly with children and young people.

Starlight needed to find a digital solution that would allow them to engage directly with the individuals using their services. Overall, Starlight needed to:

  • Consult children and young people about their experiences of serious illness and being in hospital and hospice environments
  • Gain a greater understanding of the benefits that healthcare providers are witnessing from their patients and how they are using Starlight Services like their Boost and Distraction Boxes within a clinical setting
  • Collect feedback from recipients on a new service being offered called a ‘Story’ Box filled with books and items to enable immersive storytelling
  • Conduct research on services that they are looking to launch in the future

By gaining a better understanding of how their services are being utilized by both children and healthcare professionals, Starlight would be able to expand their service offerings that provide opportunities for seriously ill children to play within and outside a hospital setting.


Starlight began looking for an online research platform that offered a wide range of functionalities that would allow their Insights and Impact Team to make their studies and online communities engaging.

After looking at a variety of options, Starlight selected Recollective as their top choice because it allowed them to collect a wide range of data and research specific areas more intensely than some of the other platforms under consideration. Task Types such as Fill the Blanks and Multimedia allowed them to configure their questions in an engaging manner particularly for a younger audience. Furthermore, Starlight already uses Qualtrics and was able to easily integrate their Qualtrics Surveys within the Recollective Platform.

Through the use of the Recollective platform, Starlight was able to create an engaging online community for those who use their services to provide feedback and interact with one another. Recollective provided a space for the participants within their community to share:

  • Feedback on the new ‘Story’ Boxes including how the recipients were using the products and how many individuals were benefiting from the service
  • Stories and images of best practices discovered by the health care professionals while using the boxes
  • Input from children and young people about their views and experiences of illness and being in the hospital or hospice


The use of the Recollective platform allowed for this valuable and impactful research to occur. It provided an opportunity for the Insights and Impact Team to speak directly to the users of the services in a safe and engaging environment.

Having had the ability to speak directly with the users of their services and specifically from the children themselves, Starlight was able to use the data collected to make impactful decisions about their service offerings going forward.

People don’t usually consult children on what they think and how they feel, so Recollective makes what essentially is a survey or a piece of research engaging for young people. From everything I’ve seen out there, your team has done it the best.

Dr. Sandra Gulyurtlu

Head of Insights and Impact, Starlight Children's Foundation


After collecting insights and feedback on the benefits received by the users of the ‘Story’ Boxes, it was determined that these boxes should become a permanent service moving forward. The insights collected from using the Recollective platform were so impactful that Starlight has decided to use the platform to run more pilot studies for new services and are planning to use the platform as a communication and feedback tool when running events for the families of the children they service. The data collected from the platform also provides valuable insights that benefit all areas of the organization.

I love Recollective, it helps our side of the organization so much. So much of the Services Team is all about that feedback and the insight and it massively feeds into all the other areas of the Charity as well. We just would not be as successful in our fundraising and our marketing without these direct insights into the people receiving our services, so I love it.

Jessica Carter

Corporate and Events Manager, Starlight Children's Foundation

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Starlight UK

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