Business awards scheme gives credit for community activities

Businesses have won plaudits for the work they do in the community at an awards celebration in Leeds (Thursday 10 November).

The ‘Raising the Bar’ awards, which highlight companies doing good deeds in schools, the community and with charities, featured firms from Bradford, Leeds and York at the Met Hotel in Leeds. The event, run by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, was sold out weeks in advance and the number of entries received this year was the highest ever recorded.

Four organisations were praised for work in different categories, with an overall winner chosen from that group.  The categories of community, economy, education and environment were recognised.

The overall winner, Ucan Recycling, was classed by judges to be the stand-out entry across all four categories.  The individual category winners were: Naylor Wintersgill (community), Hungate York Regeneration (education), Christeyns (environment) and See Green Media (economy).

Rob Seal, Managing Director of Ucan, said after receiving his award:

“We’re delighted to be the winner of the overall award; it’s a great achievement for a small company like us.  The awards and this event are a great showcase for all the hard work the Ucan team does, plus all the other winners.  The awards help with our profile, boost staff morale and ultimately help the business grow.”

Ucan is a Wyke-based social enterprise specialising in the recycling and re-use of IT materials. The not-for-profit organisation started in 2010 to create jobs for the long-term unemployed. It offers a free collection service to businesses, schools, universities and councils, to clear out redundant IT materials and keep it out of landfill. Ucan now boasts a £1.2 million turnover.

Managing Partner, Victoria Wainwright of Naylor Wintersgill said:  “Naylor Wintersgill is delighted to have won the Raising the Bar Community award.  We’re proud to continually support and pro-actively contribute to the local community; the award is well-deserved recognition for the efforts of our fantastic team. We’ve been part of Bradford’s business community for almost 100 years now – 2017 will see us celebrate our centenary. With this, we are looking forward to plenty more fundraising opportunities and activities for the year ahead!”

Steven Graham of Hungate York Regeneration added:  “It’s fantastic to be part of these awards and to be recognised for all the work done.  The event was great and we would encourage all businesses to take part if they can.”

Jayne Talbot of Christeyns added:  “This is the third year that we have won this award; each year the competition gets tougher and it’s harder to find new ways to make improvements to constantly raise the bar.  The awards themselves are inspirational, it’s great to see the work that others do, and a chance to share ideas.  For others considering introducing Raising the Bar, we’ve found that it allows us to focus on our CSR activities while engaging staff, measure what we’re currently doing, and gives recognition for the work we’ve done.” 

Evie Lees of See Green Media said: “We’re so happy to have won an award for something which means so much to us on a day-to-day basis!”

The event was compered by BBC Look North’s Danni Hewson, and organised by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.  Stephen Wright, Chairman of West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, added:  “Many companies undertake additional activities outside their core work and services, so it’s right that they are recognised through the Raising the Bar awards.  It showcases the good work that business does that, quite often, would otherwise go un-noticed.”

Short-listed for the awards in the respective categories were:

  • Community: Acorn Stairlifts and Garbutt &Elliott
  • Economy: Roche and Hangfast
  • Education: Rotherwood Recruitment and Ucan
  • Environment: See Green and Ucan
  • Acorn and Christeyns were also highly recommended in the overall winners category.

Picture shows: L-R: Rob Lawson, Provident Financial; Nicky Seal & Rob Seal, both Ucan Recycling