KCC News Release by Y3NBqD


									        Excellent KEiBA winners celebrate their success

The winners of the first ever Kent Excellence in Business Awards (KEiBA),
which were staged and produced by Kent County Council and the KM Group,
celebrated their success at a sparkling event at Leeds Castle last night

Eleven businesses and individuals were selected as category winners after a
tough judging process whittled down almost 200 entries and 27 finalists.
The winners of the first ever KEiBA scheme are:
Large Business of the Year
Denne Construction, Sittingbourne

SME Business of the Year
English Wines Group, Tenterden

Start-Up Business of the Year
Red Alert Telecare Ltd, Ashford

Best Social Care Business
Home Service Complete Care, Deal

Best Business from the Creative Industries
Courtyard Studios, Hollingbourne

Best Leisure and Tourism Business
Chatham Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Business Commitment to the Community
Cripps Harries Hall LLP, Tunbridge Wells

Employer of the Year
Holiday Extras, Nr Hythe

Customer Service and Commitment Award
Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), Aylesford

Entrepreneur of the Year
Gerard Coleman, Artisan du chocolat, Ashford

Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Kate Austen, Podplus, Ashford
Winners of the eleven categories received a specially created glass trophy,
designed by renowned Kent glass artist Annie Ross. It’s hoped that the
awards will also boost staff morale and help attract new staff. Winning an
award will also help businesses raise their profile in Kent.

Kevin Lynes, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and
Economic Development said:
       “KEiBA is set to become the key business event of the year in Kent
      and these awards were an important opportunity for businesses to
      celebrate their success and network – especially during these difficult
      economic times. It was fantastic to see almost 500 people at the
      awards last night and we’re already looking forward to supporting more
      businesses with these awards next year.”

Geraldine Allinson, Chairman of KM Group, said:
      “These awards are a great way to recognize our county’s business
      success and to celebrate their excellence. This first year has shown
      the immensely high standard of businesses and individuals in Kent,
      and we hope that KEiBA will help encourage and attract even more
      business talent for the county.”

KEiBA aims to recognise and reward excellence in Kent and Medway
businesses of all sizes as well as individual awards.

Profiles of the winning companies :

Large Business of the Year - Denne Construction, Sittingbourne
Denne Construction is a building firm established in 1803 by George Henry
Denne and which became part of the Dutch-owned Leadbitter Group in 2006.
It is resolutely Kentish, investing time, money and effort into the local
community. It has weathered the 2008/9 downturn by building on a strong
reputation for quality, and an ability to undertake a diverse range of private
and public sector projects.

Its pioneering National Skills Academy at the Stanhope Estate at Ashford –
the first such construction academy in the UK – combined Denne’s support for
regeneration with a commitment to train the next generation of builders.
Award judges praised Denne’s investment in Kent – it employs around 1,000
people a month directly and indirectly - and for sourcing significant amounts of
material from the county.
SME Business of the Year - English Wines Group, Tenterden
English Wines Group has captured a 40 per cent market-leading share in
English wines with its range of sparklers, rose, whites and reds marketed with
the Chapel Down label.

The winery off Smallhythe Road works with 15 partner vineyards across Kent,
Essex and Sussex and is at the forefront of innovation. It was one of the first
vineyards in the county to spot the great opportunity that rising temperatures
in the south east could give quality wine-makers.

English Wines already makes award-winning sparkling wines and Chapel
Down is recognised as a major force behind the changing perception of
English wines.

Start-Up Business of the Year- Red Alert Telecare Ltd, Ashford
Red Alert Telecare, founded in 2007, is a pioneer in the management,
installation, and maintenance of telecare, telehealth and warden call systems.

With strong Government backing and investment for keeping vulnerable
people in their own home, demand for Red Alert services has soared in the
past two years.

The company, which employs 13 people and seven sub-contractors, installs
sophisticated monitoring equipment to ensure that these people are never far
from a helping hand. If they have a problem, the equipment triggers a remote
alarm that identifies both the client and the difficulty.

The company has a positive attitude to problem solving, well-trained
engineers and strong back-up from a management team with practical hands-
on experience in the field. It monitors customer satisfaction at all stages.

Best Social Care Business- Home Service Complete Care, Deal
Home Service Complete Care was founded in 1989, just before the Care in
the Community Act came into force, and now employs more than 50 people.
It has become one of Kent’s largest providers of home care and support.

Staff are trained to help with personal needs such as washing, dressing,
medication, shaving, bathing or showering, catheter care and oral hygiene.
Registered with the Commission for Social Care, it works hard to exceed care
standards and has achieved a 3-star excellent rating.

Staff training is given high priority, and all office staff are NVQ level 2
accredited in customer care. Career development is encouraged, and many
care/support workers have been with the company since its inception.
Judges hailed this 20-year old domiciliary care business as a forward thinking
company with clear business objectives, adding that it never lost sight of user
focus, praising its awareness of the overriding need to safeguard vulnerable
Best Business from the Creative Industries- Courtyard Studios,
Courtyard Studios has a wide portfolio of services and is a great example of
the wealth of creative and media talent in the county. The business, set up in
1988, has grown steadily and has been doing well despite the downturn. It is
now embarking on a period of expansion, taking on more staff and developing
the production side of the business.

Courtyard Studios offers a one-stop shop for clients’ film needs, providing an
equipment rental service to support the industry. It works closely with
Maidstone Studios, Kent County Council and Kent’s award-winning production
company Medb Films

Best Leisure and Tourism Business- Chatham Historic Dockyard,
In 1984, the Medway Towns were plunged into economic trauma by the
closure of the Royal Navy dockyard. Unemployment soared to nearly 20 per
cent. Businesses that had served the dockyard and Royal Navy for decades
faced closure.

Yet 25 years on, Chatham Historic Dockyard has become a popular
destination for visitors, an iconic symbol of sea power that constructed
Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory.

The historic Georgian dockyard – run by a charitable trust - provides a
stimulating combination of naval history, modern business and residential use.
Last year, it attracted more than 150,000 visitors and hosted 20,000 formal
education visits. Just as it was in its naval heyday, it is a hive of business
activity, with 120 enterprises based there. It is also a special place for the
people who live in the dockyard’s 112 homes.

Business Commitment to the Community - Cripps Harries Hall LLP,
Tunbridge Wells
Cripps Harries Hall LLP law firm has warmly embraced community
involvement (CIP) and corporate social responsibility (CSR), combining both
with strong environmental policies. Founded as a partnership in 1852, Cripps
employs 270 people, is the largest legal practice in Kent and ranked 108 th in
the country.

It aligns clear CSR and CIP policies with the firm’s core values of Distinctive -
“bespoke and organic, not imposed from above” – Open – “to everybody and
entirely voluntary” – and Committed – “by matching people’s enthusiasms, our
efforts would be whole-hearted.”

Every member of staff is entitled to use one working day a year on CIP
activities. One of these activities included constructing a fox-proof pen at
Pepenbury, a residential care home for adults with learning difficulties.
Volunteers also visit St Barnabas school once a week to mentor children in
reading skills. CHH sponsors various events and staff nominate a charity of
the year.
Employer of the Year - Holiday Extras, Nr Hythe

A great all-round performance landed this prize for a made-in-Kent success
story. The 900-strong workforce voted Holiday Extras into The Sunday Times
Best 100 Employer List an impressive four times.

Holiday Extras, founded in 1983 by Gerry Pack, even made a commitment to
staff that there would be no downsizing during recession. This pledge was
underpinned by a growth strategy and determination to expand market share
by offering best choice, prices and service.

Training, management development and coaching are given high priority, with
exceptional employees given rewards such as a volunteering break in a
Namibian wildlife sanctuary.

Judges commended an excellent business performance and “a flexible
training and development programme that’s fitted to the needs of individuals.”

Customer Service and Commitment Award – Royal British Legion
Industries (RBLI), Aylesford

This multi-award-winning charity, founded just after the First World War,
employs hundreds of people, many with a disability or health condition, on
practical manufacturing projects and is an exemplar in the field.

A recent coup was winning a Government Pathways to Work contract to help
disabled people in Kent, Surrey and Sussex and beyond come off benefit and
into the workplace. It is the only “Prime Provider” in Kent and one of only two
charities in the UK to achieve this status.

Its employment solutions division supports more than 12,000 people a year,
helping them find and sustain meaningful jobs.

RBLI also carries out its more traditional role of serving ex-servicemen and
women, some of whom live in the Royal British Legion village at Aylesford. It
provides 24-hour nursing care in a dedicated home.

Award judges were impressed by RBLI’s wide range of high-quality activity,
from employment services to manufacturing, welfare, healthcare and housing.
RBLI is committed to putting the customer at the heart of its businesses,
recruiting only people who are passionate about people and achieving
excellence in customer service.
Entrepreneur of the Year - Gerard Coleman, Artisan du chocolat,
Gerard Coleman founded a business that chocoholics adore - and a world
class company here in the heart of Kent.

High quality, innovative product development, local sourcing and sharp
commercial acumen are the main ingredients of this flourishing multi-million
pound business that combines production with retail.

Artisan du Chocolat is recognised as one of the finest and most innovative
chocolatiers in the UK with a growing international reputation. It is sold in its
own shops, as well as through blue chip names such as Fortnum and Mason,
Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, British Airways and Virgin Airways, not to
mention Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in London.

Artisan opened a concession in Selfridges in Oxford Street, London, in
November 2008 and a standalone shop in Notting Hill in 2009. It aims to open
another overseas. Judges said “Innovation, obsession about quality and
creative excellence are at the core of the business,”

Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Kate Austen, Podplus, Ashford
Kate Austen was described by the judges as Passionate, committed, self-
taught, focused with clarity of vision. They said that Kate is a young person
“with all the attributes needed to achieve in business.”

Kate set up Podplus in 2005 to unite sports retail and professional services. It
is based at the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford. Podplus provides a selection
of footwear, clothing and accessories designed for activity.

It combines retailing with a multi-disciplinary injury clinic for sports and non-
sports people, offering podiatry, chiropody, physiotherapy, sports therapy and
massage. It employs five part-time staff and six self-employed practitioners.

For further information contact Marcus Chrysostomou at Kent County
Council Media Centre on 01622 694017 or e-mail

More news releases are available online at www.keiba.co.uk

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