Thames Valley: Top companies win trophies in 25th anniversary awards

The Thames Valley Business Magazine Awards 2019, the longest-running multi-category awards in the Thames Valley has celebrated 25 years of recognising outstanding businesses.

More than 250 guests attended this year’s awards at the Reading FC Conference Centre at the Madejski Stadium. TV presenter Vernon Kay hosted the evening and presented the winners with their awards.

The awards were sponsored by Cardinal Clinic, Hays, James Cowper Kreston, Gateley Legal, Curve Workplaces, IWG, GovGrant and NatWest, plus InCloud Solutions.

Choosing finalists and winners in the eight award categories was as tough as ever. Peter Laurie, head of client relations at awards organiser The Business Magazine, said: “We are very grateful to the invaluable efforts of our judging panel. Many of the finalists were visited or interviewed by our judges and they were diligent in their assessments for this year’s keenly contested awards.”

£8,744 was raised for Make-a-Wish, 2018 Charity of the Year winner. Reading-headquartered Make-a-Wish grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening illnesses.

See the images from the night here

THE AWARD WINNERS

Best Use of Technology & Innovation – sponsored by GovGrant

Finalists

KYMIRA; Livingstone Technologies; LTi Metaltech; Oxford nanoSystems; PassivSystems; Redwood Technologies Group

And the winner is… KYMIRA

Judges’ comments:

“This company impressed us with commercialising their technology that delivers tangible results and has allowed them to continue innovating and to achieve their ultimate objective of using the technology. Their results to date, as well as further collaborative projects discovered on the journey, indicate that they will be one to watch for the future.”

SME of the Year – sponsored by James Cowper Kreston

Finalists

Curve Workplaces; Dynamic Planner; Exclaimer; Herrington Carmichael; Jargon PR; Zircotec

And the winner is… Zircotec

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Judges’ comments:

“Our winner has best demonstrated the very essence of what makes a successful SME business. A recognised market leader in their field with a client base of household names, the business has shown recent strong financial performance and has exciting, innovative plans to significantly further this growth in the coming years. The business has overcome significant challenges, which the entire team has faced head-on and gone so much further than the extra mile to ensure client needs are met.”

Workplace Mental Health Award – sponsored by Cardinal Clinic

Finalists

Dell Technologies; Ella’s Kitchen; James Cowper Kreston; Softcat; Three

And the winner is… Softcat

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Judges’ comments:

“This company clearly takes mental health in the workplace seriously, training managers, increasing numbers of Mental Health First Aiders, encouraging people to share their stories and thus reducing stigma of mental health. They are providing support and advice, including where to go for mental health issues. This suggests a company that is fully committed to the mental wellbeing of its workforce. The workplace meditation and yoga are great for staff, too.”

Management Team of the Year – sponsored by IWG

Finalists

CV-Library; EllisKnight; GTK; Roc Search; RSSL

And the winner is… CV-Library

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Judges’ comments:

“We were impressed by the commitment of the management team to creating a company culture that drives employee retention through employee engagement and reward schemes. With 93% of employees recommending them as a ‘good place to work’, their thriving internal environment has obviously led them to deliver a fantastic customer experience, which is proven by being rated above their competitors on Trustpilot.”

Charity of the Year – sponsored by James Cowper Kreston

Finalists

Berkshire Youth; DEBRA; Launchpad; The Oasis Partnership

And the winner is… DEBRA

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Judges’ comments:

“In a massively competitive arena, charities more than ever have to adapt and our winners demonstrated a clear growth strategy. Through a strong corporate offering, working in true partnership to fully engage companies and their staff with their CSR commitments, they have totally transformed their fundraising efforts to great effect. This has enabled them to further increase and expand services.”

Best Company to Work For – sponsored by Hays

Finalists

CV Library; Ella’s Kitchen; Freixenet Copestick; Jargon PR; RSSL; Torpedo

And the winner is… Freixenet Copestick

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Judges’ comments:

“The winner stood out for a number of reasons. They have the best benefits package the judges have seen from a company this size, they offer truly flexible working (encouraged from the very top because a significant number of the senior leadership team work flexibly or part-time). They have a dynamic people strategy, which gives real substance to what they are trying to achieve and, aside from all that, they also have amazing offices.”

Dynamic Business of the Year – sponsored by NatWest

Finalists:

Apps In The Sky; Bridewell Consulting; E3D-Online; Hawkins Group of Companies; Lifecycle Software; TravelUp

And the winner is… Hawkins Group of Companies

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Judges’ comments:

“Not only has this business demonstrated phenomenal recent growth in turnover, it has also embraced new technology in a sector that is often seen as a late adopter of innovation and technology. That innovative dynamism is evidenced by ‘world firsts’ in delivering wind tunnels for swimmers and high-performance athletes. It goes the extra mile for its staff in terms of wellbeing initiatives, engagement and support. There is a ‘can do’ attitude and also a clear sense of direction. It is an inspiring story of business growth from roofing contractor to a multi-faceted construction company – a truly dynamic business.”

Thames Valley Business of the Year – sponsored by Gateley

Finalists:

CLEAN; CV-Library; ESP Global Services; Hawkins Group of Companies; Roc Search; RSSL; Westcoast

And the winner is… RSSL

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Judges’ comments:

“The winner has made significant investment into all aspects of the organisation. Its constant innovation and application of better solutions meet the changing needs of new and existing markets. It has a number of initiatives to attract, retain and develop talent and an infrastructure in place to allow mentoring and diversity training. The company runs programmes in schools to actively encourage the next generation and support their local community, not only with funding but also by volunteering individuals’ time. This company is a truly worthy winner.”