Thames Valley Business Magazine Awards Categories

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Category descriptions

Thames Valley Business Magazine Awards Region

Management Team of the Year – sponsored by IWG

The judges are looking for management teams that have not been swept along by a complex and volatile external environment, but rather have kept their bearings and led with a very clear sense of what they wanted to create. They are looking for a sense of alignment between the organisation’s values and that of its people, resulting in a congruence that has inspired the whole organisation to do superior work, create great products and innovations, achieve the highest quality, and provide their customers with superior service.

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Best use of Technology & Innovation – sponsored by GovGrant

The Best Use of Technology & Innovation award will be presented to a company that has used technology in an innovative way, either internally or externally, to improve systems and workflow, and/or to provide services for customers.

Judges will be looking for companies that have embraced ’new’ technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, or who have invested in tech to radically improve their productivity and/or reduce their overheads.

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SME of the Year – sponsored by James Cowper Kreston

The SME of the Year award is open to businesses with an annual turnover between £500,000 and £15 million, which are at least two years old and have a base in the Thames Valley. Judges will consider the following:

  • Current business performance
  • Growth over the past two years
  • Potential for future growth in years ahead
  • Examples of innovation in products, services, and/or business practices
  • Contribution to the industry and/or to the business community
  • Approach to CSR.

“As a firm dedicated to helping owner-managed/privately-owned businesses achieve their ambitions, James Cowper Kreston is once again delighted to be sponsoring the award for the SME of the Year. Previous finalists and winners of SME of the Year are testament to the fact that the Thames Valley region is the home for some of the UK’s most innovative and exciting SME businesses. We encourage the Thames Valley business community to really get involved with these awards so we may acknowledge their contribution and recognise their success,” commented Robert Holland, managing partner, James Cowper Kreston.

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Workplace Mental Health Award – sponsored by Cardinal Clinic

The Workplace Mental Health Award is sponsored by Cardinal Clinic, a leading independent mental health clinic based in Windsor. With over 40 years’ experience, Cardinal Clinic is dedicated to helping people struggling with mental health issues and its brand Cardinal Corporate is dedicated to help businesses support staff members dealing with mental health issues and implement strategies to ensure the overall wellbeing of their teams.

Cardinal Clinic will be looking for companies which have a positive attitude towards mental health issues and which have made provision for staff dealing with mental health issues, reduced stigma associated with mental health and have taken steps to encourage healthy working patterns.

Entries can be backed up with case studies and examples of when staff have benefited from the applicant’s positive attitude to mental health.

Christine Harrington, hospital director at Cardinal Clinic said: “There has been a significant increase in people suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental health issues over the past few years so it’s vital for businesses to develop strategies to support their staff, help those who may be facing mental health challenges and create a culture of openness and understanding within the workforce.

“The Workplace Mental Health Award is to recognise and reward companies which have plans in place to ensure that they are able to deal with the mental health issues their staff may be facing, and have taken positive steps to help their staff to maintain good mental health.”

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Charity of the Year – sponsored by James Cowper Kreston

We are delighted to once again have the opportunity to recognise the significant impact that charitable organisations have across our region. Judges will be making the award to the charity that can best demonstrate:

  • Outstanding achievement and service to its beneficiaries
  • Innovative fundraising ideas
  • Achievement of its goals over the course of the past year.

The Charity of the Year award is open to charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations which have a base in the Thames Valley and have been operating for more than two years.

“Charities play a vital role in today’s ever-changing world, and this is reflected in the increase in the number of charities our specialist charities team looks after. The Thames Valley is home to many great charities which make a massive contribution to our society, and we applaud their achievements. We encourage charities to enter for this Charity of the Year award to showcase their talents and the huge positive impact they are making,” said Mike Farwell, head of the charities and education team at James Cowper Kreston.

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Best Company to Work For – sponsored by Hays

What makes your company a great place to work? Is it the location, the offices, the culture, the people, the boss?

Entries can come from both employees and employers – from any size company, and from any business sector.

If your employer has new and innovative working practices that make your company the best place to work, let us know. Here are some of the ways your company could be considered the Best Company to Work For:

  • Creative working styles
  • Innovative working environment
  • Wide-ranging staff facilities
  • A collaborative, inclusive work culture
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Dynamic Business of the Year – sponsored by NatWest

This year NatWest will focus on dynamic businesses that have demonstrated a clear vision for the development of their staff, systems, products or services throughout the year. The award recognises not just financial performance, but management’s ambition to develop talent and to take advantage of new funding, M&A, technological or commercial opportunities.

In summary, the Dynamic Business of the year will have differentiated itself in its market, will stand out from the crowd and will demonstrate the ability to move quickly in the pursuit of profitable growth.

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Business of the Year – sponsored by Gateley

The Thames Valley is a prime location for businesses and is fast becoming the commercial capital of the south. Its strong transport network with the M4 corridor, Heathrow and reliable, ever-evolving rail links makes it a great connection hub between the Midlands and London, and a great place for international businesses as well. It is a base for many of the country’s technology firms and is home to many manufacturing companies as well as a wide variety of professional organisations.

Gateley is a law-led professional services group which provides proactive legal advice with a cut-through commercial edge that is pragmatic and partner-led. It has a strong emphasis on local delivery with offices in Reading, Guildford, London, Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Nottingham, and Dubai.

From its offices located at The Blade in the centre of Reading, it has a number of specialist teams covering all aspects of legal services.

In 2015, it was the UK’s first commercial law firm to become a publicly-quoted company admitted to trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. Since the float, it has acquired two businesses; Gateley Hamer a property consultancy, specialising in compulsory purchase orders and easements and wayleaves, and Gateley Capitus, a tax consultancy specialising in advising businesses and individuals on the tax incentives available for investment in and development of property assets.

The Business of the Year award is open to every company in the area and recognises not only profitability, innovation and employment but also the contribution made to the local economic community and support to culture and charities in the region. The winner will receive a prestigious trophy for its reception or boardroom. It will also be featured in The Business Magazine and enjoy wide-ranging media and PR opportunities.

The head of its Reading office Christopher Avery will be a member of the panel judging companies entering the category.

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