Category Archives: Awards

Use of geopolymer injection treatment earns shortlist

Geobear’s first use of technology on clay soil under a road asset wins nomination

The Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) has shortlisted global ground engineering contractor Geobear for the CIHT Technology and Innovation award. Geobear’s entry presented its work with Ringway Jacob for Surrey County Council to stabilise deep, shrinkable clay soil beneath the A323 road in the South East of England, using its tried and tested geopolymer injection treatment. The awards will be presented at 8 Northumberland Avenue, Trafalgar Square, London on June 13, 2024.

Surrey County Council faced regular costly and disruptive road resurfacing due to the frequent shrink-swell cycle of clay soils. The apparent alternative was excavation and removal of hundreds of tonnes of clay, and replacement with a gravel sub-base. This too would have been expensive, carbon-intensive and would have caused closure of a main road for several weeks, disrupting the local community and likely forcing a school to shut.

The council approached Geobear to find a third way that would allow it to avoid these high costs and inconvenience. Shrinkable clay soil has a high plasticity index, expanding with water then compacting when dry. This expansion and contraction cycle underground sees the ground’s surface shift and damages overlying infrastructure or buildings.

Geobear, a ground settlement expert, uses an array of injectable geopolymers that expand underground to fill gaps and compress soil, in this case clay. This stabilises the asset long-term, significantly reducing the clay’s shrink-swell capacity and protecting the road surface.

“We developed this solution specifically for Surrey County Council,” explained Richard Holmes, infrastructure director at Geobear UK. “Our engineers assessed the site, specified the key points at which injection holes should be drilled and calculated the quantity of geopolymer needed. We stabilised the clay in situ by injecting our geopolymer at three metres depth. No excavation was needed and the daily lives of people in the area were virtually unaffected: the road reopened 30 minutes after treatment.

“The environmental impact of our projects is a big planning consideration for Geobear too. Not only do we avoid the physical disruption to the local ecosystem of digging up three metres of pavement for miles, our solution produces 62 per cent lower emissions than traditional excavation methods, as verified by Carbon Footprint Ltd.”

Our priority is delivering cost-effective solutions for the travelling public in Surrey that cause as little disruption as possible, which the Geobear solution provides,” said Amanda Richards, assistant director of highways at Surrey County Council and chair of the UK Roads Boards’ Road Condition Management Group.

“We approached Geobear because it ticked many boxes for us: its solution is swift, economical, low carbon, enhances workplace safety and preserves access to surrounding utilities.”

Other local authorities are now considering this innovative approach for similar applications across the UK. To find out how Geobear could solve your road stabilisation issues, read its technical report on lifecycle extension of concrete roads here:

New Powys Business Awards category recognises community contribution

A Business in the Community Award is a new category in this year’s Powys Business Awards which were launched on Friday. 

“This new award recognises the many Powys businesses who put something back into their local communities,” said Ceri Stephens, group manager of Mid Wales Manufacturing Group, awards organiser.

 “All of the awards have been designed to encompass the nature of business and social enterprises in the county, so there really is something for everyone, no matter what size or sector.” 

Judges will be seeking evidence of business relationships with residents, schools and community groups, donations to or sponsorship of local causes, support for local traders and suppliers, providing work experience or jobs for local people and supporting and encouraging employee engagement in the community.

 The new award is sponsored by Radnor Hills, the hugely successful, family-owned soft drinks manufacturer based at Heartsease, near Knighton, who hosted the awards launch.

The company was last year’s Powys Business of the Year 2023, sponsored by Powys County Council and first winner of the Excellence in Sustainability Award, sponsored by the Welsh Government.

This year, there will be a dozen category awards, together with the overall Powys Business of the Year and Judges Award, which will be presented at a ceremony held at Dering Lines, Brecon on October 4. 

 The awards, supported by sponsors, showcase the diverse range of successful enterprises within Powys. Closing date for entries is July 21 and more information at .

 The award categories are: Start up Business sponsored by EvaBuild, Entrepreneurship sponsored by CellPath, Micro Business (Less than 10 employees) sponsored by The County Times, Growth sponsored by WR Partners, Small Business (Under 30 employees) sponsored by Welshpool Print Group, Social Enterprise/ Charity sponsored by Myrick Training Services, Small Business Growth sponsored by Cellar Drinks, Technology & Innovation sponsored by Aberystwyth University, People Development sponsored by NPTC Group of Colleges, Sole Trader sponsored by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group, Business in the Community sponsored by Radnor Hills and Excellence in Sustainability sponsored by the Welsh Government.

Thanking fellow sponsors and judges, Ceri urged everyone attending the launch to encourage entries to “recognise and publicise the excellence of business and enterprise in Powys”. 

 Simon Knight, managing director of Radnor Hills, said: “The Powys Business Awards are very important for the county because they acknowledge and recognise those businesses that have made a huge effort to grow and develop.”

myenergi awarded EcoVadis bronze medal for sustainability

Eco-smart home energy technology manufacturer myenergi has been awarded an EcoVadis bronze medal for its commitment to setting the standards in sustainable best practice. The prestigious accolade places the Stallingborough-based company within the top 35% of all companies assessed by the framework within the past 12 months.

EcoVadis is one of the world’s largest providers of business sustainability ratings, boasting a global network of more than 130,000 rated companies. Its certifications recognise and reward companies that go above and beyond to embrace sustainable practices.

The accreditation process requires businesses to submit documentation, examples and references for multiple sustainability proof points, with performance assessed against a bespoke methodology. myenergi scored well across each of the four performance themes analysed – environment; labour and human rights; ethics; and sustainable procurement.

Emma Brigginshaw, head of sustainability and ethics at myenergi, commented: “Being recognised by EcoVadis is a clear demonstration of our commitment to embracing sustainable best practice across the business. It affirms the robustness of our management systems and performance of our production processes.

“But while a positive endorsement of our work to date, this certification is just the start. As a leader in the design and manufacture of eco-smart home energy technologies, we’re committed to holding ourselves to account and really leading the way when it comes to setting the industry standards.

“We’re therefore already working hard in the background on numerous initiatives to further improve our environmental performance, each of which will be announced in due course. This bronze medal is a really valuable yardstick to fully understand where we’re already scoring highly, as Well as the areas that need additional focus moving forward.”

Best known for developing zappi, the world’s first solar-compatible electric vehicle charger, myenergi is a global leader in the home energy technology sector. The business manufactures a wide range of pioneering energy management devices, including the eddi power diverter and libbi battery storage system. Since its founding in 2016, the business has sold more than 600,000 units globally, while opening subsidiaries in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland along the way.

For more information about myenergi and its latest range of eco-smart home energy tech, visit

Darlington clinician awarded ‘Graduate of the Year’ accolade after completing highly-coveted training programme

An ambitious 22-year-old, based in Darlington, has been named Graduate of the Year after completing a fast-track Graduate Development Programme (GDP) with healthcare services provider, Connect Health.

Adam Peacock is one of 26 graduates from the 2022 intake who has completed the 18-month long, sector-leading training scheme, and entered a full-time Senior Musculoskeletal (MSK) Clinician role.

Working at Connect Health’s Integrated Musculoskeletal Service in Darlington, based at the town’s Dolphin Centre, he was also recently recognised for his achievements in Connect Health’s annual internal Colleague Excellence awards.

The Teesside University graduate, who studied Physiotherapy for his degree, wanted to join Connect Health’s GDP after undertaking a placement with the company during his third year of study.

Talking about the training programme, which includes self-directed learning via Connect Health’s learning division, known as the Academy, and monthly face-to-face study days with a member of the faculty team, Adam explained: “From day one I received a lot of support– there really is a great team environment. Colleagues are very approachable – so no question is a stupid one and every day is different.”

Adam relishes supporting patients from all different walks of life, and he believes getting the best outcomes for them comes down to nurturing relationships, overcoming their barriers and exceeding expectations, where possible.

He continued: “My favourite part of the job is when I get to support a patient from the beginning of their journey. Initially speaking to them via our telephone triage PhysioLine, building a rapport and understanding how they’re struggling, and how physiotherapy will help them. You can then start to break down their barriers and by the end of their treatment ease them back into their day-to-day routines.

“To hear someone tell you they never thought that they would get back to their valued activity and never thought they would be able to do the things they love again – that’s the big win for me,” Adam added.

Connect Health has now accepted applications for its 2024 GDP.

The industry-leading scheme, targeted at those looking to accelerate their clinical careers, focuses on developing compassionate, skilled clinicians that thrive within a contemporary healthcare environment. It features work-based training with a senior clinical mentor and protected continuous professional development (CPD) time.

With an impressive 90% pass rate, those, like Adam, who complete the programme are promoted to senior MSK clinician within 18 months.

Dr Andrew Cuff, Director of Clinical Strategy at Connect Health, said: “Our sector leading graduate scheme proves immensely popular every year, thanks to our commitment and track record of providing high-quality training opportunities and professional development. This is in addition to the impressive remuneration package and Connect Health’s standing as an industry leader in MSK.

“As Adam’s story shows, there’s great potential for growth and recognition within Connect Health and we work hard to support the talent of tomorrow and today, through our comprehensive training and development, all while keeping our patients front and centre.”

To find out more about the GDP visit:

Vero HR Wins Clutch Global and Clutch Champion Awards 2024

Peterborough, 29 May 2024 Vero HR, the HR outsourcing and consulting provider, has been recognised as a 2024 Spring Global Award winner for HR services on Clutch, the leading global marketplace of B2B service providers, along with being lauded a 2024 Spring Clutch Champion.

The Clutch Global and Clutch Champion Awards showcase the very best in the B2B services industry worldwide.

Honourees of the Global Award are selected based on their industry expertise and ‘ability to deliver’ scores that are calculated using customer feedback from thousands of reviews published on the Clutch platform.

Vero HR’s primary focus is on providing exceptional service, and receiving this award is a testament to the excellent client work and service Vero HR has delivered this year as highlighted through the voice of their clients in their reviews.

The Clutch Champion Award is presented to the top 10% of Clutch Global winners, a designation that recognises business service providers across the world for their industry expertise and ability to deliver exceptional results compared to other companies in their line of service.

This award recognizes Vero HR as a top-rated leader in the HR services space based on its clients’ satisfaction and high-quality service ratings – of which it currently boasts an overall review rating of 5/5 across 13 individual customer reviews.

“I’m thrilled that Vero HR has been awarded the Clutch Global Award, but to also be named a Clutch Champion and sit within the top 10% of Global winners due to our high service ratings is the cherry on top. This recognition demonstrates our team’s dedication to providing top HR and client service every day, and a huge thank you goes out to our clients who have taken the time to provide such sterling reviews,” Vero HR Founder and CEO, Mike Kealey, commented.

“It is a joy to witness the incredible success of leading companies worldwide on our platform, and an even greater joy to recognise these companies as Clutch Global winners. Their dedication to delivering next-level services to clients has not only bolstered their own success but empowered numerous clients to thrive as well,” said Sonny Ganguly, Clutch CEO. “We are also delighted to present the Clutch Champion Award for the second year, celebrating both new and returning achievers for their outstanding performance. These honourees represent the top companies on our platform, consistently exceeding client expectations and receiving an abundance of positive feedback from their clients.”

This recognition follows a successful 2023 awards season for Vero HR, winning the Customer Service Award at the Peterborough Telegraph Business Awards, Silver Award for Service Excellence at the SME Cambridgeshire Business Awards, and being a finalist at the Personnel Today Awards for Large HR Consultancy of the Year.

About Vero HR

Vero HR is a HR solutions and outsourcing provider with over 20 years of experience. Working with businesses of all sizes and sectors, Vero HR offers expert advice, services, and technology tailored to transform and help organisations work more efficiently in all aspects of HR – supporting clients across the UK, Europe, and internationally.


Carmarthenshire Business Awards Welcomes Swansea Building Society as Sponsor

The inaugural Carmarthenshire Business Awards will feature Swansea Building Society as the sponsor for the Financial and Professional Service Business of the Year award. This much-anticipated event will be held on July 12, 2024, at Parc Y Scarlets in Llanelli, uniting the county’s thriving business community to honour outstanding entrepreneurial and innovative achievements.

The Carmarthenshire Business Awards will commence at 6:30 pm with a drinks reception, followed by a dinner and the awards ceremony. This black-tie event aims to celebrate the vibrant business community in Carmarthenshire, recognising significant contributions to the local economy.

The Financial and Professional Service Business of the Year award, sponsored by Swansea Building Society, is open to any business operating within the financial and professional services sector in Carmarthenshire. The award celebrates excellence within the sector, recognising companies that demonstrate remarkable growth, strong financial performance, innovation, and exceptional customer experience. Judges are looking for companies that have achieved growth and strong financial performance through innovation and exceptional customer experience, with a clear focus on future business success.

Sioned Jones, Area Manager for West Wales, Swansea Building Society, said:

“We are thrilled to support the Carmarthenshire Business Awards and to celebrate the remarkable achievements of businesses in the county. At Swansea Building Society, we are committed to fostering innovation and excellence within the financial and professional services sector. These awards highlight the outstanding contributions of businesses that drive economic growth and provide exceptional service to their clients. We look forward to recognising and honouring their success.”

In addition to the Carmarthenshire Business Awards, Swansea Building Society will also sponsor the Financial and Professional Service Business of the Year award at the Torfaen & Monmouthshire Business Awards on September 19, 2024, at The Parkway Hotel, Torfaen, and the Vale of Glamorgan Business Awards on October 4, 2024, at The Vale Resort. These events continue to celebrate the vibrant business community across South Wales.

Yorkshire children’s charity Candlelighters: one of top three charities in UK for Governance Award.

Candlelighters, a charity supporting children with cancer and their families in Yorkshire, has been shortlisted as one of the top three charities in the UK for the ‘People in Governance’ national award in the Charity Governance Awards.

Annually, over 150 children in Yorkshire are diagnosed with cancer. When a child is diagnosed, lives are turned upside down instantly: not just for the child but the entire family. Candlelighters has provided support for children and families for nearly 50 years, as well as investing in childhood cancer research.

This award is for charities that can demonstrate how all aspects of their Board’s work have supported outstanding results in delivering the charity’s mission and objectives. Candlelighters is passionate about high standards of governance and their values are key to the charity recently becoming an accredited ‘Great Place to Work’ with a 97% average score. Strong governance is vital to ensure a charity is well run, and to give businesses and supporters confidence to invest in a charity.


Candlelighters ensures a rich variety of board talent and experience to achieve the objectives of the charity, requiring a balance of clinical staff who are medical experts, family members who have been affected by childhood cancer, and other experts to fill any skills gap. Recently, two past patients, Rohan Randhawa and Mathew Bower, who had both been supported by Candlelighters when they were diagnosed with cancer as children, have joined the Candlelighters Board to offer their insight on how a childhood cancer diagnosis affects a family.


Emily Wragg, CEO of Candlelighters, says, “We are thrilled to be shortlisted for the People in Governance Award. To put it simply, Candlelighters would not be where it is today without its incredible board leadership. The board has grown the charity from five people in a room ten years ago to 35 employees with four premises.  This not only ensures that families in Yorkshire face childhood cancer with a high level of support, but that we are making a difference across the UK and globally with our investment in research.

“Our Board are also hugely active in supporting the charity; with one of our Trustees even taking part in pink custard dunking as part of our “Pink It Up” fundraising week!”


How Candlelighters helps families

Last year, Candlelighters funded 1,062 stays near the hospital for families with children on treatment, providing security and keeping families together.

Last year, Candlelighters funded 384 talking therapy appointments, working with both children and adults to ease psychological concerns and develop coping strategies.

Last year, Candlelighters had 296 attendances at 30 of their support groups, including Sibling Groups and Bereaved Mums Groups.


Learn more about what Candlelighters do, and how you can make a difference for children:

Lifetime achievement award for B-ICC’s Gideon Klaus

A lifetime achievement award has been presented to Gideon Klaus to honour him for nearly 30 years’ service as executive director of the British-Israel Chamber of Commerce, which promotes and strengthens trade and investment links with the north west.

Gideon, 86, stood down last summer and was succeeded by Nigel Tobias, an experienced entrepreneur with a background in retailing, property and consulting.

Nigel presented the accolade to Gideon at a B-ICC breakfast event in Manchester.

Gideon, who remains involved as the B-ICC’s vice-chairman, said: “It was a great surprise and very emotional to receive the award.

“I started with the organisation in October 1994 and have thoroughly enjoyed working with companies and individuals in the north west and Israel to help them build connections and do business together.

“Israel and north west England are catalysts for many global innovations and it’s been wonderful and satisfying for the B-ICC to play a part in fostering greater collaboration through joint ventures, partnerships and product development.

“I’m pleased that the B-ICC is going from strength to strength, with new people at the helm who have the right skills to take it to the next level.”

As well as being vice-chairman of the B-ICC, Gideon is involved in forging business links with Israel through a number of other advisory and consulting roles.

The B-ICC was relaunched last year with Nigel as executive director and Manchester lawyer Robert Levy as president alongside a new committee.

It has a substantial membership base of individuals and businesses involved in sectors including professional services, banking and finance, property development, retailing, clothing and importing.

Robert said: “Our mission is to build business links between UK and Israeli businesses to create relationships, mutual understanding and opportunities.

“We help UK companies aiming to enter the Israeli market, as well as those seeking to source new products and services, and we promote the north west as a business location for Israeli firms looking to expand overseas.

“The B-ICC does this by providing professional support and advice as well as by arranging trade missions and organising events and networking opportunities.”

Nigel said: “Gideon has given tremendous service to the B-ICC and has been steadfast in building lasting business relationships between the UK and Israel. Everyone connected with the organisation has great respect for all that he does.

“He is a hard act to follow but Robert and I, together with our new committee, are working to the best of our ability to build on his good work and we will continue to seek Gideon’s advice regularly.

“Following two recent events, we have had nearly two dozen new members or expressions of interest in joining, which we are delighted about.

“We continue to engage with trade missions from Israel to the north west, including most recently for the water industry.”

Israel is currently the UK’s 41st largest trading partner. New figures from the Department for Business & Trade show total trade between the countries in 2023 was £6.1bn, with the north west accounting for £272m.

Welsh business success celebrated at awards

The winners of the Wales Business Awards 2024 were announced by Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid last night (16 May) at a ceremony at the Vale Hotel & Resort in Hensol.

Businesses and organisations from across Wales came together to celebrate business success, innovation and best practice at the ceremony which was saw broadcaster Andrea Byrne return as host.

11 winners were crowned across 11 categories, with one of the lucky winners also receiving the Wales Business of the Year award which was presented by headline sponsor Jardine Norton.

St Athan firm Metrology Engineering Services scooped the top prize in addition to winning Innovative Business of the Year.

A leading service provider in reverse engineering, 3D laser scanning, damage assessment and quality inspection, the firm was recognised for its use of cutting-edge technology to advance the field of repair engineering to meet the evolving needs of the aerospace industry.

Steve Beasley, CEO of Metrology Engineering Services, said: “We are delighted to have won two awards including the overall prize: Wales Business of the Year. We’d like to thank Welsh Government and Aerospace Wales for helping us get started in this dynamic industry. Over the last year we have secured contracts all over the world and expanded our team to 20 highly specialised engineers who share our innovative vision.  I’d like to dedicate these awards to our brilliant team.”

Other winners on the night included Arian Care, Dulas Ltd, Dylan’s Restaurants, Genesis Biosciences, Ogi, Peter Jones ILG, Route Media, Watkins & Gunn Limited, Welsh Refugee Council and Dorian Payne of Castell Group, who took home the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Paul Butterworth, CEO of Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid, said: “The Wales Business Awards showcased the best of Welsh business, recognising firms who play a fundamental role in driving the economy forward, implementing innovative initiatives and supporting their teams.

“We’d like to offer our congratulations to our worthy winners, as well as those who were shortlisted.”

Rutland-Based Coffee Roastery Shortlisted for Green Company of the Year Award 

Two Chimps Coffee Made the Final Five 

Two Chimps Coffee Ltd is excited to announce they’ve been shortlisted for the prestigious Green Company of the Year Award at the BizX 2024 Awards. The company secured a spot among the top five finalists at the award ceremony in Liverpool, which was presented by TV personality Stephen Mulhern.

The BizX Awards celebrate and recognise outstanding businesses across the region. This year’s Green Company of the Year Award acknowledges Two Chimps Coffee’s unwavering commitment to sustainable practices throughout their operations.

“We’re buzzing with the recognition,” said Laura Shead, Co-Founder of Two Chimps. “Our team’s dedication to environmentally friendly practices is a source of immense pride. Being shortlisted alongside so many other fantastic companies is a big honour for us.”

“Since we launched in 2016, we’ve tried to continuously adapt the way we operate for greater environmental sustainability,” continues Laura, “We’ve always recognised the urgency of climate change and unsustainable practices, and as a business, we strive to be part of the solution.”

Two Chimps Coffee boasts 100% recyclable packaging and proudly maintains carbon neutrality through a partnership with Positive Planet.

The commitment to sustainability goes beyond packaging. Two Chimps Coffee sources its specialty coffee beans from smallholder farms and cooperatives through a streamlined supply chain. These partner farms share the company’s environmental values and operate with ethical and transparent practices.

“We’re super grateful to have been recognised for our efforts, and we’d like to say a big well done to our team!” Concludes Laura.

Find out more about the award here.