Latest News | 28 April 2022

Bondholders among record number of Queen’s Awards winners

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A trio of Marketing Derby Bondholders are among a record number of Derbyshire firms and organisations to receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Cosy Direct, which sells ethical educational supplies, Ward, a metal recycling and waste management specialist and Nimbus, which works to provide better accessibility for disabled people, have all recently been named as recipients.

In total, Derbyshire received nine awards – its best ever return. It follows concerted efforts by the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, backed by Marketing Derby, which itself is the holder of a Queen’s Award, to encourage more firms and organisations from the city and county to apply.

Overall, Derbyshire received the fourth highest number of awards, behind Greater London and South and West Yorkshire.

Cosy has received the Queen’s Award for Sustainability, while Ward received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

Nimbus has received the Queen’s Award for Innovation for its Access Card, which has helped tens of thousands of disabled people have better access to entertainment venues.

Set up in 2011 by husband-and-wife Peter and Amanda Ellse, Cosy sells ethical educational supplies to primary schools, councils and nurseries.

They started the business, which today employs around 100 people, after recognising a need for ethical, imaginative play equipment which would encourage outdoor learning.

The Queen’s Award for Sustainability is awarded for commercially successful products, services and management that benefit the environment, society and the economy.

Cosy specialises in supplying products including upcycled tyres, climbing frames, reading shelters and story chairs that engage and inspire youngsters.
Peter, who is chief executive at Cosy, said: “We are absolutely over the moon to have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Sustainability in what is Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee year.

“Cosy is one of the UK’s most exciting prospects when it comes to the educational resources industry – we’ve more than doubled in size over the last three years – and our community-minded ethos is something which we take great pride in.

“Sustainability and an ethical approach to business is important to us; we’re also proud to support charities and grassroots projects around the world – including right here in the Midlands.”

While sustainability is a cornerstone of Ward’s operations, the Derbyshire-based independent metal recycling and waste management specialist has been recognised for its international trade performance by the Queen’s Awards.

It has won the Queen’s Award for International Trade for outstanding short-term growth in overseas sales over the last three years.

The company collects and processes around a million tonnes of materials annually; recycling products such as metals, plastics, glass, cardboard, wood, textiles, soils, and hardcore to ensure its customers fulfil environmental regulations and commitments.

Thomas Ward, commercial director at Ward, said: “Winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade is a huge honour for the Ward team.

“Over the three years to March 2019, thanks to significant investment in deep sea dock facilities and ongoing hard work of our dedicated teams, our overseas sales grew by 84%, a growth rate of 36% per annum.

“We were able to expand our export capabilities to service larger customers in Turkey, Egypt, India and Pakistan.

“We are excited about the potential opportunities that winning the Queen’s Award could bring to help us achieve our long-term ambitions.”

Nimbus, a company run by disabled people, has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation, for its Access Card.

The business, which only has four employees, created the Access Card under the leadership of Martin Austin, who has been an amputee since suffering cancer as a teenager.

The Access Card translates its holder’s disability/impairment/access requirements into symbols highlighting the barriers they face and the reasonable adjustments they might need at an entertainment venue.

Each symbol is based on a person’s individual rights under the Equality Act and the service provider’s subsequent legal responsibility to make adjustments.

It informs providers quickly and discreetly about the support they need, meaning they now receive complex reasonable adjustments without having to go into intricate, often embarrassing personal detail.

The card is widely accepted at major venues across the UK and beyond.

Nimbus was set up by Disability Direct, which gave Martin the time and money to run with the concept for the card.

Martin said: “There was literally a moment when I was sitting with a pencil and a single piece of paper as the idea popped.

“The challenge starts internally convincing people that the investment to develop something is worth the risk.

“Secondly, you have to convince an entire, very well established, industry that you have something of value to them.

“After that and a few early adopters, you have the challenge of convincing those less adoptive of innovation to get on board.

“It’s not been an easy journey, but I can honestly say it’s been an exciting one for me, my colleague Greg Johnson, who has grown with the scheme and is now our lead decision-maker, and our ever-expanding team.

“The award is recognition for all of those who have supported us. It is also an overwhelmingly welcome signal of recognition, but it is not by any means punctuation in our development.

“If anything, it’s a catalyst for all of those sitting on the fence of working with us to understand what we have to offer and take our work as seriously as we do.”

Now in its 56th year, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise are regarded as the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Award emblem for the next five years.

Applications for Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2023 open on May 1. For more information click here.

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