The story of how we won the Team Development award 2017
The Merton Best Business awards ceremony is one of our favourite nights of the year. The Merton business community gathers to celebrate our mutual successes and with many of our clients and contacts in the room, we feel like we are amongst friends. This year we were treated to a trip out of the borough to Epsom Downs racecourse due to the renovations taking place at the usual venue of the All England. We were worried Merton Chamber’s Raymond Kinsella might turn to dust if he crossed the borough boundary, but he was there networking like a pro, as ever.
It was fun for seven of our Clan to be out together in our finery. We were pleased to find ourselves seated at the same table as the guys from 360 Ripple. But we were at the back. Oh no! We had won last year from a table at the front, seated with one of the sponsors. The tables were packed closely together to fit the 260 audience members in. Surely the winners wouldn’t have to trek that far to the stage to pick up their trophies? It didn’t look good.
The speeches were welcoming; the wine flowed over dinner; the room fell silent for the stunning voices of the South Thames College band; then it was time to get down to the business of the awards.
First up was Best New Business – who would our crown pass to? We cheered on 360 Ripple, but it wasn’t their night (next time, guys!) as The Orchard Day Nursery took the award. It was hard to choose who to root for in the Best Service Excellence category as we knew so many of them, but we had helped Wimbledon Babysitting Agency with their application so were really hoping Caroline would be holding the trophy aloft. But that wasn’t to be either. Was it going to be a night of disappointment? It appeared so. When our name wasn’t read out in the first category we were finalists in: Best Enterprising Business, our faces fell. Had Nicolle lost her touch when it came to writing awards applications? Were we a one-trick pony?
Thankfully, we had something to celebrate when Help For Carers were named runners up in the Employer Of The Year category. After much cheering Nicolle sat down and breathed a sigh of relief. She had helped Stefan with his application so was pleased they had made it to the stage. We were all on our feet again when Help For Carers were named winners for Best Business Over 50 Employees! When Stefan briefed Nicolle about writing the application he’d said “If we’re going to enter I want to win.” Gulp! Well, mission accomplished!
As Merton Chamber’s CEO Diana Sterck announced the finalists for the Team Development award, she highlighted that there had been a tie on points so there would be two runners up. There were only four in our category. We weren’t the first runners-up – congratulations to Eligo Recruitment! We weren’t the second runners-up – congratulations to Kew House Care Home! Eek! Our nerves were jangling. It was all or nothing. We couldn’t make eye-contact with Arthur House, who we were up against.
“And the winner is…Business Clan!” We erupted with screams of delight, started madly hugging each other, then realised we should be making our way to the stage! We joined hands, arms raised in celebration and snaked our way to collect the trophy. It was particularly special to collect it from Diana. We had our moment with the paparazzi then headed back to the table to celebrate and share our news with the rest of our team and our supporters waiting at home for news. An awards win is always great for our social!
Congratulations to the rest of the Merton Best 2017 winners, runners-up and all the finalists. It’s amazing to come home with the trophy but being a finalist is special too. Arthur House – we particularly feel for you. Next year!
Our application had been a team effort, as it should be, for the Team Development award. Nicolle was chief writer and content creator, but there was inspiration, as always, from Delia; testimonials from Leeza, Naomi and Annabel; mentions throughout for other members of the team; and help with editing down to 250 words for each question from Amy (the really hard bit!). The judges commented that we are, “A young business set up and growing with equality and diversity at its heart”. We are more than happy with that.