The competition was hotly contested, so we are very proud to announce that Prospect Training Services is Believe in Gloucester's 2015 Business of Year!
It's an award we don't take lightly and we acknowledge we could not have won without the incredible hard work of all of our staff or the amazing things our learners achieve which inspire us to be the best versions of ourselves each day. Prospect Training Services is made up today of over 100 staff, every one of whom contributes daily to the delivery of our high-quality education, from eLearning to classroom-based courses. It was only natural then, that when our names were called, we took it upon ourselves to storm the stage as a group and represent all the individuals that make up our business.
For over 20 years, Prospect Training Services has been at the heart of Gloucester, providing resources and second chances to those who need it most throughout the city and county. “There’s always a supportive network of very diverse and friendly members of staff,” Helen Burnham, one of the tutors who works closely with a number of challenging learners comments. “It is a family business and that’s what makes it special, everyone looks after each other.” Gloucester-born Louise Pinnell, Prospect's founder, has sought to help Gloucester’s citizens fulfil their full potential since the company’s inception, helping over 45,000 young people and adults who are not in education, employment or training get back into work. The work our staff do is life-changing; not only for the individuals we help, but also their families, their futures, and for the Gloucester community as a whole. The ripple effect of a single person returning to work, or providing them with the skills to embark on a new career is paramount to sustaining a city’s economy. The social impact value calculator HACT estimates that the work our staff have done for our learners to be worth at least £11.78 million to the community. For the lives of the thousands of learners our staff have helped, the service provided has been invaluable.
We were also proud to sponsor an award for the Best Community Project, which was presented by David Evans to Rich Burge of Gloucester City Safe. Later that evening, Rich, whose not-for-profit company aims to reduce crime in the county, also received a well-deserved award for Ambassador of the Year.
It wasn't just the one award we were honoured to receive either. Our very own Mike Devlin, known to many as Spike, won Sports Champion of the Year. In addition to leading the way with our pioneering GOALZ Programme which uses sport as both an incentive and reward to help those aged 16-18 and not in education or training achieve maths, English and Sports and Active Leisure qualification, Mike also runs soccer camps, street football and Timmy Tigers for burgeoning young players. In Mike's nomination, Gloucester City Football Club player, Billy Jones explained: "it’s about more than being a tutor or coach; it’s being there for learners if they are having trouble at home, making them feel safe and supporting them in any way they need. Some of Mike’s learners have had substance abuse problems, issues in their personal lives and generally a tough time getting on well at school. But he realises that if you strike the right balance between being a mate and being professional, your learners are engaged, and at GOALZ they’re engaged in a programme that can have a huge positive impact on their lives, so it’s a role he takes very seriously."
A wonderful evening, greatly attended with delicious food and excellent service was had by all so thank you to the Gloucester Rugby Club at Kingsholm, a perfect and fitting venue described by Phil Vickery as his cathedral. Jenny Eastwood joined Phil as co-host to lead the evening from start to finish with a video link from Brockworth's own Simon Pegg wishing everyone the best and also joking, "I do believe in Gloucester, because I was born there, so I know it exists." Jamie MacDonald of the Superhero Foundation gave an inspiring speech and tribute was also paid to 21-year-old Alex Harding who was the under-21 Gloucester ambassador just two years ago. Tragically, Alex recently passed in a tragic collision on the M5.
It was great to catch up with so many pillars of the community, a perfect reminder that Gloucester really is worth believing in. In celebration, we even cracked out the selfie stick! We'd also like to take the chance to mention our short-listed competitors, Group HES, SFC Group, Steve Elway and Lee Fancourt. We were proud to even be considered equals among you!
For a full list of the winners, visit www.gloucestercitizen.co.uk/Simon-Pegg-beamsw-Believe-Gloucester-Awards.