There was a great deal of buzz and excitement amongst our Teenage Market traders at the 1st Service Excellence Awards, at Hitachi HQ.
The young people who took part in the Teenage Market last year, in partnership with the Trowbridge Arts Festival wanted to find out who would win the Entrepreneur of the Year and walk away with the top prize of £500. The winners also included businesses chosen for The Service Excellence Awards by a select group of Mystery Shoppers back in November, and included the Chamber of Commerce president, as well as centre managers from Castle Place and The Shires.
Back on a cold, wet night in January the young people went along to put forward their business plans to qualify for The Service Excellence Awards. Len Turner from the Business Support Service who was a judge on the night, gave an impassioned speech about how the only thing that got him out on such a vile night was the thought of good food and endless supplies of hot tea from Leykers Coffee Central, but how he and the other judges had come away inspired and rejuvenated by the energy of the young people present, the dedication to their new businesses and the creativity in the ventures.
The evening was introduced by Jon Lawes, Managing Director of Hitachi Commercial Vehicles, who welcomed the young people, speaking of his companies commitment to #InspiretheNext generation. Before participation certificates were handed out to all of the traders who had come along to the first Teenage Market, Town Team Chair David Baker and Market Manager Ellie Gill told the crowd that included Trowbridge Mayor, Glynn Bridges and the leader of Wiltshire Council, Jane Scott – just how the Teenage Market has come about and David’s WOW (World of Work) Programme.
The evening was expertly compèred by Trowbridge Town Crier of twenty-nine years Trevor Heeks and the top prize of £500 was awarded to Maxine Aldridge with her company Buttons and Bows Boutique. Maxine also won a £200 Travel Voucher, from sponsors Howard Travel in the Service Excellence Awards and runners-up cheques of £100 each were awarded to Hannah McBridge for her steam-punk jewellery company Rosina’s Curiosity Cabinet and split amongst the team from Supercrafts, the first cohort to go through the WOW Programme.
In closing Council Leader Jane Scott gave a special thank you to Town Team Chair David Baker for having made the whole thing possible.
A big thank you to the Wiltshire Times for attending the event – a full write-up can be found in their pages next week.