Business Awards preview part II

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With the Cornwall Business Awards 2014 a little more than a week away, we continue our look at the various businesses up for an accolade this year.

Today we focus on the categories for Best Third Sector Business and Customer Focus.

Pluss customer Darren Richards and his boss Debbie, at work at Tesco, Tolgus
Pluss customer Darren Richards and his boss Debbie, at work at Tesco, Tolgus

The Wave Project provides free, therapeutic surfing courses to young people with mental health problems, or who are at risk of social exclusion.

Chief executive, Joe Taylor, was delighted to learn the company has been shortlisted for Best Third Sector Business. He says: “This nomination is a massive tribute to all our staff and volunteers who have worked to hard to deliver consistent, high quality surfing sessions free of charge to vulnerable young people in Cornwall.”

The Wave Project faces tough competition, however, in the form of Pluss, which was also on the shortlist in this category 12 months ago.

Pluss helps people with learning disabilities and mental health issues find paid work. PR officer, Geraldine Scott-Smith, says: “Being nominated for this award made us all stop and remember ‘Wow, actually look at what we do!’ We do it every day, but helping people into work really does change people’s lives.”

Another former finalist in the Best Third Sector Business category is Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust. So will it be third time lucky? “I have my fingers crossed,” says chief executive, Paula Martin. “The team has worked really hard and achieved great things, so they deserve it; I will be rooting for them all the way!”

Air-Ambulance-Trust
Will it be third time lucky for the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust?

In today’s competitive world, good customer care should never be overlooked; something which Coastline Housing, Cornish Mutual and Worldwide Financial Planning are all too aware of, being finalists in the Customer Focus category.

Indeed, Coastline Housing is Cornwall’s reigning Customer Focus champion, and since winning the award last year has introduced further improvements, including a scheme to help residents cut their heating costs.

Director of finance, Allister Young, said: “We’re under pressure after winning the Customer Focus Award last year. But customers continue to be our focus – the Community Energy Savings Programme cut over £250 from annual heating bills.”

111-year old insurance business, Cornish Mutual, will be looking to claim that title for itself, however, as will fellow Truro-based business, Worldwide Financial Planning.

Tomorrow, we will be turning our attention to the companies up for Employer of the Year and Best Use of Superfast Broadband.

The Cornwall Business Awards, which forms part of Cornwall Business Week, takes place on Thursday, May 15, at St Mellion International.