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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
Coreena Ford

North East business life: charity, community and award events in the region

NEPO has scooped the award for digital service delivery at the GO Awards for its Open e-procurement platform.

In October 2022, NEPO and 12 North East local authorities launched Open, the e-procurement platform to help businesses find and bid for competitive opportunities. The system has been developed in partnership with Accenture, AWS and Version 1 to ensure that it takes advantage of cutting-edge technology.

The Go Award judges praised the Open submission for building a system for the public sector by the public sector. Judges were also impressed by the level of stakeholder engagement undertaken to deliver a system that works for both buyers and suppliers.

Adam Smith, head of commercial and technology at NEPO, said: “NEPO prides itself on its pursuit of continuous innovation and being an early adopter of new technology solutions. We believe our procurement systems should help us focus resources, support strategic goals and deliver the best outcomes for our stakeholders. That’s why we built and launched Open, NEPO’s e-procurement platform, designed by the public sector for the public sector. We’re in the early stages of delivering the potential that Open has. Over the past six months we have launched six separate regional procurement opportunities and registered over 4000 suppliers onto the platform. There’s a lot more to come over the next six months to ensure that we deliver our collective ambitions as a region.”

Five of Bellway’s NHBC award-winning site managers. From left, Chris Smith, Ashley Chell, Dave Pringle, James Kilby and Andrew Hayward (Bellway)

Newcastle housebuilder Bellway is celebrating after 34 of its employees won prestigious industry awards.

The site managers, based at Bellway developments up and down the UK, were among 444 site managers from across the country to receive Quality Awards this year in the National House Building Council’s (NHBC) annual Pride in the Job competition.

The winners were selected from a pool of more than 8,000 site managers whose developments have been inspected by the NHBC over the past year, placing them among an elite group within the industry. They will now go forward to the next stage of the competition – the NHBC’s Seal of Excellence and Regional Awards this autumn.

Frank Lincoln, group construction director for Bellway, said: “It is great to see that the hard work and dedication of our brilliant site managers across our 22 divisions is being recognised in this way by the experts at the NHBC. At Bellway, we are committed to excellence in recruitment, training and staff retention so that our teams, both on-site and off-site, are of the highest quality and all members of staff feel totally invested in their role within the company.”

Kilfrost is marking 90 years in business (Kilfrost)

Family firm Kilfrost is looking to the future as it celebrates 90 years in business. The Haltwhistle firm has been making de-icing fluid for the aircraft, ground and rail sectors around the world since 1933 and says it is “justifiably proud of our achievement, our heritage and people” after being involved in safety critical advances to get aircraft airborne safely in icing conditions for so long.

The firm is well known for its work in aviation, but Kilfrost has also been involved in attempts to de-ice the football pitch at Newcastle United and developing ‘Slimego’ to remove slime from meat in the 1930s, working in the rail industry, working on Arctic convoys to keep ships safe, supplying products for Antarctic surveys and inventing the first ever glycol based aircraft de-icing and anti-icing fluids that remain the basis of today’s products globally.

Gary Lydiate, chief executive officer, said the firm is now making strides into geothermal activities, refrigerants including for the drinks industry as well as a low-viscosity range of products.

Mr Lydiate said: “We cannot sit still, we need to continue innovating and thrive as we have done for the past 90 years. We embrace those challenges. That future also means looking at our community both large and small to support them too. As with any business that has thrived for 90 years there have been rollercoaster moments. But, Kilfrost has always thrived and will continue to do so.”

Left to right: Claire Brissenden (from Trinity Chambers), Kayliegh Richardson, Callum Thomson, Michelle Cosheril, Lyndsey Bengtsson, Kathryn McGeary, Lisa Callum and Elisabeth Griffiths (Northumbria University’s Student Law Office)

Northumbria University’s Student Law Office won the Pro Bono/Community Initiative category at the Northern Law Awards 2023.

Northumbria’s Student Law Office is known for its a pioneering approach, in which law students undertake free legal work under professional supervision to support real clients. It was praised by the judges who described a “highly engaged team offering real support to the community in all aspects of legal advice.”

The Student Law Office has managed more than 7,000 enquiries, represented more than 3,000 clients and secured over £1.6m on their behalf since 2005.

Kayliegh Richardson, co-director of the Student Law Office, from Northumbria Law School, said: “Winning the Pro Bono/Community Initiative category at the Northern Law Awards is a superb achievement and recognises the fantastic work of the staff and students in the provision of legal advice and assistance to the North East community and facilitating access to justice. We are proud of the exceptional results our students achieve and the positive difference they make for members of the public, businesses and community groups.”

Prof Robert MacIntosh, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Business and Law at Northumbria, added: “The Student Law Office showcases one of Northumbria’s signature strengths in providing our students with hands-on legal practice experience, enriching both their learning experience whilst at university and their employment prospects when they are ready to leave. Winning this latest award also demonstrates the social and economic contribution Northumbria makes to individuals and to the region. It is a world-leading law clinic, I congratulate our colleagues and students on their success and we are already looking at ways to expand the scope and impact of this great service.”

Josie Gibson presented the award to Resolve Care's Anne Graham (Black Ink Photography)

County Durham healthcare business Resolve Care has been recognised on a national level for its commitment to providing care to neurodiverse service users.

Resolve Care, which has bespoke homes in Bishop Auckland and Spennymoor, has achieved the Above and Beyond Team Award (specialist services) in the Stars of Social Care Awards, which aim to shine a light on the stars of social care. The organisation provides residential care for men with learning disabilities, employing a staff team of over 30 people

It marks the award win for the company, which has recently been given advanced accreditation status by the National Autistic Society too.

Anne Graham, director and service manager from Resolve Care, said: “It’s a real honour to be given this award, which recognises the hard work and dedication of everyone at Resolve Care. We are so proud to provide the highest quality of care to the neurodiverse people we support and it’s a special moment for the team to be given national recognition.”

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