In our last blog post we were dressing (with fingers crossed – not easy!) for success and heading off to the FSB London Business Awards at the Pullman Hotel. There was excitement and anticipation in the air, not to mention a great deal of hairspray, perfume, nail polish and aftershave! We all scrubbed up very nicely, if we do say so ourselves!
Nominated in three tough categories … Apprentice of the Year (Charlie Springer), Best New Business (CIC) and Training & Development … We went off to enjoy the evening, proud to be nominated but not necessarily expecting to gain further recognition over and above the nominations themselves.
How wrong can you be?
We are delighted that CIC was nominated – our Work Preparation Programme has only been operating since February and has already gained some tangible successes; placing long term deaf unemployed individuals into jobs. Life changing indeed!
Our congratulations go to Charlie! In a hotly contested category he came second and proudly accepted his Runner Up certificate on the night. As for Training and Development – we WON! How proud are we?!
Oh boy did we celebrate that night…. Red, White, Fizz – all were consumed to toast Deaf Umbrella into the early hours. Unfortunately, the Awards took place on a Thursday night (who planned that?), so Friday was definitely a 2 paracetamol, bacon sandwich, Mars bar, Cola and chips day! We self-administered every hangover cure in the book! Sunglasses all around and cheering quietly as we got on with the business of the day. Thankfully, Cloud 9 is a warm, fluffy and peaceful place to be…. As a team of consummate professionals, I can confirm the office was staffed, running like clockwork and fully functioning by 9 am Friday morning!
However, celebrations cannot go on for long – success needs to be capitalised upon to drive the business forward. The Awards are wonderful, but our reputation as a company depends upon our professionalism, ability to plan and prepare and to rise effectively to the challenges we meet along the business superhighway. We need to innovate and change in order to meet the various support requests presented by our customers, clients and students. These need to be meshed into the availability of our staff (both existing and new) and the most appropriate member of staff allocated to each booking in order to provide the best levels of support for every customer and client. Throughout the summer we plan and organise for the beginning of the new academic year. September is our busiest month and we need to be as prepared as we possibly can be. It is like undertaking a giant jigsaw – each piece is a course, staff member, customer, client or booking to be filled. Every change of timetable, change of course or new request alters the formation of the jigsaw until eventually the support settles down into a regular pattern. August is the calm before the storm, but we love September! The satisfaction of the completed jigsaw at the end of all the hard work is immense.