Businesses pull together to meet a host of challenges

Headline Sponsors

Business in the Greater Birmingham region will emerge stronger as a result of the “whole host of challenges” it is facing today. That was the message for

1,300 business people who gathered at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham last night from Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC). He said: “…while there are

plenty of well documented challenges and lots of uncertainty for businesses to deal with at present, our business community is increasingly pulling together and looking for ways to support and work with one another. “We are stronger together and

Excellence in the Community: John Saddiq (Big John’s), Pam Hodgetts and Jenny Chin (both St Mary’s Hospice) and Saqib Bhatti

Excellence in Contribution to the Community Sponsors: Big John’s

St Mary’s Hospice

Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, celebrating 40 years of providing care across Birmingham and Sandwell, were selected for their Excellence in Contribution to the Community. They cared for their first patient on Monday 5 March, 1979, providing care

to local people who have life-limiting illness. Their mission is to “enable anyone with a life-limiting illness to live their

life to the full” - a statement created by founder Monica Pearce. When the Hospice first opened it had a single ward (an inpatient unit),

that could care for 25 people on any given day. Today, the Hospice supports 400 people every day in homes, the community, at its day hospice facility and at the inpatient unit. Throughout this growth, St Basil’s have maintained their care. Satellite clinics take hospice care right into the heart of diverse communities, placing expert teams alongside healthcare professionals.

Excellence in Customer Service Sponsors: Virgin Handle Kingdom Ltd (HandleKing)

Handle Kingdom, who specialise in the retail of architectural hardware, have a strong commitment to “Customer is King” and go the extra mile to create an enjoyable and memorable experience. They have developed processes and simplified policies to make them

customer friendly. They have also invested considerable time into training staff, which improved product/service knowledge and understanding of customers’ requirements. It has also established a culture where emphasis is given to deliver service that exceeds expectations. Their whole team has a firm understanding that customers are not to be

taken for granted, regardless of the value of their business or the time it takes in supporting They insist that when service issues arise, customers, who include

carpenters, joiners and other trades people are treated “with the upmost importance and empathy” allowing them to feel valued.

Excellence in Customer Service: Carrie Lowndes (Handle Kingdom), Amanda Hines (Virgin Trains), Kay Wadsworth, Adam Lowndes, Daniel Remes (all Handle Kingdom) and Saqib Bhatti


stronger when we act with a common purpose, and facilitating that growing sense of connection and togetherness among our member businesses, supporting them with insights, intelligence and advice, and ultimately helping individual businesses and the regional economy as a whole to grow and achieve its full potential, sits right at the heart of this Chamber’s core reason for being.” Mr Faulkner added: “We are

not blind to the whole host of challenges and issues that we know exist at present, not just in business but in our communities and society as a whole. “But business truly can be, and

indeed is, a force for good, and we firmly believe that by working

together and by playing to our collective strengths, we will both deal with these challenges and emerge stronger than ever. “We can do this by making the

most of the unique opportunities that are presenting themselves to us in the region, such as the arrival of HS2 and of course the hosting of the Commonwealth Games in a little over three years from now.” Mr Faulkner said that over the

past four years the Chamber had “evolved very much in step with the changes we have seen in our city and region”. Pointing out that Chamber membership had again increased by over 10 per cent in the past 12 months, he added: “The quality of the offering has been recognised by the British Chambers of Commerce to the extent that the team at the Chamber – the people you interact with on a daily basis as members and stakeholders - won their national Excellence in Membership award last November.”

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