Large Business

Sponsored by Scrutton Bland

Lee Emmett and James Rook of Sanctuary Personnel receive the Large Business award from Sharon Gravener of Scrutton Bland. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

In the Large Business category, the judges were looking for an established business able to demonstrate all-round strength.

The award was open to any business from any sector of the economy which has an annual turnover exceeding £5million.

Entries weree expected to address the following criteria:

Figures − accounts demonstrating the level of turnover required to be eligible for the awards, your growth in sales/profitability over the last three years and which area or market this has come from.

People − evidence of best practice in HR and recruitment and a commitment to staff training and development.

Corporate Social Responsibility − details of CSR strategies, such as care for the environment, involvement in the local community and support for charities.




Sanctuary Personnel

Ipswich-based Sanctuary Personnel is the umbrella company of Sanctuary Social Care, the largest independent provider of social workers in the UK, Sanctuary Health, which supplies a broad variety of healthcare professionals to NHS Trusts, and Sanctuary Criminal Justice.
In a changeable marketplace where competitors have contracted in size, Sanctuary Personnel continues to grow by developing innovative solutions for its public sector clients to make greater financial efficiencies.
The judges said: “Sanctuary Personnel’s turnover has increasing some 80% in the past three years. We are also extremely impressed by the passion and commitment shown by the organisation, and particularly by the managing director, to the staff of Sanctuary.
“It is a vibrant place to work with many examples of staff being encouraged to make the most of their potential. There is also good use being made of the apprenticeship schemes, with many staff starting their careers in the company this way.
“The company is also committed to improving the profession in which it operates and founded and supports the charity operating the Social Worker of the Year Awards.”

The runners-up

Breheny Civil Engineering

Breheny Civil Engineering, which was formed in 1963, is one of the largest privately-owned civil engineering companies in the UK.
Its head office is in Needham Market but the company covers the majority of England, with four other regional offices. It describes its objective as being “to build infrastructure to meet Britain’s economic and social needs, create satisfying and rewarding employment, earn returns for shareholders and make a positive contribution to the social and physical environment.”
The judges said: “With turnover having grown some 90% since 2014, with growth in 2016-17 of 44% alone, Breheny Civil Engineering was a strong contender. When we visited we were pleased to see the growth backed up by strong working practices to develop and communicate with staff.
“We particularly liked the ‘You Said, We Did’ boards at sites. The company has recently set up the Breheny Charitable Foundation to better channel its fundraising activity.”

Vertas Group

Vertas Group is a fast-growing facilities management provider in East of England, specialising in a range of building services including catering, cleaning, grounds design and maintenance, energy, security and more.
Committed to creating a dynamic, forward-thinking business, Vertas stays ahead of its competitors in terms of quality, cost and innovation. Its values of sustainability, consistency, Integrity, partnership and agility are integral to its success and enables it to contribute positively to the local community.
The judges said: “Vertas Group is a substantial employer in our region, delivering services previously delivered by councils. Following a number of changes in 2014 the company has gone from strength to strength and turnover has increased impressively and the company is now delivering a substantial dividend back to its owner, Suffolk County Council.
“The company is a good example of what can be achieved by divesting services from local government control. Staff development and communication is very important for a company with so many employees in different locations and we observed many excellent methods being used, both traditional and those using social media.”