Last Thursday (10 September 2009), I was honoured to accompany some of my long-term clients to the International Arena in Cardiff for the annual APSE (Association of Public Service Excellence) awards, in which we’d been shortlisted for a prize. We had a fun, laughter-filled night, made even sweeter by the fact that we won!
finditinsandwell is a project run by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council which aims to stimulate the local economy by a) making public-sector contracts more accessible to Midlands businesses, and b) encouraging people to inter-trade, retaining money, jobs and skills in the area.
I’m proud to have worked with the finditinsandwell team since just after the launch of its website (www.finditinsandwell.co.uk) in the spring of 2007, writing news stories, event listings and fortnightly email bulletins.
Under the direction of finditinsandwell’s Steve Massey, I wrote the bid for this year’s APSE awards, in the category of ‘Best information and communication technology initiative’.
For us, simply getting shortlisted was a fantastic achievement (there were more than 400 submissions), although Steve said he had a “good feeling” about the final result. The APSE team has recently hosted a procurement seminar at Sandwell Council, and holds finditinsandwell up as a example of good practice in a local authority’s power to benefit communities.
And sure enough - Steve’s prediction came true! When the result was announced, I was proud to accompany my colleagues Julie Dixon from Sandwell Council and web developer Ash Payne of IceBlue to the stage, to collect our trophy from Sky News presenter Mai Davies. We were so excited that we did a little dance on our way up, prompting Mai to make a comment about Sandwell people “not being let out much”.
Sorry, Sandwell, if we embarrassed you.
The official news report says it was “a brilliant night in Cardiff”, which you can read between the lines as, “most of us had bad heads the next morning”.
In the coming months I’ll be re-writing the content for finditinsandwell’s business-support pages, working alongside Ash and the team at IceBlue (the marketing agency which built and developed it) to give Sandwell people useful, accessible information about the business support available to them from Sandwell Council and its partners. Watch this space!
At Good As Gold, we only write award bids for projects and clients we know inside out; that’s the only way we can feel confident of your success. If you’re not yet a Good As Gold client but you’re in a hurry to go for your next gong, have a look at www.awardsintelligence.co.uk.
The free email service keeps you up to date with dozens of national and international award schemes - and Awards Intelligence even offers a ‘no win, no fee’ service for compiling bids for awards in which they believe you have a high chance of success.