Businesses ‘overwhelmed’ at emotive Barking and Dagenham awards ceremony

Young Entrepreneur Business Person winner Seun Oshinaike of Silent Secret receives his award.

Young Entrepreneur Business Person winner Seun Oshinaike of Silent Secret receives his award. - Credit: Archant

A family celebrated forty years of business with tears of joy as they scooped two awards during an emotional ceremony.

Young Entrepreneur Business Person winner Seun Oshinaike of Silent Secret receives his award.

Young Entrepreneur Business Person winner Seun Oshinaike of Silent Secret receives his award. - Credit: Archant

Dad-of-one Daniel Westhorp of Welding Engineering Services was among the 12 winners to receive a glass trophy at the annual Barking & Dagenham Chamber of Commerce Awards last night.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” said the 29-year-old business person of the year at the glitzy ceremony in Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club in Victoria Road.

“It was the first time we have ever got anything in the local community, we are overwhelmed.”

The welding equipment suppliers, based in Barking industrial park, also won business of the year award as Daniel’s dad Roy Westhorp attributed the company’s success to an openness to change and business coaching.


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“This is unbelievable,” said the Chelmsford resident. “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done you are going to get what you’ve always got.”

Pioneering social media company Silent Secret, community drinks collective Company and ATK Electrical were among the other award-winners celebrating years of hard work and ingenuity before the 200-odd guests, while Fix Auto Dagenham came away with two gongs for their “excellent” customer service and training opportunities.

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Meanwhile guests enjoyed a sumptuous three-course dinner with entertainment from roaming magician Darren McQuade – and a selfie stick on every table.

Musicians Chase Martinez and swing singer Joe Gibson also charmed guests with everything from Amy Winehouse to Sinatra.

Host Paul Gwinn hailed the winds of change as he urged businessses to be “brazen” in their approach.

“In politics or business, the only certain thing is change,” he said.

“We need to be proud, to be be patient, to push ourselves above all else.

“You never know what you are capable of unless you give it a go.”

And guests prepared to get their dancing shoes on for the final act, Sound Sisters, a standing ovation was given to Daggers’ managing director Steve Thompson for scooping lifetime achievement award.

“His achievements are amazing; he has given so much to the borough,” concluded chamber president, Mark Bass.

For more information about the chamber, go to bdchamber.co.uk. Pick up a copy of the Post next week for full coverage and a photo spread.

You can also buy photos from the ceremony by clicking ‘Buy a photo’ on our homepage.

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