High-flyers keep borough flag flying

THE 12th annual Archant and Thames Gateway Business Awards proved that the borough is home to some of the region s greatest entrepreneurial talents. Finalists attended the glamorous awards ceremony at the Troxy in Commercial Road in East London on Friday

THE 12th annual Archant and Thames Gateway Business Awards proved that the borough is home to some of the region's greatest entrepreneurial talents.

Finalists attended the glamorous awards ceremony at the Troxy in Commercial Road in East London on Friday (November 6).

Barking and Dagenham businesses scooped three of the fifteen awards, including the Apprentice of the Year, New Business of the Year and Best Retailer of the Year awards.

The latter went to West & Coe Funeral Directors of Rainham Road South, Dagenham. Company director Jeremy West, has been running the family business, which was founded by his grandfather in 1903 in Dagenham, for 34 years.

He said: "We were delighted and surprised. We are very, very proud. It's a team effort.

"All our staff are very much involved in the run of our business.

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"We pride ourselves with being versatile. We never refuse a request, however extreme it is."

Hidy Larcher, 20, who is an apprentice at Barking and Dagenham council's Adult Community Services, won the Apprentice of the Year award.

She was nominated by her manager, Karen West-Wylie, who praised her personal development and her willingness to develop her skils.

She said: "Hidy is well-respected among other apprentices, she's really well thought of by the service users who are her clients.

"She's an example for others on the scheme."

Hidy is now planning to do study for a nursing degree at university once her social care apprenticeship is over in March next year.

Stoneshaw Estates, of Heathway, Dagenham, scooped the New Business of the year award.

Enzo Testa, Executive Managing Director of Archant London commented 'We are proud to do all we can to support, encourage and promote businesses within the many local areas we cover.

"The rich mix of successful businesses across the Thames Gateway region make our communities places we can be proud of."

An Archant prize fund of �100,000, which can be spent on marketing and advertising campaigns with Archant London, will be shared among all 15 winners.

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