We heart "The Excellence of Croydon"
Did we mention we were born in Croydon?
Those of you who have come for training at our panoramic HQ at No.1 Croydon will know that even though we’ve expanded around the world, we’re still fiercely proud of the South London borough where ASP, and many ASPers, were born.
Last week we were lucky enough to be able to attend the Croydon Business Excellence awards and it really struck home that there is so much to be proud about in this fair place.
Croydon was the first London borough to be awarded Social Enterprise Status this summer, recognising that there are already 120 business here trading socially with many more to come.
There are so many exciting projects to support emerging talent, like fellow nominees 3Space and OutSpace who provide work space, support and mentoring for start-ups. Energy Donwell and Quidcycle help grass-roots and community environmental projects access ethical funding – the good people of Croydon helping others to help themselves.
And we can’t wait to try out Mum’s the Chef for our next company event. By focussing on the skills they do have (namely the ability to make delicious food from a rainbow of different cuisines) Mum’s the Chef supports people who have been long term unemployed to gain skills, employment and confidence. It’s such a simple idea, but one that really celebrates the diverse community in Croydon.
The food scene is positively booming. There’s rarely a day where one of the ASP team hasn’t ventured to Zabardast or Bethreen by East Croydon station, or the street food market on Ruskin Square, to feed our faces with something tasty. No offence Pret, but we love to support our local producers.
With Box Park opening next summer (yes, really, Croydon is getting a Box Park just like Shoreditch) the eating options are only going to get wider. No doubt along with our waists.
All good so far: London regeneration reaching the borough no-one believed in…
But what really stood out at the Croydon Excellence Awards was the number of more “traditional” businesses also doing great things.
We hope they don’t mind us saying, but businesses that are not sexy, shiny, techy or cool, were winning award after award for their forward thinking work.
For example, when you think of pest control; green business practice and exceptional customer service might not be the first thing you think of, but CleanKill UK were up for awards in both. They are hugely active in engaging and educating the public through social media and banging the drum for quality jobs in Croydon.
Three awards on the night went to Chequers Contract Services who provide cleaning and support services, again not an industry renowned for pushing forward employment prospects. But the team at Chequers are doing things differently, with award winning training and apprenticeship programmes to help grow and develop their workforce.
We were recognised ourselves recently for being a great place to work at the Exhibition News Awards and we were proud to be so. But media businesses operate in a spectacularly competitive recruitment market – we couldn’t offer the services we do without being able to draw in and retain the best talent to our team. And that demands we go above-and-beyond as employers.
But we truly are proud to share a postcode with so many other businesses that are committed to employee development, the environment and the community around them, not just because this makes commercial sense, but because they believe this is the right thing to do.
And we shall be celebrating this raising a pint of Cronx at the upcoming Croydon Craft Beer Festival – come say hi, we promise to bore you silly with how much we love Croydon.