The Camden and Islington Business Awards 2011 Winners

The Ringley Group, Winner – Community Engagement/Regeneration – CIBAs 2011

Ringley began its journey in 1997 and since then have developed a comprehensive range of property solutions. Their services include surveying, valuation, property and facilities management as well as sales and lettings to private, commercial and industrial clients.

Ringley recognises that it is their staff that makes the difference and the companies strength comes from their highly experienced staff who are all qualified property professionals.

Ringleys property advisors offer the highest standards in service from which you can expect professionalism, experience, insight and sound advice.

At Ringley they encourage openness, original thought and a positive approach to change and modernisation. “It is our people who add value to our service; this is why you can expect more”.

“Personally speaking, no other company is run the way Ringleys is, Maryanne Bowring runs a formidable company. Not only does she strive to make her business succeed she is also aware of the impact it has on the community and takes many steps to ensure that Ringleys are part of the community and that they are aware of their environmental responsibilities. No other company I know of has this awareness and this is passed on to the staff via weekly staff meetings and training.” – Joanne Wilson – GardenFix and Kleenfix Ltd

The Judges were impressed with Ringley’s innovative approach to CSR and the enthusiasm with which team members were engaged to take part.

For More information on Ringley visit their website at

Base Creative, Winner – Best Creative Business – CIBAs 2011

Base Creative is a London based web design and online marketing agency founded by Iain Scott. Since 2003 they have been designing websites and have won many awards for their creative talent.

Base Creative understands the importance of attention to detail when it comes to website design and boast a successful and proven creative process which they go through for each individual project they take on. This process ensures everyone involved on the project will come together for a creative strategy meeting where a full creative brief is taken.

Base Creative’s winning combination of online marketing experience and award winning design ability can ensure clients a great return on their web design investment.

“Iain Scott has visited us on numerous occasions and inspired our students with the story of the development of his business, from its conception to its current status. The qualities and skills he has exhibited in this business have reinforced the learning of the students as Ian is focused, tireless, passionate and committed in his enterprise. Ian is generous of his time and has been incredibly supportive. He is inspiring to our students and indeed to me. He is entirely deserving of your award and I wish him every success.” – Elaine Pinkus

The Judges were impressed with the sheer diversity of Base Creative’s portfolio and the unparalleled professionalism with which client projects were presented.

For more information on Base Creative’s services visit their website at

Van Heyningen and Haward Architects (VHH), Winner –  Best Property Services Business of the Year – CIBAs 2011

Founded in 1983, VHH are an award winning design-led practice. They are now a partnership owned and managed by four equity partners, Joanna Van Heyningen, James McCosh, Meryl Townley and Chris Wilderspin. With their holistic approach which respects the clients input the entire professional team are able to arrive at

VHH offer the commitment and determination necessary to see a design through and maintain high standards and quality. Each project will respond to the specific wishes of the client coupled with the pursuit of excellence in place making, construction and sustainability.

Working as a team client’s will benefit from the contribution of specialists and constructive negotiations with the statutory authorities and it is this with the determination to produce good design for the common good which has enabled VHH to win the “Best Property Service Business 2011” Award at The Camden and Islington Business Awards.

“They are a hugely talented (yet modest) firm who listen carefully and respond brilliantly to the client.  I can personally vouch for them as being easy to work with, incredibly reliable, innovative and talented with many ideas for ingenious designs, forward thinking in terms of materials, focussed on high quality sustainable buildings that will easily stand the test of time.” Dr Colin Diggory – Retired Headmaster of Alleyn’s School, 2002-10

The Judges felt that the breadth of talent within the firm made them stand out, their work within the local community and the diversity of their projects made them a clear winner.

For more information visit the website at

Gilly Hollis, Winner –  Coach and Training Consultant of the Year –  CIBAs 2011

Gilly Hollis is a communication expert with over twenty five years experience in designing and delivering training programmes and individual coaching in the areas of communication skills leadership development, stress and change management and outplacement support. Gilly has worked a wide range of public and private sector organisations, training senior leaders in effective and inspiring communication.

Gilly Graduated from the Central School of Speech & Drama and is now a qualified performance coach and certified Myer Briggs and NLP practitioner. Gilly has enjoyed a successful international consulting career in performance enhancement and personal development.

She is a member of the British Association of counsellors and Psychotherapists and an associate consultant with a leadership consultancy Performance Unlimited.

Winning the Mentor Consultant of the year award is just a small illustration of Gilly’s passion for encouraging people to develop as communicators.  The judges strongly believed that Gilly’s role in actively engaging with people faced with difficult employment issues made her stand out.

“Gilly provided outplacement support to the staff of Voluntary Action Islington facing redundancy. The feedback from staff was overwhelmingly positive about the role Gill played in helping them to deal with a very difficult situation. Gill’s work with staff enabled the organisation to avoid turmoil and continue delivering services at a difficult time for everybody” – Mike Sherriff – Chief Executive – Voluntary Action Islington

For more information on Gilly Hollis’s services please visit the website at

The Gower School, Winner –  Environmental Responsibility Award – CIBAs 2011

The Gower School offer a broad range of curriculum in multi-age classrooms, aimed at the development of the whole mind, body, heart and soul-teaching academic and social skills, as well as life skills to last a lifetime.

They make great effort to introduce environmental matters at an early age as part of day to day practices ensuring that recycling amongst other routines such as car shares, walk to school week, planting and growing and many more activities becomes part of a normal practice.

“I commend their efforts we should do everything in our power to ensure recycling etc becomes part of normal practice rather than an afterthought which I believe will be achieved through projects such as The Gower School.”

“Not only has the school been designed with consideration to environmental issues (a worthwhile project on its own) but young children are being advised/educated on recycling/environmental matters as a matter of course. I am a firm believer that it is easier and achieves longer lasting results to have environmental matters introduced at an early age as part of day to day practices that becomes second nature through the remainder of life. Whilst the other entries where worthy of nomination and I commend their efforts we should do everything in our power to ensure recycling etc becomes part of normal practice rather than an afterthought which I believe will be achieved through projects such as The Gower School” – Russell Griffiths, Veolia, Judge of Environmental Responsibility Award

For more information on the Gower School please visit their website at

Camden Garden Centre, Winner – Charity/Social Enterprise of the Year – CIBAs 2011

The Camden Garden Centre is not your typical Garden Centre. Not only do they supply a wide variety of plants and gardening products of excellent quality on top of offering expert guidance and customer advice but they are also a charitable organisation offering employment, training and educational opportunities and donate to their parent charity.

They offer a delivery service and an excellent five year hardy plant guarantee as well as providing help, advice and customer care. It is these services, quality plants and products and their charitable commitment to their community which enabled them to win the CIBA Charity Enterprise of the Year award 2011.  The Judges were particularly moved by their community outreach work and their work with those struggling to find employment.

“Peter, who runs Camden Garden Centre and has done for a number of years, not only runs a business that drives profits but also offers great opportunities for his staff, all of whom have come through many difficult situations. There is a great work ethic that Peter drives through the management and the team thus getting them back on to the straight and narrow”  Nick Davies

For more information please visit Camden Garden Centres website at

MIC Hotel and Conference Centre, Winner – Hospitality Provider of the Year – CIBAs 2011

Founded in 1950, the MIC is a social enterprise providing quality hotel services on a budget. The business provides affordable accommodation supporting international and home students studying in London.

The MIC was originally known as Methodist International House and was based in Bayswater, West London. Their founder Hilda Porter started the organisation after returning to post-war Britain from the Far East, upon discovering that London did not really offer a secure environment for Foreign students to live whilst studying in the Capital.

Since 1998 they have occupied Euston House which is placed a short walk away from Euston Station on Euston Street. Currently they house over eighty students from all over the world. In addition to this they also operate a twenty eight bedroom, 4 start hotel as well offering 15 meeting rooms allowing them to accommodate a variety of meetings, seminars and training courses.  The Judges were impressed by the unique nature of the hotel and felt it clearly showed how a social enterprise could still offer high end hospitality in a commercial driven industry.

“The MIC Hotel and Conference Centre is an outstanding business with a proven commitment to social and ethical principles. In fact, they were the first hotel to receive the Social Enterprise Mark. By meeting defined criteria for social enterprise, they have proved that they are in business to benefit people and planet, rather than maximising profits for shareholders or owners. We have been fortunate to be a customer of the MIC and have been impressed with the quality of the service and dedication of the staff. They provide a customer experience of the highest quality.” – David Forsgate – Social Enterprise UK

For more information please visit the MIC website at

Cushion the Impact, Winner – Business Service Provider of the Year – CIBAs 2011

Cushion the Impact have over ten years of experience in providing great results for their clients. They understand the value of time and they are dedicated to making life easier for their clients. No matter how large or small, simple of complicated, ordinary or unusual a clients request maybe, their staff can be relied on to find the best solution. They are not tied to their desks, they will work where ever their clients may need them whether that is in their office or home, from their own office or even out and about running errands. They promise to get the job done in a practical and sensible manner with the aim of making their clients life easier and simpler. It is for this excellent quality of service Cushion the Impact has been recognised and have won the CIBAs Business Provider of the Year Award 2011.  The judges felt that Cushion The Impact represented the full package when it came to assisting businesses, particularly SMEs and micro businesses. Their attention to detail and passion for customer satisfaction stood out in their application.

For more information please visit their website at

Jackie Fast – Slingshot Sponsorship, Winner – Young Entrepreneur of the Year – CIBAs 2011

Slingshot Sponsorship is an award winning sponsorship agency dedicated to creating new commercial platforms that transforms businesses. They will identify, create and optimise brand media assets for successful implementation as sponsorship platforms that create real marketing value for brands. Their diverse range of clients includes publishers, media owners, charities, events, music festivals, associations and celebrities.

They offer clients tailored solutions which include consultancy, project based work, and full service outsource.

“Jackie has shown that it is possible to grow a successful business from scratch regardless of age. Her tenacity to succeed and surpass client expectations if reflected through the growth of her business.” – Teresa Esan MBE, Director of Employability – City and Islington College

For more information please visit their website at

Camden Town Unlimited, Winner – People’s Choice Award – CIBAs 2011

Camden Town Unlimited was appointed by the business community to improve Camden Town as a place to work, live and visit. As the representatives for business they will introduce innovative approaches to upgrade the commercial and environmental performance of Camden Town, putting business at centre stage to oversee the operations. They work with a number of partners including Camden Council, Tfl, GLA, Central Government and key private sector stakeholders.

Their management team is directly responsible to a board of local business leaders, elected annually from and by their business membership ensuring only initiatives that translate directly into benefits for businesses are approved and delivered.

“CTU have done so much for Camden Town, on so many fronts. They most certainly are worthy of winning this award for several of their initiatives. They have been dogged in pushing for the improvements of the streetscape of Camden Town, and have been instrumental in changing the face of Camden High Street North. Their Pop Up Shop scheme was truly inspired and truly made a difference. – Caroline Seward - Senior Director – Global Facilities – Getty Images

Camden Town Unlimited received over 220 votes.

For more information please visit their website at

On October 27th at The Arsenal Emirates Stadium the Islington Chamber of Commerce held its inaugural “CIBAs” evening function. The Camden and Islington Business Awards showcased the very best business talent from across these two vibrant boroughs. This is the first time that a business awards recognised the efforts of local business people in the area. The awards were supported by Arsenal, Camden Council and Islington Council and its official charities are Islington Giving and Age UK Camden. Lesley Seary, Chief Executive of Islington Council and Sarah Hayward, Executive Member of Camden Council were in attendance to meet all finalists.  We are pleased to announce the winners through our official website:

The CIBAs have been established by The Islington Chamber of Commerce to recognise and celebrate those business owners in Camden and Islington who have successfully grown and maintained their business positioning throughout 2010 and 2011.  It is also an opportunity to increase the exposure of the local businesses within the Camden and Islington Area.  There were 10 categories including ‘The Young Entrepreneur of the Year’,  ‘Community engagement/ Regeneration Award’, ‘Best Creative Business’ and ‘The People’s Choice Award’.

For more information email or

Images by Jonathan Owen

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