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we were overwhelmed with the volume and exceptional quality of entries

The first ever UK-wide search for the small business with the biggest heart has concluded and the winner of the BusinessesForSale.com Small Business Big Heart Award is Chevening Financial from Kent.

Chevening Financial was one of nine regional finalists and has been selected for its long-term and on-going support for the people in its immediate community. Its prize is £1,000 for a charitable cause of its choice.

The award was so hotly contested that the judges have also announced four additional awards as follows…

Highly Commended Business Hearts
• Motiv8 Sports, North West England
• Trilby A Hair Academy, Hampshire and Dorset Region

Local Community Business Hearts
• Village Stores Mickleton, West Country Region
• Phil Anderson Financial, Scotland Region

Chevening Financial was selected as the overall winner for its eight-year long programme of community support taking housebound pensioners out for shopping and socialising, which has now become the highlight of many of the beneficiaries’ weeks.

To date Chevening Financial’s MD David Hawes-Gatt has clocked up 4,000 miles taking care of his group of lovely, lively ladies and gone on to also arrange additional outings like Christmas lunches, cream teas and trips to the seaside.

The ladies comment; “ I wouldn’t be able to get here without him.”, “We were all strangers and now we’re all friends.”, “It’s lovely to get together for a natter each week.” “It makes such a difference to me as David picks me up from my door and carries all my shopping into the house.”, “David goes out of his way to be helpful and puts smiles on our faces.”, “The cream tea he organised was fantastic” and “Some weeks, if I didn’t get picked up, I wouldn’t see another soul.”

Rufus Bazley, Director of Marketing at BusinessesForSale.com comments, “When we launched the Small Business Big Heart campaign we were confident the small business community would provide plenty of examples of how they help worthy causes, but even we were overwhelmed with the volume and exceptional quality of entries. Because of this judging has been incredibly hard and we felt compelled to award four additional finalists with additional accolades.”

Highly Commended Business Hearts go to Motiv8 Sport of Chester which specialises in providing sports and active pursuits to transplant survivors and people in need and Trilby A Hair Academy of Winchester which offers hairdresser training to people unable to access college qualifications while also offering free cuts to the homeless.

The Village Stores of Mickleton receives a Local Community Business Heart for its refurbishment of the village’s historic landmarks and organisation of cohesive community events, while Phil Anderson Financial of Aberdeen also receives and Local Community Business Heart for its incredible donations to the city’s homeless.


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Notes to Editors

Contact Details
For more information contact Ruth Stone, Orchid PR on 01483 358710 / 07788 417109 or email ruth@orchidpr.co.uk

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Submission to Judges from Chevening Financial, Sundridge, South East Region

Chevening Financial Ltd near Sevenoaks has been helping local people with their finances for eight years. Like many small businesses they wanted to do their bit for the local community. They teamed up with nearby charity Imago and they offered the time of one of their five employees or contractors for one morning a week.

MD David Hawes-Gatt explains, “It was our first footstep in helping others and a great experience too. Initially we did all kinds of things but I gravitated towards taking people out in a minibus they had and built a rapport with the other driver. Together we decided to team up and manage our own service for older folk needing lifts for their shopping for which the minibus wasn’t suitable.”

So, in 2011, David began driving ten local ladies once a week to the supermarket for their shopping and making time for a cuppa and a chinwag in the coffee shop afterwards. David uses his car as some of the ladies struggled with the minibus that was used beforehand. It has now become a regular feature of their week and even on those occasions when they don’t really need to shop, most of the ladies still come along for the outing.

The ladies comment; “ I wouldn’t be able to get here without him.”, “We were all strangers and now we’re all friends.”, “It’s lovely to get together for a natter each week.” “It makes such a difference to me as David picks me up from my door and carries all my shopping into the house.”, “David goes out of his way to be helpful and puts smiles on our faces.”, “The cream tea he organised was fantastic” and “Some weeks, if I didn’t get picked up, I wouldn’t see another soul.”

In all it’s a round-trip of 18 miles, meaning that over the last five years David has clocked up 4,000 miles.
Chevening Financial also organises additional outings for their ladies throughout the year, including Christmas lunches, seaside trips and cream teas. The ladies love the sense of occasion and feel thoroughly spoilt.

David is also a voluntary member of the appeals committee for Debra which helps to raise awareness and money for the charity. Debra supports individuals and families affected by Epidermolysis Bullosa, a rare and painful genetic skin blistering condition which, in the worst cases, can be fatal.

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