Firms’ support for Own Grown is rewarded

BUSINESSES which have thrown their weight behind the Own Grown campaign were recognised at the annual 1066 Business Awards.

The first ever category devoted to the initiative, launched in February, featured in this year’s event.

Members of the Own Grown steering group sat down to review a shortlist of half a dozen worthy candidates ahead of the awards, which were held on Friday (July 26).

Two businesses that came close to award recognition were Distribution Verification Services (DVS) and Marie Jones, at The Office, Your Office. DVS has offered 15 work experience placements.

The ‘highly commended’ runner-up business was Bausch + Lomb, suppliers of contact lenses.

The firm has taken on both school and college students on work experience placements, as well as job seekers.

It has also worked with two students to produce a promotional video for their business.

The overall winner in the Own Grown category was the De La Warr Pavilion (DLWP) in Bexhill.

At least half a dozen work experience placements have come from Jobcentre Plus and as a result, DLWP has offered two people jobs.

Patricia Lochans, from the DLWP, said: “We are delighted to achieve the Own Grown award which acknowledges our commitment to helping young people find career opportunities in the creative industries.

“We remain totally committed to the scheme and look forward to offering further work experience placements to young people from the local area.”

The DLWP also arranged with Sussex Coast College to have construction students along for practical experience.

Plans are in place for more recognition as the Own Grown team plan for their own awards and celebration evening on November 14.

Any business wanting to make a pledge to the campaign should log onto www.owngrown.org.uk, email owngrown@hastings.gov.uk or ring 01424 451795.