CHRIS KAMARA KICKS OFF FIRST EVER PRIDE OF VEKA AWARDS
The VEKA UK Group – one of Burnley’s biggest employers – has recognised the exceptional efforts of its staff with an awards evening presented by sports broadcaster and former professional footballer, Chris Kamara.
The inaugural Pride of VEKA Awards took place at the Fence Gate near Burnley, and was attended by the winners, The VEKA UK Group directors, and their respective partners.
The Group – Burnley Business Awards’ Business of the Year for a second consecutive time – is the leading manufacturer of PVC-U window systems in the UK. Around 380 staff work from its Farrington Road headquarters, which centres around a £5m industry-leading processing plant; opened in 2014 by Vince Cable MP.
Dave Jones, Managing Director of The VEKA UK Group explained: “Our ethos is one of continuous improvement. We are aware that not everything ‘comes from the top’. We encourage all our staff and support them with opportunities to further their careers; always inviting them to bring their ideas forward.
“Listening to the perspectives of people throughout the Group has been pivotal to our continued success, and has resulted in just some of the many contributions we’re celebrating tonight.”
Scott Watson of the Operations department received the final award of the evening for proactively exhibiting all The VEKA UK Group’s values since starting its Graduate programme 18 months ago. He commented: “VEKA has given me the perfect introduction to the world of business, and the ideal setting in which to complete my Business Management foundation degree. I’m thrilled to have received this award for my positive approach to work at the company, but the truth is that VEKA employees want to excel for the benefit of everyone at the company. We’re proud to work for VEKA, and it’s clear that the bosses think the same about us!”
Production Unit Leader Jeff Peasey was one of five managers to be voted a ‘Leading the VEKA Way Champion’, following sessions aimed at providing a consistent and practiced leadership style. He accepted his award, saying: “Firstly, thank you. Secondly, I feel that all the hard work and dedication I have shown is not only being recognised but it is valued throughout the business.”
Other awards recognised flawless attendance records, with three people having never missed a day’s work in more than ten years; and two members of staff who had undertaken years of study in their own time to gain Chartered professional qualifications in their respective fields of Marketing and Personnel & Development.
Two members of Extrusion staff, who were asked – initially in an unofficial capacity – to focus on training during their particular shifts, were rewarded for embracing the added responsibility and ‘making the job their own’. Both have since been offered the roles on a permanent basis. And a Planning employee was commended for his unmatched contribution to the Group’s Bright Ideas scheme, where employees can put forward suggestions for the improvement of the company, in any respect.
Gabriela Hammond, Head of HR for The VEKA UK Group commented: “’This evening’s event has been excellent. It’s been great to be able to recognise our employees’ successes and so nice to see colleagues congratulating and inspiring each other.”
Dave Jones added: “The Directors and I have shared a fantastic evening with staff who illustrate the amazing talent we have throughout the Group. The surprise of Chris Kamara presenting the awards was a pleasure, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed his speech on the importance of teamwork. These first Pride of VEKA Awards have been a great success – I’m looking forward to next year’s event already!”
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