A local business hero from Southampton who created a charity loyalty card is hoping to scoop the top prize in the 2008 Barclays Trading Places Awards – a national Awards highlighting the increasing number of men and women who are turning their lives around by choosing to start up a new business.
The government backed Awards, presented in association with The Prince’s Trust, feature practical examples of people who have taken control of their lives by deciding to go it alone.
Hospital Gift Card was started by Adam Gregory two years ago, is one of hundreds of companies now hoping to win the top prize worth over £13,000.
In 1998 Adam Gregory’s life changed for the worse when he broke his leg while coaching his son’s local football team.
Adam’s previous lifestyle was put on hold as it was not a simple fracture and after several hospital visits, Adam found himself confined to a wheelchair for several months and registered disabled.
Adam (44) was forced to give up his successful business career as an award winning hairdresser or face the prospect of never walking unassisted again.
It was in 2003 when taking his son to a Southampton football game that he noticed how empty the disabled area was.
Having been in and out of hospital and having a knowledge of disabled people’s needs, Adam pledged from then to help others less fortunate to get the most out of life. To do this Adam felt more funds needed to be raised for Charities and the health service.
In 2006 Adam created a card which consumers can use as part of a shopping loyalty system. The card differs in that instead of earning points, it donates funds to the NHS Hospital Trust and support services, to enhance patient care.
With a lot of help from family and friends and support from Prime Minister Gordon Brown, The Hospital Gift Loyalty Card is about to be launched nationwide this year.
Adam hopes with the introduction of the Hospital Gift Loyalty Card will enable significant additional funds to be raised for NHS charitable trusts across the country.
Marketing Director of Barclays Local Business, John Davies, said: “The Barclays Trading Places Awards is a celebration of unsung heroes who, in spite of great personal challenges, have taken steps to establish a sustainable business and in doing so changed the direction of their lives – for the benefit of themselves and their families.
“We know the UK has some truly inspiring business heroes and if you can relate to Adam Gregory’s story we want to hear from you.”
The Awards are open to everyone who has been trading for a minimum of three months and a maximum of three years, with an annual turnover of less than £1 million.
Other supporters are the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), Jobcentre Plus, The National Federation of Enterprise Agencies (NFEA) and Microsoft.
John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, said: “I am delighted to once again have the opportunity to support the Barclays Trading Places Awards. The Government recognises the need to unlock enterprising talent amongst people of all sections of society and its role in encouraging people to have the ambition to start and grow their own businesses.
“I would like to congratulate all those involved in this year’s Awards and wish you every success for the event.”
Previous winners have included a single mum who overcame physical abuse to set up a successful beauty business, and a former policeman who lost an arm and his career but went on to establish a driving school for the disabled.
Entries for the Barclays Trading Places Awards – now in their fourth year – must be received by May 30th. Nomination leaflets are available by calling 0800 085 3203 or visiting
Judges will select 10 National Finalists who will attend a prestigious Awards Dinner in London at the Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, on October 7th, where they will each be awarded £1,100 worth of desktop software by Microsoft. The winner will receive a further £2,200 worth of Microsoft server software.
In addition the winner and runner-up, to be announced on the night, will receive £10,000 and £5,000 respectively, courtesy of Barclays.
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Rebecca Deeny or Kate Polson at Aspect Communications on
0208 673 2020
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Note to editors:
Barclays Local Business
Barclays Local Business is the small business banking arm of Barclays. It has over 570,000 customers that are a mixture of start ups, sole traders, partnerships and small limited companies. These turnover up to £1 million each.
We support businesses with:
A named business manager, locally based is allocated to all clients. We have 1,600 Local Business Managers in 600 locations
Give start-ups standard banking transactions free for up to 18 months. Wide range of free advice and information – Starting & Running Your Business CD-ROM; consultations with a panel of legal, accountancy & marketing experts; Business Opportunity Profiles & Business Information Factsheets; Legal & tax helpline, free I-sure data back up; free ‘Mindleaders’ online business skills training worth £1,000 and award winning software packages that will help save businesses time and money.
Flexibility to bank when and how customers want – online and telephone banking and a full counter service at 1600 branches nationwide
The Prince’s Trust
The Prince’s Trust is the UK’s leading youth charity, committed to helping change young lives.
We provide support, training and mentoring to 14-30 year-olds, helping them to find work and discover their true potential, even when they can’t see it themselves. Since we were set up in 1976, The Trust has helped more than 550,000 young people. We help 100 more each day.
We focus our attention on young people who need our help the most – the ones who have struggled at school and left without the qualifications they need to find a job. Or the ones who’ve got into crime or grew up in care, and think that no-one actually cares any more.
For more information please visit www.princes-trust.org.uk or call 0800 842 842
Jobcentre Plus, part of the Department for Work and Pensions, brings together employment and benefit services for people of working age and is a key element in the Government’s objectives to help people based on ‘Work for those who can, support for those who cannot’. It provides a professional and modern service to meet the diverse needs of employers and those seeking work, including:
· Personal advisers to provide practical support and advice to help those in need find and keep work, including training provision and benefits ./guidance
· A dedicated service to support employers in filling their vacancies quickly and successfully, including the ability to place jobs online
· Ability to search for jobs both online and over the phone through Jobpoints in Jobcentre Plus offices, the Jobseeker Direct phone line and through the website
· Swift, secure and professional access to benefits for those entitled to them.
Customers can access Jobcentre Plus services through around 1,000 locations across Great Britain, including over 800 newly refurbished Jobcentre Plus offices. Touch-screen terminals and Customer Access Phones are also available in a further 120 sites such as libraries and local authority premises. Jobcentre Plus works with over 275,000 employers to place 17,000 people into work every week. Over 400,000 vacancies are listed each week on its website and more than 4m job search requests are received, making it the number one UK recruitment website.
For further information on the services that Jobcentre Plus provides employers and people of working age visit www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk.
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform helps UK business succeed in an increasingly competitive world. It promotes business growth and a strong enterprise economy, leads the better regulation agenda and champions free and fair markets. It is the shareholder in a number of Government-owned assets and it works to secure, clean and competitively priced energy supplies.
The National Federation for Enterprise Agencies
NFEA (National Federation of Enterprise Agencies) is a network of independent, not-for-profit, Local Enterprise Agencies committed to responding to the needs of small and growing businesses by providing an appropriate range of quality services, particularly, but not exclusively, targeting pre-start, start-up and micro businesses and assisting in building their ability to survive, sustain themselves and grow. www.nfea.com
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.
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