AID to Hospitals Worldwide has beaten the UK’s greenest businesses to a top award.
The Bury St Edmunds-based social enterprise, which refurbishes and recycles hospital equipment for developing countries, has won the British Chambers of Commerce’s Sustainability Award.
In addition, the judges were so impressed with the company’s unique approach, that they also named it as a runner-up for the Outstanding Business Achievement Award, earning a £10,000 cash prize.
Aid to Hospitals Worldwide (A2HW) was founded in 2004 by retired local government officer Mike Coleman after he saw a usable x-ray machine being scrapped.
Now its services are endorsed by the NHS Sustainable Development Unit and it sends equipment to 44 developing countries, helping an estimated 12 million people. Last year it shipped more than 88 tonnes of medical equipment and supplies.
Mike’s wife Ann, who received the award with him on Friday, said: “We are thrilled to receive this recognition for our Christian-based organisation. It’s a big boost for all the hard work put in by our staff and volunteers.
“It’s rewarding, too, for those hospitals, like West Suffolk, who donate their decommissioned equipment via us for those in the developing world.”
Mike said: “The icing on the cake was the Outstanding Business Award, which brought £10,000. Every penny counts in today’s economy and this will give us greater flexibility in our financial planning for 2012,”
John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce said: “This company is strong and growing, drawing all elements of sustainability together. It’s great to see a commercially viable business that’s also delivering environmental and social benefits at home and abroad.”