On the 21st March, the Worshipful Company of Builders’ Merchants’ (WCoBM) hosted its annual City & Awards lunch at the magnificent 17th Century Vintners Hall in the City of London. The popular event celebrates the achievements of individuals in the industry and within organisations the Company supports in training and education through its charitable fund.
Liverymen, Freemen, award winners and guests gathered to celebrate the success of young achievers in the industry and among the Company’s affiliations. Now in its 10th year, the lunch received a welcome return following a two-year gap due to the pandemic.
More recently, the event has developed to recognise wider achievement and contribution, including environmental best practice with its ‘Caring for the Environment’ award, and the coveted Master’s award. Members are also encouraged to invite ‘rising stars’ from their businesses to learn about City Livery Companies, and network with senior figures from the industry.
Award winners at this year’s event included students from the BMF and the City & Guilds of London Art School; individuals from affiliated organisations, namely the 3rd Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (PWRR), HMS Forth, Beckenham and Penge Sea Cadets, and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF); and young achievers working with Build Up, a charity that focuses on regenerating community spaces in deprived areas of London.
BMF student winners were: Michael Church of City Plumbing, awarded Apprentice of the Year; Alun Thomas of LBS Builders Merchants for Best performing Diploma Student; and Joy Walker of JT Atkinson for Best BMF Online Student.
The ‘Caring for the Environment’ award acknowledges companies or individuals in the Livery whose efforts in areas of waste management, manufacturing processes, packaging or product development have resulted in greater sustainability or resource efficiency. The winners were Polypipe Civils & Green Urbanisation and Bradfords Building Supplies.
The Master’s Award was presented to WCoBM’s Secretary Denise Llewellyn for over 25 years’ of outstanding service to the Company. The award is a distinct accolade introduced to acknowledge the commitment, efforts and contribution of individuals in the Company who have gone the extra mile and made a real difference through strong support to the Company.
The Guest of Honour was Alderman and Sheriff Alison Gowman, who presented the awards and prizes, and special guest was Lord Dannatt.
During her speech, Alison Gowman emphasised the importance of investing in skills and encouraging talent: “Skills are the very lifeblood of our economy and I am pleased to be celebrating the burgeoning talent and skills of the future builders’ merchants’ workforce. This encouragement and support of skills is exactly what the Livery – and, indeed, the City – is all about. As the building and construction industry continues to focus more on sustainability, you will have plenty of opportunities to put new and old skills to the test. I also want to thank this Company for recognising the construction industry’s role in caring for the environment.”
WCoBM Master Andy Williamson added: “Education and training are one of the our Company’s key objectives, underpinned by bursaries to encourage talent and skills in the merchant sector and inspire individuals to learn and develop in their businesses. This luncheon is now a key event in the Company’s social calendar that reflects the forward-thinking values of a Modern Livery Company. Young people are the future, so it is important they are inspired to continue their career development and provided with different opportunities to build their learning and skills.
He continued: “I congratulate all the winners for their fantastic achievements, enthusiasm and commitment and wish all the students and individuals across our affiliate companies the very best in their careers.”
For the full list of award winners, visit: www.wcobm.co.uk.
The main image shows all the award winners with the Master & Guest of Honour. The second picture (below) is of Master of the Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants, Andy Williamson, addressing guests at theluncheon on 21st March.