Reays are Wembley winners after being named the best family business in the north west.
We emerged victorious at the famous football stadium when it hosted the 2017 National Family Business Awards on Saturday, beating off hundreds of other family-owned firms to take the regional title.
With owners Chris and Nicola Reay unable to attend the ceremony in London, the award was presented to Rosie Groves, our marketing and sales assistant, and Shakayla Hayden-Okesene, our HR administrator.
"It was a big surprise to win. We weren't expecting it. I really wished someone had taken a picture of our faces when they announced it. I nearly cried!" said Rosie.
"When the host started her speech by talking about the owner's enthusiasm for the company and about getting young people on board, I knew it was us who'd won," said Shakayla.
The annual awards celebrate the best of British and Irish family businesses.
Reays were Wembley winners when the famous football stadium hosted the prestigious Red Ribbon Family Business Awards.
We beat hundreds of other nominated companies from around the UK to be selected as a regional finalist in the annual national awards for Britains best independent, family-owned businesses.
Our party, led by managing director Chris and his wife and finance director Nicola, returned from the black tie awards ceremony with a Commended For Excellence certificate.
Chris said: "We are all over the moon with the nomination. Thank you very much to the anonymous customer, employee or friend of the company who put our name forward for the award.
"We are determined to keep improving the services we provide. Being shortlisted for this award is a reflection on how hard the staff work to maintain Reays standards.
Joining Chris and Nicola at the awards ceremony were commercial director Michelle Stacey, accounts assistant Kate Sparkes and marketing assistant Rosie Groves.
Now in their seventh year, the Red Ribbon Awards are the most sought-after prize for family businesses around the country. They recognise and celebrate the contribution of enterprising families and entrepreneurs to the UK economy.
Awards director Amalia Brightley-Gillott said: There are over three million family firms and they employ one in three people. These awards are about recognising those businesses, the real engine room of Britains economy.
Red Ribbon Family Business Award
Reays have beaten hundreds of other nominations from around the UK to be named a Regional Finalist at this years Red Ribbon Awards the highest and most prestigious accolade to be awarded to Britains independent, family-owned businesses.
Now in their 7th year, the Red Ribbon Awards have become the most sought-after prize for family businesses around the country. They seek to recognise and celebrate the contribution of enterprising families and entrepreneurs to the UK economy. Previous winners have included The Goring, Shepherd Neame, Michel Roux Jr at Le Gavroche, Pimlico Plumbers, Angels the Costumiers and East End Foods.
Chris Reay from Reays says, we are all over the moon with the nomination, thank you very much to the anonymous customer, employee or friend of the company who put our name forward for the award. We are determined to keep improving the services we provide; being shortlisted for this award is a reflection on how hard the staff work to maintain Reays standards.
Amalia Brightley-Gillott, Director of the Red Ribbon Awards says, This year weve seen more nominations than ever before. Im always astounded by how many exciting, innovative and entrepreneurial businesses are out there, driven by the countrys most entrepreneurial business leaders. There are over 3 million family firms and they employ 1 in 3 people. These awards are about recognising those businesses, the real engine room of Britains economy.
Regional Finalists will represent their area of the UK at the National Red Ribbon Awards Ceremony at Wembley Stadium on 15th July 2016 where 10 companies will be crowned winners.
Reays is Cumbria's leading independent bus and coach company, operating a fleet of 65 vehicles and employing 140 people in the county. Based at Wigton, the family-run firm also has depots at Penrith and at Egremont, from where it runs the Sellafield Park and ride facility and other private and public bus and coach services in west Cumbria. The company has one of the largest fleets of luxury private hire coaches in the north of England. Working with Cumbria County Council, Reays also operates a variety of public and school bus services throughout the county.
About Family Business Place:
Family Business Place was founded in 2008 by entrepreneur, Anita Brightley-Hodges. A family business herself, Anita recognised a need for family-owned companies to be able to meet, share and learn from each other and tackle the unique challenges not faced by other businesses such as succession and family dynamics. Now the UKs leading events, publishing and advisory company for family firms, Family Business Place are proud to host the Red Ribbon Awards for their 7th successful year.
Red Ribbon Awards '16
Commended Excellence for Best
Business To Work For
Michelle Stacey, Kate Sparkes,
Rosie Groves, Nicola Reay and
National Family Business Awards '17
Regional, North West Winner for the Best Family Business
Shakayla Hayden-Okesene and Rosie Groves