Great North Air Ambulance crowned chamber business of the year

The Great North Air Ambulance (GNAA) has been handed a well-deserved honour.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 4:28 pm
This year's winners.

The Eaglescliffe-based charity beat off stiff competition to win top honours in the inaugural North East Chamber of Commerce Awards. As well as being named business of the year, it also picked up the champion of the year gong.

In the last year alone, it responded to 1,250 call-outs, despite the sizeable challenges it faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The business was founded in 1991 and is dedicated to administering pre-hospital care to those in need, as well as rescuing hundreds of severely ill or injured patients.

The GNAA is not NHS funded and is a standalone charity service. Last year it received a whopping 155,917 donations.

Lesley Moody MBE, chamber president (AES Digital Solutions), said: “The standard of entries for our awards was incredible. After all the challenges of Covid, we were delighted to read about so many North East businesses’ achievements. Our members have worked tirelessly to not just keep going but also grow, exploring new opportunities and markets.

“We offer our huge congratulations to all the winners but in particular to Great North Air Ambulance. It is a fantastic charity, saving hundreds of lives every year and also leading the world with training and innovations in emergency medical field.”

The judges paid tribute to the GNAA and its unwavering commitment to the development of its resources and the resilience it showed during the pandemic, describing the charity as "both truly inspiring and incredibly worthy of recognition”.

Chamber awards associate sponsor Bernicia’s chief executive John Johnston said: “The businesses showcased at the final demonstrate the incredible resilience and strength of the North East business community to adapt and thrive in the most challenging of environments over the past 18 months.”

Other winners were: best export business – Newcastle-based Pearson Engineering; entrepreneur of the year – Everflow Group from Stockton; green business – the Battlesteads Hotel in Northumberland, best business diversification – Gateshead-based Recovery4Life; diversity and inclusion award – SignPost Productions in Gateshead; small business of the year winner – Nirvana Europe, based in Wallsend; medium-sized business of the year – Stockton’s Endeavour Partnership; partner and president’s club business of the year – Seaham-based Believe Housing.