Winners take all23 January 2018
The second annual LCN Awards ceremony was held on Thursday 19 October at the fabulous De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in the heart of London's West End – and it really was a glittering affair.
In a packed, sold out ballroom shortlisted entrants and their guests, as well as operators and suppliers to the industry, saw our winners take their well-deserved laurels.
It promised to be a night to remember and it more than exceeded all expectations. Comedienne Zoe Lyons compered the evening and entertained the audience with her sharp wit and humour.
Our headline sponsors told LCN of their commitment to the Awards scheme with Ross Weir, managing director of HJ Weir, saying: “This is our second year sponsoring the Awards. It is a tremendous event and we had great feedback to it last year. It is great to put something back into the industry and support those who have done so well in the past year.”
Another headline sponsor, Paul Haden, Tonrose managing director, added: “After the first LCN Awards last year we heard exceptionally good things about LCN Awards. I have been on both sides of the fence in the industry and this is absolutely one of the best things we can support – and get to spend time with the industry as well.
“The industry moves at 100 miles an hour, 7 days a week, 24hrs a day, so to get so many people together from the industry in one evening is an achievement in itself. We get to see faces we don’t see that often, and it gives us opportunity to meet new people, too. It’s a win-win situation for us.”
Jackie Smith of Bryant Plastics told LCN: “We supply some fabulous companies and the vast majority of the companies on your shortlist are supplied by us. They do a fabulous job and we want to celebrate that and our part in their success.
“At Bryants we know we make and supply the best quality products and it’s fabulous to be associated with so many companies that have quality and excellence at the core of their business too. It’s what we do best in Britain.
“We are the UK’s largest producer and supplier of Plastics Laundry cages and it’s not always possible for us to keep in touch with our customers, although Martin and Andy do a great job at that. So, the LCN Awards give us the opportunity to thank all our customers and this evening allows us to meet them in an informal setting and celebrate with them and to network with those that we don’t supply – yet!
“For us it’s all about our customers and getting the right products for them so we all succeed,” concludes Smith.
The winners are featured on their own pages on www.lcnawards.co.uk website and you can also browse through a gallery of photographs from the night. If you are thinking of entering the LCN Awards 2018, there is also plenty of useful information on the site.
Don't forget to catch up on topical issues, news and features, jobs and classified, product news – and a whole lot more at www.laundryandcleaningnews.com
Lifetime Achievement 2017
We had a very popular winner of the LCN Lifetime Achievement Award in the form of Dennis Hargreaves, a man who has spent his entire career in textile care at Johnson Service Group, where he has mentored, befriended, innovated, encouraged, driven ideas and definitely held high the torch of best practice in the industry. The announcement drew a roar of approval and a standing ovation as Dennis accepted the award.
Long -term colleague and friend Chris Sander, CEO of JSG, who unfortunately couldn’t attend the ceremony, but was complicit, along with Dennis’s wife Doreen, in making it happen, sent this message: “I am so sorry that I cannot be with you this evening to witness the presentation of this most prestigious award and I cannot think of anyone who is more deserving than you, Dennis.
“It has been a great privilege and an honour to have worked with you for so many years and your friendship and support has been immense. Please enjoy your evening with your friends and colleagues.”
Dennis subsequently wrote to LCN editor Kathy Bowry (pictured presenting the Award) saying: “I am most grateful and touched by your choice for the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ - I was totally surprised and honoured to be the recipient. Full marks to you, Doreen and Chris for ensuring a total surprise!”
Best customer service – drycleaner 2017
Elite Drycleaners of Edinburgh won the Best Customer Service – Drycleaning category at the LCN Awards 2017.
The company serves the Edinburgh and West Lothian areas. Elite employs local people and uses the latest drycleaning and laundry techniques and training methods tto ensure customers get the very best drycleaning services available. The Elite team are pictured receiving their Award from Jackie Smith of Bryant Plastics.
The judges said: “Young and vibrant. Best submission in this category so far. “
“More than meets the criteria. Elite’s emphasis on training and investment in good quality equipment for quality cleaning impresses. And they offer different methods of cleaning, too.”
Best customer service – laundry 2017
Guarantee Laundries received the Best Customer Service – Laundry title at the LCN Awards 2017, a very popular choice! Our congratulations to Faith and her team.
In the October issue of LCN, Faith Foote, MD of Guarantee spoke to editor Kathy Bowry about the company’s move to its newly-fitted out £2m+ hospitality laundry premises and its mission to provide quality to its clients.
The judges said: “Guarantee Laundries definitely go the extra mile. Really impressed by the level of service. Out of hours deliveries to help clients even when it is bad planning on client’s behalf.”
Best on-line service – laundry & drycleaner 2017
LaundryRepublic, the 24-hour locker-based laundry and drycleaning service founded in 2008 by two ex-City workers, won both the Best Online Service for Drycleaning and the Best Online Service for Laundry at the LCN Awards 2017.
The LaundryRepublic concept is simple: secure lockers, placed in apartment buildings and workplaces.
Customers lock their clothes in them, place an order by text message or online, and let LaundryRepublic take care of the rest. It is the second year that LaundryRepublic has taken the accolade.
The judges said: “Concierge and lockers.Works well. Like the recycling option. Business doubled in capacity. Own premises. Strong entry. Innovative. Brilliant system. Can see it.
“No worries for customers, eco friendly – love that. Great idea with the personalised bags.”
Entrepreneur drycleaner – Ed Relf, Laundrapp
Ed Relf, the founder and CEO of Laundrapp, the award-winning laundry and drycleaning industry app, was named Laundry and Cleaning News Entrepreneur of the Year for Drycleaning.
Named ‘App of the Year’ in 2016, Laundrapp said that its ‘Powered by Laundrapp’ platform has streamlined the delivery process, using smart vehicle tracking, geo-based real-time logistics and mobile first technology to offer the consumer a fast, efficient and easier option than doing their laundry at home.
The judges said: “Ed Relf at Laundrapp really does fulfil the meaning of the term ‘entrepreneur’ with the vision to create a technology-based business for today and for the future.”
Entrepreneur laundry – Rona Tait, TDS Commercial
Rona Tait of TDS Commercial won the Entrepreneur - Laundry category at the LCN Awards 2017.
TDS is a commercial laundry that operates from purpose-built, state-of-the-art laundry premises, based in Isleworth, west London. As well as day-to-day standard flatwork for high calibre hotels and restaurants, it has a client base that includes racing teams and Pinewood studios.
The judges said: “Rona Tait started from domestic cleaning, bought a launderette with no intention of running it BUT made a big success of that endeavour and is now looking for another.”
“She has led, developed, built and is infinitely adaptable. And she and her business are growing by building on her expanded skill set.”
Innovation – drycleaner
Boxed Bridal is a specialist wedding dress service based in Hampshire. Boxed Bridal’s Nickie Jenvey said “We all had a fabulous evening and the food was excellent!
“Winning the Award has been a huge boost in spirits for all the team, both Pressing Needs and Boxed Bridal. We will certainly plan to enter again next year, as ultimately there are two Awards we would love to win….Independent Dry Cleaner and Customer Service.”
The judges said: “Facebook, Instagram, gift card, sign-written branded Mini van for collection and deliveries…nice one!”
“Small company…nice customer package!”
“Obviously very committed and modern-thinking.”
Innovation – laundry
South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust, NI
The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, based in Nothern Ireland, is an integrated organisation, incorporating acute hospital services, community health and social services and serves a population of approx 345,000 people with a budget of almost £500 million.
The team used their initiative by using the hospital laundry and existing transport to offer no-cost laundry to home-based elderly and ill patients in the community.
This is the second year the Trust has won an LCN Award. Last year the Trust won plaudits for its efforts to provide a top class service to the hospital during building works and its commitment to devising and implementing usable and effective disinfection solutions.
The judges said: “Like it. It ticks all the boxes on the criteria.”
“The Trust has successfully gone back to basics in the community with commonsense use of resources.”
“They have improved patient care in the community. A novel innovation involving ‘joined up thinking’ between disciplines and better quality of life for patients and family with their community laundry initiative using the hospital laundry and existing transport to offer no cost laundry to home-based elderly and ill patients.”
Sustainability and CSR – drycleaner
BLANC Drycleaners of Wimbledon took the CSR trophy for CSR and Sustainability from a strong field. The company earned the accolade for the second year running to add to their 2016 win for the same category.
BLANC people couldn’t attend this year due to a prior longstanding engagment so here is a picture of the team receiving their Award last year from Sponsor HJ Weir managing director Ross Weir.
The judges said: “BLANC satisfied all the criteria for judging this category.”
“High Street retention and focus on staff care and customer care in a small family business; outstanding compared to some big companies…liked the recycling of old clothers and smart bags.”
Sustainability and CSR – laundry
CLEAN Linen Services
CLEAN won the ‘Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)’ at the LCN Awards 2017.
The CLEAN team has been recognised for the continuous improvement made to reduce energy consumption across all laundry sites and its transport fleet.
CLEAN was also shortlisted for the coveted Independent Laundry of the Year.
In 2016 CLEAN CEO Jason Miller won Laundry Entrepreneur of the year award.
Ted Walker and David Thorley of Clean Linen Services accepted the Award from sponsor Ross Weir of HJ Weir.
Independent drycleaner 2017
Seven Dials Drycleaners
Seven Dials Drycleaners was awarded the accolade of best independent drycleaner for its customer focused approach and the owner was not slow in acknowledging the help of a long standing member of staff, Eva, in charge of alterations. and repairs.
Established for more than a decade, Seven Dials Dry Cleaners has been providing the heart of Covent Garden, the West End, Leicester Square and Soho, with its experience in cleaning just about anything from uniforms, party dresses, theatre costumes and leathers and furs too. Seven Dials also provides alterations and invisible mending and leather repairs.
The judges said: “Mentioning Eva was a great thing in this submission. Obviously this employee of 30 years is an important part of the business. Don’t lose Eva.”
“Good submission. Eva made it for me.”
“This was a very honest projection. I like the way Seven Dials does business.”
Independent laundry 2017
In business for more than 160 years since 1845, Shortridge, winner of the independent laundry 2017 title says its service is based on fine linen and towels, quality workwear, high laundering standards and exceptional customer care for Scotland and across the north of England.
It supplies an eclectic clientele from high end hotels and rural B&Bs, holiday parks and self-catering agencies to bakers and boiler manufacturers.
Millgate B&B in North Yorkshire thanked Shortridge for helping them become Trip Advisor’s “The World’s Best B&B”.
The judges said: “This laundry is more than meeting the exacting demands of luxury market. And they have the testimonials to prove it.”
LCN is very proud that the 2017 Awards were sponsored by HJ Weir, Ideal Manufacturing, Tonrose, Bryant Plastics, The Dry Cleaner App, and supported by The Guild of Cleaners and Launderers, Textile Services Association and CINET.
Because LCN wanted to guarantee the best outcome and total fairness in the judging process, we hand-picked our judges for their impressive expertise in different aspects of textile care. The award entries came to us either as nominations from third parties – suppliers, colleagues, and customers – or were submitted by the entrants themselves.
The judging panel voted to elect John Shonfeld as chairman on the day. Both Chris Milton, publishing director and events manager and Kathy Bowry editor of LCN were present as observers and had no input into the judging process.
The judges were:
Ken Cupitt, FGCL
The Guild of Cleaners & Launderers, Chairman of Council & Examination Board
Lynn Fort, MHLM
Linen Services Manager at Royal Blackburn Hospital and National Secretary at The Society of Hospital Linen Services and Laundry Managers
Proprietor of long-established Bradley’s Drycleaners of Milton Keynes.?Specialist in the cleaning and refurbishment of historic and current military uniforms
Past Master, The Worshipful Company of Launderers, former TSA President, founder of the Tibard workwear brand and a laundry operator
Operations manager, Manor Hotel Best Western Plus, Meriden, and plenty of previous hospitality laundry experience. The hotel has 112 bedrooms and is also a popular wedding and conference venue with a Marco Pierre White restaurant on site