Over 250 people gathered at Shendish Manor last Friday for the Dacorum Excellence Awards, hosted by the Hemel Gazette and Dacorum Borough Council. This glamorous black tie dinner was the first combined event, celebrating the achievements of local businesses, sports and community groups and individuals in Dacorum. Guests included local MPs Mike Penning and David Gauke, Daniel Zammit, Chief Executive of Dacorum Borough Council and dignatories such as the Mayor of Dacorum, Cllr Carole Green, as well as business leaders, charities and individuals from the community.  The Chamber hosted a table for Hemel and St Albans businesses, as well as sponsoring the Business of the Year Award. Rachel Boxall, Area Director West Herts said “Everyone seemed to be having a really good time. The event is proof that Hemel continues to be an area of outstanding achievement in the county. All entrants should be really proud of their contribution to the area. In the process of judging the award I have met some amazing business people and heard some fantastic success stories, making it was really difficult to choose a winner’. Entertainment came from superb Kings Langley School Jazz Band and an auction raised money for the Mayor’s Charity. 

Winner: Full Support Healthcare Ltd 

Runner-up: Innovate Services 

Highly Commended:

Aspin Group

Intuition Communication


To hear Sarah Fullers’ incredible success story, join us for lunch in January on 29th at Holiday Inn Elstree.

Winner: Full Support Healthcare Ltd

Taking home the prize for Business of the Year is a Berkhamsted company helping to keep NHS costs down. The independent, family run Full Support Healthcare Ltd stormed the competition thanks to its success in providing top quality, competitively priced surgical and medical equipment. 

A combination of staff expertise and a competitive pricing structure means the business, based at Bullbeggars Lane in Potten End, can save hospitals up to 30 per cent on drapes and gowns.

Full Support’s Louise Wall explained the company’s ethos:

“From the outset we felt there was a need for a company who could supply high quality single use products which were specifically designed and produced at a competitive price, ensuring the NHS achieved best value for money for the public purse

“The aim was to follow the success of the low cost, no frill airlines and offer the marketplace an alternative supplier and instant cost savings.” 

CEO Sarah Fuller launched her company with her father in 2002 after a career as a nurse and then a healthcare sales representative.

Initially, Sarah ploughed her time into lengthy consultations with surgeons, theatre staff and other potential users before the company had to win each individual hospital via a complex trial procedure. 

During its first three years Full Support commanded a 28 per cent share of the market and can now boast a 99 per cent delivery record with the NHS Supply Chain. It hopes the coming year will match the success it has previously enjoyed.

Louise said: “The company has a newly formed management team who are an asset to this growing company and are ready to take it to the next stage of its evolution.” 

Runner-up: Innovate Services Ltd

 A company pegged as the most innovative school caterer in the country is transforming the diets of young people.  

Tring based Innovate Services Ltd creates and operates modern catering facilities in schools and colleges around the country.

By tackling the typical drab and dreary canteen faced by students, Innovate is boosting sales and changing eating habits. 

The company operates 20 schools and has seen increased sales in all of them, some by as much as 300 per cent. In the process, Innovate can boast that is has changed student eating habits to healthy, freshly prepared food. Working from the company’s HQ at Miswell House in Tring, it has secured contracts as far away  as Devon, Bradford and Cambridgeshire and is working to revolutionise the school catering industry.

From start up and just one school contract in September 2006 it will achieve a turnover of around £4.5m this coming year and employ around 200 people.  

The innovative scheme has gone from strength to strength since its team first spoke to teachers, students and staff about traditional catering.

Their research showed that the entire approach to eating in schools and colleges needed an overhaul, from the lack of seats to limited menus and restricted opening hours.

By making them as smart and appealing as a high street coffee shop and creating designs unique to each school, Innovate in turning lunch hours into the best part of the day for its clients.