On Friday 23rd February we were awarded the Department for International Trade’s “Greater China Education Links Award” for the second year running. When I posted the good news on LinkedIn, the post was pretty popular and I was so happy to see people congratulating us. I also realised that a lot of people probably didn’t realise that we entered these awards or know much about what they represent. I thought I’d do a blog to talk about the awards, explain the basis for our entry and give some much-needed thanks to the people who made it possible.
I think it’s fair to say that the North of England Greater China awards is pretty niche! It just so happens to be our niche! The awards form part of a fantastic annual event held at the Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays, which celebrates the Chinese New Year and brings together organisations in the North of England who work with China. The Northern Powerhouse is rapidly increasing it’s links in Greater China and the achievements of organisations at the forefront of this trend are celebrated at the event, which comprises a welcome reception, dinner and awards ceremony.
The evening is a fantastic way to meet new people with a shared interest in China and meet up with some of our existing partners from institutions such as DIT, CBBC, Manchester China Forum and universities such as UCLan and Manchester Metropolitan University.
Our entry was based on the following key areas in which InternChina has excelled during the Year of the Rooster:
- Growth of our team, adding 6 new members in 2017
- 60% revenue increase year-on-year
- 585 participants placed in China in 2017
- Continuing to deliver programmes for the British Council
- 70% of our UK participants in 2017 came from low-income families as part of our government and university funded programmes
- In 2017 we will delivered a large-scale programme fully funded by Education New Zealand
- During 2018 we will deliver funded programmes for UK universities worth over £250,000
- Raised £2,000 for Zhuhai Autism Society and CPAZ Zhuhai charities
- Developing innovative procedures and best practice related to supporting participants with mental health difficulties
The winners of this year’s awards were:
A special award was presented to Gerry Yeung OBE DL. He received The Recognition Award, for his work in supporting commercial, educational, charitable and cultural links between the North West and China.
After a phenomenally good experience with Cathay Pacific last year, I am very grateful to Keith Harrison and his team for their generous prize again this year. The direct service from Manchester to Hong Kong is a travel geek’s dream – the timings are perfect, the plane on the route is brand new, the service is top-notch and the lounge in Hong Kong is like a 5* hotel.
Unfortunately, only myself and my wife Helen were able to enjoy the awards evening in Manchester, but the way we’re going, we might have to book a table next year and bring some more of our team along! Our awards entry was based upon the hard work and achievements our team have made in China over the past 10 years. I am so proud of our fantastic team who have helped to deliver our programmes in China and build meaningful partnerships in order to fund the experience for young people. I’ll make sure I tag everyone on LinkedIn when I share this blog, cheesy as this will sound… the award belongs to you guys!