Dacorum Business Heroes

Dacorum Business Heroes logo

In our business community, there are often unsung heroes who go beyond the call of duty to give back to the borough. Through these awards, we want to recognise the businesses that really make a difference and have a positive impact on the lives of others - shaping the future of economic growth in Dacorum.

We would like to thank our sponsors for supporting this initiative: OSD Healthcare, West Herts College, The Marlowes Shopping Centre, Hemel Hempstead Business Improvement District, My Mustard and Hemel Trophies and Jewellers. More details can be found on our sponsors page.

Winners 2019

Business in the Community Hero

David Evans MBE - Grass Roots and the Future Proof Enterprise Group

For many years David’s corporate and personal donations have benefitted Tring’s Swimming Club, Running Club, Rugby Club, Cricket Club, Squash Rackets Club and more. He was awarded an MBE for services to corporate social responsibility after pioneering initiatives such as offering work placements to homeless people and is the main reason Tring boasts its own dedicated theatre. David now runs a number of social enterprises in energy conservation, public health and education.

Deric Newman, Tring Rugby Club, said: “David has been a long-term, committed and dependable supporter of sporting activities in Tring, which has always extended beyond purely financial sponsorship to include business-related advice and guidance behind the scenes.”

Environment Hero

Tring Brewery

This award-winning brewery has many environmentally friendly credentials. It gives spent grain to a neighbouring farmer to feed his cows so there are zero food miles and it uses a heat exchanger to recover 90 per cent of the energy used in beer production. Encouraging the sale and reuse of metal beer containers instead of plastic, the use of reusable or compostable plastic glasses for events, plus a policy of ‘using local’ all adds to its eco awareness.

Employment Hero

Indigo Tree

This small tech company is constantly looking at new ways to offer benefits to its staff, which in turn will benefit the business. Each individual is given time and a budget for training and learning, plus an afternoon a month to spend on their own project. A friendly, flexible environment with double statutory pension pay, plus a ‘perk box’ offering various useful discounts, all go towards creating an attractive work environment.

Skills Hero and overall Business of the Year


Based in Berkhamsted, D-Lab exists for the benefit of the local community in the areas of creativity and innovation. A wide range of low-cost courses are on offer, covering topics such as 3D printing and Algorithmic Art, plus mentoring, networking and the opportunity to work alongside and learn from like-minded people. Many school children have benefitted from work experience or focused workshops, and D-Lab works hard to inspire a love of innovation and technology in as many young people as possible. Local companies are encouraged to visit and discuss collaborative ventures.

Business to Business Hero

Tring Together

Tring Together, run by Vivianne Childs alongside her day job as a business coach, runs vibrant networking events where local companies can meet and forge excellent working relationships. This and its involvement in the organising of community events puts them at the heart of what makes Tring such a great place to do business.

Retail Hero

Number Twenty

This Berkhamsted gift shop sells a wide range of innovative, attractive products, many of which are supplied by local companies. Customer service is key and time is taken to source the correct item if not in stock. Although a charity shop, with profits donated to the Hospice of St Francis, the overall feel is stylish and high end - and it smells wonderful, too!

2018 winners

Find out more about our 2018 Business Heroes.

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  • Business in the Community Hero - Liberty Tea Rooms
    Based in Bank Court, Hemel Hempstead, Liberty Tea Rooms have been stylishly designed and created using recycled materials and vintage, pre-loved artefacts. Selling homemade food, hand-blended teas and fresh coffee at a suggested minimum price, any extra is used to allow those on low or no income to enjoy social occasions. The space is used for free counselling services, life skills courses and a range of community activities. It is also the home of the Street Pastors and a food bank distribution centre.
  • Environment Hero - Martin Brower
    A global distribution company with its UK head office in Hemel Hempstead, sustainability is at the heart of the way Martin Brower does business. When delivering to restaurants it also collects recyclables such as used cooking oil, which is turned into biodiesel and used to fuel its fleet. Its office and warehouse adhere to a strong environmental policy and it is constantly striving to find ways to reduce its carbon footprint.
  • Employment Hero - Novo UK
    This specialist construction recruitment company understands how important it is not only to find the right people but to retain them. Offering a tremendous benefits package as well as career rewards based on service not sales, Novo UK has created an environment where people feel valued, unique and included. “Working here makes you want to get up in the morning. It's an enjoyable environment where everyone is up for a laugh but is still extremely productive and effective,” commented one employee.
  • Apprentice Employer Hero - Smiths Detection and Sir Robert McAlpine

    Smiths Detection

    Within the UK Centre of Excellence on Maylands Business Park, Smiths offers apprenticeships in a range of disciplines including technical and administration. It runs training courses in mentorship for the apprentices’ key ‘go to’ person to ensure they have support throughout the programme as well as good rates of pay and clear career paths.

    Sir Robert McAlpine

    This leading building and civil engineering company is committed to workforce training and runs fully supported apprenticeship schemes offering experience and responsibilities across different projects and sites. It has regular reviews to ensure everyone is satisfied and a commitment to long-term employment opportunities. “Sir Robert McAlpine have been very supportive while I’ve been doing my apprenticeship. They've given me time for extra maths lessons, arranged transport to and from West Herts College, and made sure I receive relevant experience at work,” says Thomas Hartley.

  • Business2Business Hero - Andy Cook, FFEI
    Managing Director and co-owner of FFEI, Andy chaired the Maylands Partnership for seven years before becoming a founding member and Chair of Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors. But it is his support of the Dacorum’s Den initiative for which he received his nominations. Not only has he provided financial support but he has mentored successful small businesses and is always prepared to offer advice and guidance. “Selfless and always happy to help, his assistance over the years has been invaluable and we are lucky to have access to his business expertise," commented one of those to nominate him.
  • Retail Hero - Beechwood Fine Food
    Located in Tring, this farm shop and café has been open since 2010. Selling only the best British products it supports many local producers and boast awards for its own homemade jams, chutneys and preserves. Beechwood Fine Food's café has been rated as ‘excellent’ on TripAdvisor and its coffee, especially when accompanied by a slice of homemade cake, has been described as the best in Tring.
  • Overall Business of the Year - Liberty Tea Rooms
    Selling homemade food, hand-blended teas and fresh coffee at a suggested minimum price, any extra is used to help those on low or no income to enjoy social occasions. Liberty Tea Rooms won overall business of the year for its impact on the community.