SMaRT Garage Services is delighted to have won the 2014 London Business Awards’ (LBA) top prize for Commitment to the Community, sponsored by the Vine Project. Run by the charity, First Step Trust (FST), SMaRT Garage Services beat off competition from a shortlist of 100 organisations from across the Capital.
Ronnie Wilson MBE, CEO of FST said: “Winning this award is a fantastic endorsement of our SMaRT business model. It confirms that it is possible to run a successful, commercially-focused business whilst also delivering high quality work opportunities for people excluded from working life because of mental health conditions and other disadvantages.”
SMaRT Garage Services has centres in Bexley, West Norwood and Woolwich and provides MOT testing, servicing and repairs for cars, vans, minibuses and specialist disabled transport.
The garages provide access to commercial work experience. Trainees work alongside qualified mechanics in the garage or in customer service, office and clerical work, finance and sales and marketing. People learn on the job and play a key role in delivering an exceptional service to customers.
Veli Mustafa said: “I work in customer service. I enjoy the pressure of working in a commercial enterprise and knowing that how I do my job contributes to the overall success of the business. SMaRT Garages Services has been a positive factor in my mental health and gives me a strong base on which to find paid employment.”
SMaRT stands for Socially Minded and Responsible Trading™ and conveys SMaRT’s commitment to providing a better service with more flexibility and greater value to customers, employees and people who come to SMaRT Garage Services for support back into work.
SMaRT Garage Services is also committed to supporting the local economy and working with local businesses. Wherever possible, parts and components are purchased from local suppliers.
Ronnie said: “One of the criteria on which we were judged for the LBA award was that our business has a capacity for growth. We will use this success to open new garages across London and so be able to deliver more opportunities to disadvantaged Londoners.”
We would like to thank the following for their support (in alphabetical order): ACT Foundation, Bexley Accessible Community Transport Scheme, London Borough of Bexley, Certitude, Fujitsu, Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group, Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group, Lambeth Collaborative, Lambeth Council, London Hire, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Borough of Greenwich, Serco, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Symmetric Partnership, LLP, Thames Reach.