There were many smiles at the recent Vehicle Recycling Excellence Awards (VREA) held at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham, UK, not only from the many prize winners but also from all of the guests who attended. Everyone enjoyed fine food and refreshments, entertainment, and the presentation of the Awards themselves.
The evening began with a reception at the National Motorcycle Museum, where guests were able to meet, drink and relax with old and new friends whilst they were able to comment on the many bikes on display. At the same time, a three-piece jazz ensemble enhanced the atmosphere, and magicians made their way around the room, bemusing and amusing guests as they chatted.
Shortly afterwards, dinner was called, and guests were officially welcomed to the Awards. After dinner, TV’s Quentin Willson was introduced as the host of the ceremony and shared his contrasting memories of visiting breakers’ yards of the past and how the industry has reinvented itself as a modern enterprise at the forefront of helping to answer the country’s need for recycling and sustainability.
This sentiment was reiterated by Jim Loughran, CEO of e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management and headline sponsor of the night. He also said how the UK auto recycling industry is recognised for its hard work and how the industry was in the midst of exciting times. He was followed by Haydn Davies, owner and editor of ATF Professional and the media sponsors of the awards, to say how, since becoming involved with the industry, he and his team had always wanted to help create such an event, and with support and encouragement was delighted to see it become a reality. He also said that by understanding the hard work and dedication people put into their business, the industry deserved a night to celebrate, be recognised and enjoy each other’s company.
Haydn remained on the stage to award the night’s first three awards, in the gift of ATF Professional. The first was ‘Unsung Hero of the year’, which was awarded to Kev Tee from Charles Trent Ltd. The second award of the night went to Tom Hayward from I Need Spares, who won the ‘Rising Star’ award. Both the Unsung Hero and Rising Star categories were sponsored by Adam Hewitt Ltd. Finally, ATF Professional sponsored the ‘Outstanding Individual of the Year’, where the winner was Jason Cross.
The evening continued with a further 20 awards, which were greeted with ever-increasing anticipation and applause, with the ‘Champions of Champions’ award, sponsored by e2e, finally being presented to Recycling Lives.
With closing comments and group photographs of all the winners, the evening concluded with music at the After Show drinks and networking, sponsored by Silverlake. Everyone could mingle and toast a night that brought the vehicle recycling community together.
Haydn Davies said:
“It was great to be part of making the first Vehicle Recycling Excellence Awards a reality. The ATF Professional team appreciates everyone’s support, including the sponsors and the many who attended.
With the organisers, we intend to make the Awards an annual event and the highlight of the vehicle recycling calendar. It was fabulous to see everyone enjoying themselves, and we received some great feedback about the event from them.
The vehicle recyclers of the UK have much to be proud of, and we want the VREA to be a key part of promoting the industry. We are already in conversation with the organisers for next year’s awards, and we will be listening to everyone in the industry to ensure next year’s event will be bigger and even better.”