A DYNAMIC engineering company which puts communities at the heart of everything it does has scooped a major award.
Forth, known for its world-first engineering solutions in a diverse range of industries, prides itself on supporting the local areas it serves.
In the past 12 months alone, Forth has donated more than 1,000 hours of practical expertise to the community, almost 600 hours of work experience for school pupils, and was the driving force behind relighting Whitehaven’s iconic Wave structure.
The company, which has its bases in Flimby, Cleator Moor, and Barrow-in-Furness, is celebrating winning the Best Community Involvement trophy at the prestigious in-Cumbria Business Awards.
Managing Director Mark Telford said: “As a Cumbrian company employing people across the county, community means everything to Forth and we are always delighted to be able to use our experience and expertise to help make our communities even better places to live, work and visit.
Mark and the Forth team were integral in relighting the iconic Wave landmark on Whitehaven’s harbour earlier this year to coincide with the King’s coronation in May, bringing light back to the structure for the first time in more than six years.
Working in collaboration with charity Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners (WHC), Forth provided 400 metres of environmentally friendly LED lights and used the latest 3D printing technology to make 800 translucent brackets to allow maximum light through the silicon rubber casing while also being resilient to all weather conditions.
Mark said: “Relighting the Wave was exactly the type of challenge we love at Forth and we were delighted to come up with a sustainable, cost-effective solution which will hopefully bring a lot of joy to the wider community for years to come.”
Both Mark and Graham Cartwright, Forth Projects Director, sit on multiple boards which are solely aimed at supporting local communities.
Graham said: “Times are hard for lots of people and Cumbrian companies feel that too. Supporting the community for us isn’t just about handing out money to good causes, it’s about making a real, lasting and sustainable impact by giving up our time and sharing our skills and expertise to support a whole range of people and organisations. Getting hands-on and helping out where we can is where we feel we can best support our communities.”
Among the community initiatives Forth has led on within the past year are:
- Working closely to support West Cumbria charity HomeToWork which helps unemployed people find jobs, and the charity’s Good Lives initiatives which encourages volunteers to grow their own produce and learn to cook healthy meals;
- Donated 240 hours of time and expertise to support an entry into the Red Bull Soapbox challenge to raise money in the name of a 11-year-old girl from Workington undergoing treatment for a brain tumour, helping to raise £13,846;
- Delivered 595 hours of work experience to inspire young people about potential careers in STEM;
- Supported the Centre for Leadership Performance’s Bright Stars programme, working with children from Netherton Infant School in Maryport and Dane Ghyll School in Barrow to encourage business skills;
- Designed, manufactured and fitted new gates for Moor Row School, and supplied hydraulics for a levitation magic trick at Muncaster Castle;
- Organised a golf tournament in Barrow in June, raising money for The Bluebell Foundation which provides support for grieving families;
- Continued its long-time supporters of Gary McKee’s marathon fundraising efforts, sponsoring and running with Gary during his award-winning efforts in the last 12 months;
- Gave financial contributions to charitable initiatives in the last year, including providing 126 Christmas gift bags for local children in West Cumbria who wouldn’t otherwise have received any gifts at Christmas.
To complement the work Forth does in the community, Mark was recently appointed as a board member of Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners where he will undertake work on a voluntary basis to continue improving the town and surrounding areas.
Mark added: “Another way we support the community is by providing sustainable employment for people from the local area and being an SME our team members often wear multiple hats, and with their roots in the community are passionate about giving back.”