bodyshop Awards a roaring success

Hundreds of delegates from across the crash repair industry came together at Twickenham Stadium last night to celebrate the 20th annual bodyshop Awards.

Former England captain Will Carling was guest speaker on a fantastic evening which celebrated some of the sector’s outstanding achievers of the past year.

Among the winners was AutoRaise’s Bob Linwood, who won the Outstanding Achievement Award for his work in encouraging new people into the industry.

He said, ‘I certainly wasn’t expecting this so early on in AutoRaise’s history. I don’t think our real recognition will come for a long time yet, we’ve got some fantastic trustees and supporters behind us. I’ve always dreamed of being the recipient of something like this. Unfortunately it took a tragic set of circumstances in losing my son to drive me down this path. I’m very proud on his behalf that I’ve got this, because I probably wouldn’t have been here without him.’

Meanwhile, Daren Edmunds and Mick Knott, both of Devonshire Motors, were named Panel and Paint Technicians of the Year.

Daren said, ‘I’d like to thank Graeme Bennett, my manager, for putting me forward for this. I’m honoured, and thank you for supporting me.’

Business Success Global collected the award for Education & Training Provider of the Year, with Nationwide Just Car Clinics highly commended in the same category.

The Vehicle Manufacturer of the Year went to Volvo Cars UK, with PSA Group highly commended.

Collecting the award for Volvo, Steve Plunkett said, ‘I can’t tell you how it makes me feel. It’s absolutely brilliant. I’m so happy and so proud for me team and my network. It’ just awesome. This makes it two years running. I can’t say anymore.’

Meanwhile, Vizion Network were named Work Provider of the Year with Gallagher Bassett highly commended, and Insurance Company of the Year went to Covea Insurance. Darren Bedford said, ‘It means everything to us in terms of respect from the industry. We respect the people that work with us and this is recognition of all the hard work we’ve been doing.’

Elsewhere, the Small, Medium and Large Bodyshop of the Year awards were won by Fix Auto Rochester, MG Cannon and Fix Auto Dagenham, with AW Repair Group (Sleaford) and Twickenham ARC both highly commended.

Fix Auto Rochester’s Robert Dearnaley said, ‘I’m just honoured. My team is fantastic. That’s why we won it. It’s all about the team.’

‘I’m really excited to have won it,’ added Shaign Hancock of MG Cannon. ‘We’ve won the Small Bodyshop of the Year but this is the first time we’ve won the Medium Bodyshop of the Year. It’s a great achievement for us. We’re just growing the business as well so this is massive stepping stone for us moving forward. It’s been a great night from the guys at bodyshop Magazine so thanks for all your support and see you next year.’

Paul Cunningham of Fix Auto Dagenham added, ‘I’m just blown away by winning this award. We’ve come second or third in the last couple of years to have won it is a great achievement from my team. They’ve worked really hard and deserve it.’

Meanwhile, Karen Ashton of AXA Insurance was named VDA of the Year. She said, ‘I’m absolutely thrilled to bits. It’s the second time I’ve won it but it still feels fantastic.’

Completing the winners was Jade Rogers of Fix Auto Weston Super Mare, who was named Bodyshop Manager of the Year. She said, ‘This means everything. I’ve been there 13 years now and this is recognition of all my work.’

The bodyshop Awards was only possible with the incredible support of headline sponsors AkzoNobel and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, as well as sponsors Audatex, AutoRestore, CAPS, Hella Sonne, IAEA, Indasa, LKQ Coatings, RMI Bodyshops, S&B Automotive Academy, Sikkens Autocoat BT, Thatcham Research, U-Pol, Veetec Motor Group and Vizion.