WELL Training CEO Lindsey Flynn and Creative Director Lianne Russell with the two business awards

Global staff development leader WELL Training have been named winners of two prestigious West Midlands business awards on the back of a successful year of consistent growth.

WELL, the training partner for market leaders like Caffé Nero and Edgewell Personal Care, parent company of Wilkinson Sword, won the small business of the year prize at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce Awards plus the family business prize at the 2021 West Midlands Business Masters Awards, organised by news website Business Desk, both held last Thursday night.

Based in Wolverhampton, WELL is a Black Country success story with the team “flying the flag” for the West Midlands region by working with clients across the UK and around the world.

It launched in 2010 and now serves companies and organisations ranging from premium coffee house brand Caffé Nero through to the NHS. In recent years it has expanded to work with clients worldwide, including Cherry Hill Programs, a leader in photography at more than 900 venues across the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Organisers staged the 2021 Chamber of Commerce Awards to celebrate the achievements of the region’s businesses “as they have attempted to reboot, rebuild, and rebound” from the pandemic. The winners were announced at a drinks reception at Wolverhampton Racecourse.

The citation for WELL’s award win said: “Heavily impacted by the pandemic which saw its order book significantly reduce, the judges were impressed that WELL managed to retain its staff base and continued to develop them to ensure that their products and services were up to date and ready to go as the world began to reopen.

“Accelerating planned changes to its training curriculum and with a focus on service improvement WELL Training transitioned to an entire digital delivery as it also improved the work-life balance of its teams through a family-first approach.

“As a business working on trust and team empowerment, WELL is a real asset to the region and the judges were also impressed to hear about the activities which saw them give back to the local community wherever they could.”

News website The Business Desk launched the 2021 West Midlands Business Masters Awards to celebrate the companies in the region which have achieved outstanding results over the past 12 months. The winners were announced at the Macdonald Burlington hotel in Birmingham.

Based around a core team of CEO Lindsey Flynn, her mother and Director of Apprenticeships Jackie Wyke plus sister and Creative Director Lianne Russell, WELL were recognised for their achievements as a family business in difficult circumstances. As well as negotiating the tough pandemic challenges for the business, the family lost sister Stacey Chilcott in January 2020 to breast cancer.

CEO Lindsey Flynn said: “The WELL team all have good reason to be proud after seeing our work celebrated after being tested in a difficult year and coming out the other side with growth and a great deal of potential success ahead.

“Our story began in the Black Country so it means a lot to be recognised by our region’s Chamber of Commerce. We have felt for some time that we have been a hidden success story for the wider region, engaging with clients around the globe to deliver compelling training, so the Business Desk award feels like the recognition we have earned.

“I’m delighted for every member of the team for their support in winning these awards. As a West Midlands-based business with an international reach it means a great deal to see our work recognised in the region where we live and work.

“These awards are as much for our clients as they are for the WELL team. We have been so fortunate to work with some fantastic clients, who recognise the importance of developing their people. Our customers have demonstrated their complete commitment to working with us to help their businesses succeed and improve in the areas that matter most to them.”

Despite the pandemic, WELL has achieved significant growth in 2021 on the back of successes for clients such as food tech leader Just Eat For Business and heritage Midlands homeware brand Charles Bentley.

WELL have built up strong experience of delivering bespoke training for clients via online platforms, which it had grown before the global lockdown saw learners go digital. It also shapes successful apprenticeship programmes for leading national brands, often working online with cohorts across the country.