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30th November 2011

Checkmate receives third Queens Award

November 29, 2011, Checkmate HQ, Sheerness, Kent

The Lord Lieutenant, Viscount De L’Isle, Member of the Order of the British Empire, and Her Majesty The Queen’s representative in Kent and his deputy, Tim Steel were in attendance at Checkmate’s head office for the official Queen’s Award ceremony on Tuesday afternoon.

The award was given for the life saving Xcalibre Fall Arrest Block in April 2012.

Invited on the day were a number of our clients, suppliers, all members of staff and local press.

Tim Steel read the official Citation for The Queen’s Award Enterprise 2011:

“An Innovation Award is made to Checkmate Group for the design, development and successful sales of its Xcalibre fall arrest blocks, which prevents the most common cause of death in the workplace – falling from a height. This is the third Queen’s Award – the group previously won two other Queen’s Awards back in 2004 and 2008 – so quite an achievement!

“The Xcalibre fall arrest block is designed for use when working at height and arrests a worker should they fall and reduces the peak forces to the body and structure it is attached to.

“Checkmate’s patented technology, including the SBM (Sealed Brake Module) and injection moulded one piece drum, were both inspired by the automotive industry, and use the very latest aerospace materials and automated manufacturing techniques.

“These unique features allow the device to function in more arduous environments, and reduces both the weight and the manufacturing costs.

“Founded in 1978 by entrepreneur, philanthropist and group Chairman, Paul Auston, Checkmate has consistently achieved its corporate goal of developing ground breaking new products, building domestic and export markets and retaining highly skilled staff.

“In a conservative market the company has forged successful sales at home and overseas – a remarkable success.

“For its achievements, Checkmate Group receives The Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2011 in the Innovation category.”

The Lord Lieutenant gave the following speech:

“This is a great day for everyone who has contributed to the remarkable success of the Checkmate Group.
It is a great pleasure for me to present The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: in the Innovation category – on Her Majesty’s behalf – to this Kent-based company that is making its name in workplace safety.

“The aims of the Lieutenancy of Kent are to provide a focus for County identity, unity and pride, give a sense of stability, and recognise achievements, success and excellence.

“Today’s event epitomises all these aspirations… and it recognises what is an exceptional achievement by any standards – especially at a time of global recession.

“A great amount of dedication and effort by everyone in the team goes into achieving and maintaining the success recognised by this Award.

“I congratulate and thank each and every person involved in the company’s remarkable success story and for what you are achieving from your base in our great County of Kent.

“What I am presenting today is not some run-of-the mill trophy. Out of many thousands nationwide, yours is one of only a handful of companies to be honoured in the Innovation category this year.

“I have the greatest admiration for the excellent work you are doing and I know you will continue to do. Very well done to you all, and long may the Checkmate Group flourish.

“On behalf of Her Majesty I now have great pleasure in presenting you with this Award… your third, which I am confident will not be your last!”

The award was presented to Veronica Simpson, one of Checkmate’s factory supervisors and long-term employee of the company.

In response to the receiving Checkmate’s third award, Managing Director Oliver Auston thanked Veronica for her “tireless” work ethic over the last 20 years, as well as presenting his fiance, Victoria, with flowers in thanks for her continued support at home while he has been building the business that is such a success today.