The staff at St Ann’s Hospice, a provider of palliative care on the outskirts of Manchester, are celebrating after winning the Problem Solver award, sponsored by Cisco UKI, at the British Chambers of Commerce’s annual Chamber Business Awards 2021.

The event, now in its 17th year, is one of the showpieces of the business calendar, highlighting the role of companies in delivering growth and prosperity for the UK and local communities. 

The judges were impressed with the firm’s ability to pivot its business model when the pandemic struck, and its traditional fund-raising revenues dried up almost overnight.

The company, members of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, set up a series of ‘Drive-thru’ donation days to allow people to still contribute items to its cause. It then identified a wide variety of new and different on-line channels to sell the hundreds of goods it collected.

Sarah Howard, Chair of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: 

“The pandemic left a huge hole in St Ann’s finances and without the ingenuity and willingness of its team to find ways to plug that gap the care and nursing provided to hundreds of patients would have suffered greatly. What they did in a very short time-period, and under huge pressure, to find real-world workable solutions was outstanding.” 

Aine Rogers, Director of Small Business, Cisco UKI, said:

“What St Ann’s achieved was a complete transformation, across a number of areas of their business, in a time where they needed to do it at speed was so impressive, they digitised and shifted business models nearly overnight impacting positively on all aspects of their business not least to deliver continuity of care to their clients and extended families. St Ann’s diversified and innovated at pace and delivered phenomenal results.”