A freelance journalist from Huddersfield has helped one of West Yorkshire’s premier companies gain the highest award any business can get … and is now keen to help other local businesses do the same.

Andy Hirst from Golcar-based AH! PR was asked to help international company Astonish Cleaning Products apply for the Queen’s Award for International Trade.

Andy filled in all the forms and the company achieved the award in April this year … and now Andy is keen to help others.

The deadline for applying for a Queen’s Award this year is on September 6 so Andy needs businesses to contact him now if they want help.

The awards are split into four categories – innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility.

Andy, former head of content at the Huddersfield Examiner, said: “Applying for a Queen’s Award is a complex and time-consuming process. The judges ask very detailed and searching questions and expect applicants to spend around 50 hours gathering the information and filling in the forms.

“This translates to between 5,000 and 7,000 words plus detailed financial information. It is a very comprehensive process and that’s why these awards are the highest accolade any business can achieve.

“To be able to use that Queen’s Award logo on your products can be a massive boost for sales, especially overseas, but also proves to people they are dealing with a company that is one of the best in its field of business.”

Bradford-based Astonish (https://astonish.co.uk/), whose parent company is called the London Oil Refining Company Ltd, has a 100-strong workforce manufacturing more than 60 products ranging from household cleaners such as sprays, creams and pastes through to personal care items such as anti-bacterial handwash, luxury handwash, shower gel and bath foams.

It sells its products in the UK’s biggest high street names including Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, Tesco, Home Bargains, Savers, B&M, The Range, Poundland, Co-Op, Wilko, B&Q, Farmfoods, Nisa, T K Maxx, Spar, Poundstretcher, John Lewis, Dunelm, Iceland, Lakeland, Booths, Ocado and Waitrose.

The company was awarded the Queen’s Award for International Trade after it achieved a huge increase in sales over the last three years, up from just over £21m in 2019 to almost £34m last year with exports increasing by more than a third.

Andy said: “The company had a very powerful story to tell and my role was to get their passion, success, vision and total commitment to what they do across to the judges.

“There must be many other Yorkshire companies out there who deserve such a high accolade and really ought to think about applying for a Queen’s Award. Now is the time to start the application process as this is something that can’t be left to the last moment.”

The other Yorkshire business Andy recently helped achieve the Queen’s Award for Enterprise is Huddersfield-based Environmental Defence Systems (http://avsax.com/) for its innovative AvSax lithium battery fire containment bag which are now on more than 15,373 aircraft operated by 80 airline companies worldwide.

There is always a danger batteries can overheat and catch fire in mobile devices such as mobile phones and laptops and AvSax have been deployed in action 33 times on aircraft over the last five years to deal with emergencies. On every occasion the aircraft has been able to complete its journey safely with no need to divert or make an emergency landing.

Andy also secured phenomenal news coverage for Greater Manchester engineering company Chelburn Precision Ltd which won the Queen’s Award in 2021. Read more about that here https://ah-pr.com/work/great-media-coverage-for-award-winning-ah-pr-client

For advice and help applying for a Queen’s Award for Enterprise please contact Andy Hirst at andy@ah-pr.com or call 07985 654822.