Friends gather to celebrate our fiftieth birthday at Gala Dinner

Regular readers of our blog and newsletter will know that we’ve been celebrating our fiftieth year, this year, with interviews with friends and a look back through our archive. But what is a birthday without a party?

On a sunny day in October, (almost) fifty people whose connections with us span fifty years, travelled from across the four nations, to Bristol, to celebrate with us.

Business Development Manager Tim opened proceedings, swiftly handing the floor to David Ralley, who was with us at the very start. David talked about the early days, and the need for ICOF being as strong today as it ever was.

Four awards were given. These were chosen by the Directors, from nominations made by the Staff team.

The Environmental award went to Oxford Wood Recycling, and Richard Snow spoke about how proud he was to accept the award on behalf of the organisation. We have worked with OWR since 2011 and in that time they have saved thousands of tons of wood and timber from being discarded through recycling, repurposing and reusing. This as well as providing employment opportunities for people facing disadvantages such as disability, to re-enter the workplace.

The Innovation Award was accepted by Simon Ryan on behalf of Point Europa. Simon gave us a lively, whistlestop tour through their history, and explained about how support from CCF has made their projects, including The Old Ship, possible.

The Diversity Award was won by Four Corners. Margaret Trotter accepted the award, accompanied by Rebecca Brace.

Margaret said, “Four Corners was delighted to have been presented with the award for Diversity, and the recognition of our work in training and supporting underrepresented people into rewarding careers in the Film and TV industries, people who would never normally enter these professions as they do not have the contacts or the funds to work for free. They write and tell their own stories, articulate and add their ideas to the pool ideas so we all make better decisions and change society for the better. ICOF has supported us many times over the last 15 years, from financing our building renovation, where we grow creative businesses, to cash flowing of funding paid in arrears.  ICOF staff have listened to us and supported our expansion plans, and have proactively introduced us to sources of funds and support.”

The final award, for Outstanding Media Services to the anniversary was won by 92 Minutes. 92 Minutes supports us with our digital marketing and we could not have done everything we have done this year without them.

It was wonderful to celebrate in person with friends old and new – borrowers, staff and Directors past and present, partners and colleagues. We thank everyone who travelled to join us, and we’d like to thank the team at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel for looking after us so well.