Who are the Lord-Lieutenants?
Basically, they are regional representatives chosen by Her Majesty the Queen.
What are their duties?
Their main duty is to uphold the dignity of the Crown and as well as spending time with voluntary organisations they take a keen interest in local businesses.
They arrange visits for the Royal Family, escort Royal visitors and present medals and awards within their lieutenancy. This includes presenting a crystal chalice and grants of appointment (certificates of merit) to Queen’s Awards winners which generally take place in the workplace of the winner. They are supported by a Vice Lord-Lieutenant and by a network of Deputy Lieutenants (DLs).
I was invited by the Lord-Lieutenants to attend 2 events in the West Midlands in early May. I will blog about the first visit this week and do a follow up blog in the next couple of weeks.
On 1 May I went to Birmingham to meet up with Martin Tunstall (Clerk to the West Midlands Lieutenancy), James Leavesley (DL Staffordshire) and a group of highly successful local businessmen with the aim of raising the West Midlands applications to the Awards. Our host was Stewart Towe (Group Managing Director of Hadley Industries Holdings Ltd and a former High Sheriff for the West Midlands). Before our meeting Stewart delivered some fascinating background about Hadley and showed us the product for which they have received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation). Their revolutionary ‘UltraSTEEL’ strengthens steel without adding additional weight. This has huge implications for transport and storage costs. If I understood correctly the steel posts Stewart showed to Martin and me could be used in France as vineyard supports or in Australia to keep kangaroos off the highways!
We spoke about how the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise was celebrating 50 years which coincidently is also the 50th birthday for Hadley Industries.
I shared our current marketing and communications plans for engaging potential audiences by tweeting, blogging, and visiting winners to record their advice for companies thinking about entering the Queen’s Awards or submitting nominations for entrepreneurs. We have a new film which gives the viewer a 3 minute overview of the Awards.
The main thing I carried away from this meeting was Stewart offering the use of the person who drafted the successful application for Hadley Industries if other West Midlands’ companies need advice on the form filling process. Stewart made time in his busy day to pick up Martin and me and drive us both between the station and 'Hadley' then back again after the meeting. It was a grey, drizzly day but I remember thinking there’s some nice people in the world, especially in Birmingham and the black country.