Successful Sunderland firm continues to PEAK after awards win

The Sunderland Echo Portfolio Business Awards 2016. Presenter Alfie Joey (left) and Sunderland Echo managing Editor Gavin Foster (right) with the New Business Award winners Physical Education & Active Kids.
The Sunderland Echo Portfolio Business Awards 2016. Presenter Alfie Joey (left) and Sunderland Echo managing Editor Gavin Foster (right) with the New Business Award winners Physical Education & Active Kids.
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A Sunderland business has expanded in a tough market in the last year - and its boss put that partly down to success in the Echo’s Portfolio Awards.

Physical Education & Active Kids (PEAK) won the New Business of the Year category in last year’s competition and chief executive Dave Johnson urged companies to put themselves in the running for this year’s competition.

As a company, we have expanded and I am sure it is because we have been advertising the fact that we won this award in all of our marketing

Dave Johnson

Dave said: “It was fantastic. It was the first award we had ever won and it was a great boost for everybody.

“This year, school budgets have been cut tremendously but, as a company, we have expanded and I am sure it is because we have been advertising the fact that we won this award in all of our marketing.”

Dave added: “Not many businesses have expanded with the way school budgets have been.”

PEAK began trading in September 2015. It was formed by Dave Johnson, to reduce the internal and external variations in the quality of physical education teaching in primary schools in the North East.

Dave makes sure that Level 3 PE specialists are used for lessons and his approach is paying dividends.

At the time of winning the award, PEAK had put 16 apprentices into schools - each delivering PE of the highest order.

PEAK also runs holiday Activity Camps, a wide range of PE teacher training courses and unique courses to children in sports leadership, physical problem solving and team-building.

Dave added: “The awards were a tremendous evening and a tremendous occasion. We have continued to grow and help to build self esteem.”

PEAK is now looking at a possible expansion into other areas, such as working in care homes or even in early years education in nurseries.

Dave added: “I suppose the award is not just a great evening and an opportunity for staff to celebrate what they have achieved. We have also been able to look in other developmental areas.”

Individuals, businesses themselves - anyone can put forward a nomination for this year’s awards for a company they feel deserves recognition.

State which category your nomination applies to from the list and describe the reasons for your nomination - no more than 300 words.

Also include the address of your chosen nomination and provide details on how we can contact the company - such as email and a phone number.

Post your nomination to: Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 5RA.

You can also enter a nomination via email to lynn.wild@jpress.co.uk.

Make it Sunderland is again our headline sponsor, and will sponsor our overall Business of the Year Award, as well as a Lifetime Achievement award, which is in the sponsor’s gift.

Make It Sunderland is also backing the contribution social enterprises make to the city in the Social Enterprise Award. Other sponsors are Northumbrian Water, TTR Barnes, BIC, Sunderland BID, The Bridges, Sunderland College, Wessington Dental, Gentoo, Creo, Stagecoach North East and JB Skills Training.

The deadline for entries is Friday, September 8. After that, the judges draw up a shortlist. Then it is on to the grand finale at the Stadium of Light, on Thursday, October 26.

But that means there’s plenty of time for you to put forward your favourites - so come on, get nominating!