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A leading Hartlepool businessman enjoyed a special visit to Downing Street

A leading Hartlepool businessman enjoyed a special visit to Downing Street as recognition for the incredible work Orangebox Training Solutions does across Hartlepool.

Simon Corbett, Orangebox’s CEO, and his wife Hayley, accepted an offer from No 10 after being nominated as a Community Business Champion by the town’s MP Jill Mortimer.

Simon and Hayley were shown around the Palace of Westminster, more informally known as the Houses of Parliament, before heading inside No 10 where they mingled with other business leaders and chatted with Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt.

Simon said: “It was a day we will never forget; a surreal day. When you reflect on a day like that, it makes all the hard work of the last seven years worthwhile. It is nice to feel valued and appreciated.

“I set up Orangebox seven years ago and I’ve never worked so hard in my life. It is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, kind of work. At times it feels relentless, especially in this economic climate, but an occasion like a visit to No 10 Downing Street makes everything feel worthwhile.

“I am genuinely honoured and privileged for Orangebox to have even been considered. It has made me reflect on the work we do to help others and our journey so far.

“It’s so nice to take a step outside of the business and look inside at the work we do, it’s nominations like this that allow me time to do this.”

Orangebox trains around 4,000 learners per year and aims to make a difference by getting people into employment. It works closely with other businesses, has strong links to charities such as Alice House Hospice and sponsors grassroots football teams.

The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “Local businesses are vital for our economy, our day to day lives and our communities. Creating jobs, supporting growth in a huge variety of sectors, their tireless hard work does not go unnoticed.

“As Chancellor, I see the contribution that local businesses make across the country to all our cities, towns and villages and this is something we can all be proud of. Not only do they bring immeasurable value to the economy, but they are also the heart and soul of so many of our communities.”

Orangebox is also sponsoring the up-coming Hartlepool Heroes community awards for the second year in a row in June and such links and decisions have not gone unnoticed.

MP Jill Mortimer said: “It was an absolute pleasure to be able to invite Simon and his wife Hayley to a reception in Downing Street (on Wednesday).

“It is so good to see the hard work he has put in over seven years to make Orangebox a successful Hartlepool start up.

“I am very proud of my constituents, Orangebox’s training programmes are making huge improvements to the skills and training of individuals and businesses in the local area, nationwide, and internationally.”

After the visit to Downing Street, Simon and Hayley went back to the Houses of Parliament with the Hartlepool MP.

Simon said: “Two months ago I received the invite from Jill Mortimer’s office for all the work in Hartlepool that Orangebox does.

“To have attended a reception at 10 Downing Street with Jeremy Hunt was special. We networked, spoke with other businesses in the room and met Jeremy Hunt, who once had his own training company. The occasion is driven by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

“All of our conversations, particularly with our MP Jill, were about positive impacts for Hartlepool and how such occasions help to put Hartlepool on the map.

“I am so proud of being a Hartlepool businessman and I do everything I possibly can to help the people of Hartlepool, drive investment and Hartlepool growth. I want that to continue.”

* For further information about how Orangebox can help you or your business check out www.orangeboxtraining.com

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