A business owner who has dedicated more than two decades to the rail industry has been shortlisted for a prestigious award for his tireless work helping those less fortunate.
Malcolm Prentice, group chairman of MTMS, based in Moira, near Swadlincote, is in the running for the Lifetime Achievement award for the 2023 Railway Benefit Fund’s Heart of Gold Awards.
The awards celebrate those in the rail industry who have made a real difference in their workplace or community. The nominations are put forward by those working in the industry to thank people who they appreciate, value and inspire them.
Organisers said they received more than 90 nominations as they were “flooded with many inspiring and heart-warming stories”.
The award nomination says of Mr Prentice: “Malcolm Prentice has been a leader, mentor, and generous benefactor in the rail industry for over 20 years. With his heart-warming, gentle approach, patience and engaging good humour, he has shown limitless, and often unseen, benevolence and generosity.
“Caring for the poorest in society across big rail hotspots of the Midlands, he has helped countless young people in their development. With a focus on those in care, Malcolm has arranged Christmas lunches for those who are released from care and are finding life difficult.
“Recently he established hardship funds for cadets, and for decades he has supported hundreds of recently discharged veterans, many of whom work in the rail industry now.
“For over 40 years he has been quietly providing a springboard for the least fortunate in society whilst mentoring those new into business and providing professional guidance that has led many to generate success.”
Mr Prentice, whose charitable work includes a party at Christmas for young people who have come out of the care system and supporting the Armed Forces cadets, said: “I’m almost embarrassed to be nominated, but extremely privileged.
“I hope that if I do win, it would enable me to be a mouthpiece for the small UK manufacturing rail industry. This is a changing industry so they do need to have that voice.
“Businesses work with many charities and they do what they can to help young people. This is not about me.
“I am humbled by it but this is for the SMEs and to support the industry.”
There are five award categories that contenders are shortlisted for – Rising Star, Lifetime Achievement, Team, Wellbeing Champion and Rail Hero Award.
Votes have until October 31 to select their winner by visiting Heart of Gold Awards – Railway Benefit Fund.
The winners will be announced online once the voting has closed and they will be invited to London later in the month to receive their awards from Railway Benefit Fund president Pete Waterman