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Queen’s Award-winners Cosy encouraging others to enter prestigious accolade

Queen’s Award-winners Cosy encouraging others to enter prestigious accolade

A Derbyshire company awarded a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise earlier this year is encouraging others to submit entries on behalf of their organisation – and has funded a website which it hopes will help others with their entries.

Cosy Direct is one of 226 organisations who were nationally recognised back in May, winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise - Sustainable Development 2022 during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year. 

Cosy, which sells ethical educational supplies to primary schools, councils and nurseries from its 45,000-square foot specially adapted warehouse near Tutbury, says that receiving special recognition for its business is ‘a significant and coveted honour’.

The website – – features testimonials from members of the Derbyshire business community who have previously won a Queen’s Award, plus words of encouragement from Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire Elizabeth Fothergill and Tony Walker, chair of the Derbyshire Queen’s Award for Enterprise panel. Derby-based videography and photography company Goldbox Productions are also involved in the project; they have created a winner’s film showcasing the talent across Derby and Derbyshire.

The lieutenancy are running three open days for organisations who are interested in applying for a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Those sessions will take place next month in Buxton, Chesterfield and Derby.

CEO Peter Ellse, who set up Cosy Direct with wife Amanda in 2011 said:

“Winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise - Sustainable Development is some achievement.

“It is awarded for commercially successful products, services and management that benefit the environment, society and the economy. To get the Royal seal of approval from Her Majesty as one of the best companies in the UK is significant for our business and a coveted honour.

“It is also great for the city and county. During 2022, a record eight Queen’s Awards were awarded to Derbyshire companies and organisations, which is the fourth highest of any region in the UK.

“For Cosy, it has helped to elevate our business and it is great to be able to use the official emblem on our website. Buyers and the suppliers who we work with at Cosy have an even greater confidence in working with us, knowing that we have royal recognition of our growth, success, and ethos.

“In our city and county, there are some pretty brilliant organisations who should consider applying for a Queen’s Award for Enterprise this year; the likes of Morley Hayes, Colleague Box and Midland Lead. It would be great to see them gain recognition from Her Majesty and we’re particularly keen to encourage organisations from the north of the county, from Bakewell, Glossop and Buxton, to enter.”

Employing more than 100 people in the Midlands, Cosy Direct was set up after Peter and Amanda recognised a need for ethical, imaginative play equipment which would encourage outdoor learning.

Specialising in supplying products including upcycled tyres, climbing frames, reading shelters and story chairs that engage and inspire youngsters, Cosy pride themselves on their sustainable approach to business – which is why this award in particular is important to them.

They have also recently been shortlisted for a Staffordshire Chamber Business Award for Sustainable Development.

Peter added:

“Cosy is one of the UK’s most exciting prospects when it comes to the educational resources industry – we’ve more than doubled in size over the last three years - and our community-minded ethos is something which we take great pride in.

“Sustainability and an ethical approach to business is important to us; we’re also proud to support charities and grassroots projects around the world – including right here in Derby and Derbyshire.

“In 2002, we set up the Cosy Fund – now known as the Cosy Foundation – which sees a minimum of 10 per cent of profit made from the business donated to small table-top charities and voluntary organisations. It is the Cosy Foundation that has funded the Derbyshire Queen’s Award for Enterprise website.

“We’re actively involved in the Langalanga Scholarship Fund, which supports the education of bright children from the impoverished area of the Rift Valley, around the town of Gilgil in Kenya. Over the last decade, Cosy have helped to create doctors, teachers and even a DJ.

“Closer to home, we’ve supported volunteering at grassroots supplying a purpose bought farm and storage barns called cosycamp for Derby Kids Camp and, more recently, we have supported the Derby Book Festival and Gaia; a piece of stunning artwork that will be on display at Derby Cathedral from September 22.”

Now in its 56th year, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise are the most prestigious business award in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Award Emblem for the next five years.

Applications for Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2023 are now open. For more information and to enquire about attending one of the information evenings, visit


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