Accolades from clients help Di secure international award

Di Garbera receiving her award from Fabian Hamilton MP, President of the IAB and MP for Leeds North East.

The Hull-based winner of an international business award has thanked the local clients who nominated her for the accolade and backed up their submissions with glowing testimonials.

Di Garbera, a director of Golding Computer Services, was put forward by companies in the region for the quality and flexibility of the training courses which all said made a real difference to their businesses.

The result was that Di scooped the title of Tutor of the Year at the International Association of Bookkeepers’ (IAB) Awards held at Westminster Palace.

The IAB is a membership organisation which provides support and services to bookkeepers, accountants and finance professionals including Ofqual regulated qualifications and anti-money laundering supervision. Di received her award from the IAB President, Fabian Hamilton MP.

Janet Jack, Chief Executive at the IAB said: “Competition was fierce this year, and the judges and I were amazed by the quality of the entries into all categories. It was tough to choose the winners, but Di Garbera is a well deserving winner in the Tutor of the Year category.”

Goldings, based in George Street, has won gold and silver awards for the quality of its training provided to clients studying for IAB qualifications. Di, who has led the company’s training services for more than 25 years, joined the firm in 1986 as the first employee in a business founded by Vic Golding four years earlier.

Di set up the company’s finance system, which she later computerised. With the company supplying many businesses with their first computers and finance software, she became involved in the training programmes devised to help clients get the most out of their purchases.

Over the years Di has trained hundreds of people aged from 14 to 66 mainly in the Hull and Humber region and also as far away as Chester, Kent and Scotland. Most of the trainees come from small businesses with fewer than 50 staff, and they benefit from Golding’s success in securing funding and from Di’s expertise and dedication with distance learning.

Di also works closely with organisations which help young people who are trying to get into business. She is a board member of the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank (JCYEB) and is a mentor for Making Changes for Careers (MC4C), a scheme set up to help young people who are not in employment, education or training.

Beccy Smith, Managing Director of Lakeland Orthotics in Wincolmlee, Hull, said: “We nominated Di for the award because her training has made a real difference to our business during the last year. It was helpful to learn from someone who has actually done the job and who wasn’t just delivering a course.”

Jill Gibson of S & J Synergy in Vulcan Street, Hull, said: “When the book-keeper left Di came in on a Saturday morning to help me. The flexibility of being able to go in at a weekend at no charge really suited us as a business. Di is absolutely wonderful. She’s always at the end of the phone if we ever need anything.”

Debbie Drewery of, Hayton Service Station near Pocklington said: “I have been working in the office for maybe 18 years now and have known Di all that time. She is available 24/7. If you have a problem you sit down and talk it through with Di and she has the answer straight away.”

Julie Dunham of PEAK Flooring UK Ltd of Chamberlain Road, Hull, said: “As an older learner Di made me feel more confident as I studied the course.  I am now confident and have the skills to use the systems which are in place throughout the business.”

Di said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to win the award, and so grateful to the clients who nominated me. I can honestly say that the most important part of it is taking the opportunity to get some recognition for our business and to raise awareness of the training courses, because it can be difficult to persuade employers to make time for training. 

“We work hard to make them aware of the opportunities provided by funding and distance learning, which enable them to improve their businesses without having to commit huge amounts of time and money. Winning this award helps us get that message across and will hopefully build confidence among businesses that their computerised accounting training is in safe hands.”

“Finance is a vital function for businesses and it’s important to make sure they get it right. I still do all the finance here. I am in the front line of running the business. That ensures my skills and experience are up to date and it is something that the students find very valuable.”

[Phil Ascough – Ascough Associates]