The vital support that Hire Association Europe and Event Hire Association (HAE EHA) provided to its members during the Covid-19 pandemic has been recognised at the prestigious National Association Awards 2021.

CEO Paul Gaze and Marketing Project Lead Stuart Tyrrell collected the Gold for Best Covid Response award at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington on behalf of the organisation for members who hire or manufacture plant, tools and event equipment. Hosted by Sky TV sports presenter and entertainer Jonny Nelson, the audience represented trade associations from a huge variety of UK industry sectors.

HAE EHA was on the front foot from the start of the first lockdown of the pandemic, creating a Covid-19 Response Team and becoming the go-to place for information, guidance and news, with numerous resources to help hire companies both small and large to understand what was happening, how it affected them, and where they could turn to for help.

In addition to Covid-19 email updates, HAE EHA supplied dedicated newsletters and communications carrying links to key information on the HAE EHA website,, or to funding sources, political statements, guidance on HR and SSP, and message templates helping members to deliver information to their own customers.

Covid-19 Response Workshops were also organised and held virtually using webinar platforms for numerous essential subjects. These covered mental health and wellbeing, practical guidance on social distancing, developing business resilience, event hire practical guidance and other related subjects – all designed to assist members during the crisis.

Many businesses in the tool, plant, and equipment hire sector either remained open or have since reopened operations for customers after lockdowns. HAE EHA lobbied the UK Governments during the pandemic to help ensure that hire and rental was deemed as essential retail, implementing appropriate measures to minimise the spread of infection, including social distancing and hygiene arrangements.

The hire industry was rarely singled out in any of the government guidance or legislation, rather it was referenced in the broader context of construction, so HAE EHA says it was vital to cut through the generalisations and highlight the relevant matters to its members.

Paul Gaze said: “Our response to the pandemic demonstrates a true understanding of our members and the people who work in hire. This award reflects the efforts of our member-led board and staff to deliver critical support for the hire industry during the most challenging times that most of us have ever faced. We are delighted that this has been recognised nationally in what has been a real team effort.”

This could be the first half of a sensational double, as HAE EHA has also entered the Best Membership Support During Covid-19 category in the Association Excellence Awards, being held on October 7th at the Kia Oval in London.

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BDC 315 : Apr 2024