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From rags to riches and Royal praise
When Mark and Graham Wray started their workplace wiper business in 1984 with a £3,000 backing from The Prince's Trust, little did they imagine that 27 years later they would be receiving recognition from The Trust's Patron, HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.
Mark, aged 23 and his brother Graham, 21 set up their business in Toxteth, Liverpool, just after the riots when jobs were very scarce. They bought clothes from charity shops and turned them into wiping cloths for engineering works and garages. The company widened its horizons and today Wray Brothers, is a Member of Jangro, the national network of over 40 janitorial and cleaning supplies companies offering 4,500 products from a 138-page catalogue.
"Without help from The Prince's Trust we would never have become the business we are today," says Mark. "It provided not only the money but also help from really experienced advisors who showed us how to invoice and manage our paperwork. Once we were operational The Trust kept in constant contact."
To illustrate their appreciation for the Trust's support, the brothers set up their own business centre for unemployed people by restoring an old warehouse, which today provides subsidised workspace for 20 - 30 new businesses and business mentoring.
Mark and Graham, whose business is the longest standing trading company helped by the Trust, were invited to Clarence House to celebrate 35 years of the Trust and as a Trust success story. They met H R H Price Charles who said to Mark (centre of photo):
"Congratulations, you are a great example of how my Trust helps young people. I wish you every success for the future."
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15th September 2011